I love making music, and make a lot of it. I started recording and overdubbing at age 12. I've played in many bands and recorded in several studios. Today, I make music in my own studio, and my music has appeared in more than 280 TV episodes on major networks.
As Sons of the Golden West, I produce indie rock and Americana. I am a multi-instrumentalist, and I play guitar, drums and keys. I can spice up the production with lap steel, banjo, ukulele, hand percussion, and any one of several hundred virtual instruments.
I am a good communicator and I'm easy to work with. I'm meticulous, creative, and I'm not happy if you're not happy. I've received nothing but five-star reviews from clients, and you can find them on my websites. I use pro-level gear, from mics to instruments to outboard gear.
As a testament to both my writing and recording skills, my latest album as Sons of the Golden West received airplay on more than 50 radio stations, and made the chart at three of them. The album, “Punch Drunk Moon,” was written, played, and produced by yours truly. No, not because I don't like collaborating (please read my client reviews). It just worked out that way.
Also, on the songwriting front, my first single as Eric Butterfield, "Wake Me in Paris," reached the semi-finals in both the 2017 International Songwriting Competition (unsigned category) and the 2018 Unsigned Only songwriting contest.
Networks that have used my music include A&E ("Born This Way"), MTV, BBC America, NBC ("Today Show"), OWN, CBS College Sports, and TLC.
You can find a list of TV credits (and demo reel) at www.sotgw.com and www.ericbutterfieldmusic.com
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
CreditsAllMusic verified credits for Sons of the Golden West
2 ReviewsEndorse Sons of the Golden West
Wow! We were looking for a deep traditional blues song and every single expectation was surpassed. Highly recommended!
Eric is fantastic to work with. He listens to what you want and helps you find what you need. He just happens to be an great drummer as well! (Including other instrumentation)
Interview with Sons of the Golden West
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am particularly proud of "Punch Drunk Moon" by Sons of the Golden West, my most recent release. It was a one-man effort. I did all tracking, instrumentation and production. More than 50 radio stations played the album, and I was thrilled that the album made the chart at three of the stations.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on several songs for release. My most recent album was all instrumental ("Punch Drunk Moon" by Sons of the Golden West, which received airplay on more than 50 radio stations and charted at three of them).
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. While I love the convenience of digital, music demands the right sound. That's why I have a rack with a tube mic pre, an outboard compressor/limiter, a tube EQ, numerous guitar pedals, a few effects units, and a few amps at the ready -- because the real thing is better than a computer simulation.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You'll be happy with the results. I have not had a client return a project. If something's not right, I'll fix it. I am very good at what I do. But I don't pretend to do absolutely everything under the sun. If I don't think I'm the right person for your project, I'll tell you. I won't waste your time trying to be something I'm not, and risk turning in a sub-par performance. Your music deserves the best player for your style and needs. If your idea is out of my vocal range, I'll tell you, which, by the way, is roughly E2 to F4.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Writing, playing and recording music. What could be a better way to spend my day?
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They ask if I write lyrics, because although they've written lyrics and I'm doing the music (and singing), they would like to work with someone who might have tips to make the lyrics better. The answer is, yes, I have written several hundred songs, so I often have input on how to make things flow better for the singer, without changing the meaning, getting the stress on all the right syllables, making sure consonants and sibilants and plosives don't collide, etc. If I have your permission, yes, I will make minor change to the lyrics for the sake of rhythm, flow of language, and sometimes word choice. Of course, you can always request that the original lyric be used, and that's OK too.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would happily work with any of the talented people I've previously mentioned. I don't have a particular number one.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I really enjoy the style and songwriting of Ryan Adams, Wilco, Son Volt, Elliott Smith, The Shins, The Decemberists, Gram Parsons, Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Neko Case, Johnny Cash, Andrew Bird, Belle & Sebastian, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Folds, REM, The Replacements, 16 Horsepower, Uncle Tupelo, Hank Williams Sr., Yo La Tengo, Fleetwood Mac, The Police, Pixies, Big Star, Pell Mell, Interpol, and way too many others to mention.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Almost daily, I am recording original songs for release, and instrumental compositions for a sync company and various music libraries. I write and record custom songs for clients, and record vocals and specific instruments for other musicians and songwriters. In addition to endless virtual instruments, these I play in the real world: Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lap steel, piano, melodica, banjo, ukulele, bass, drums, and various hand percussion. I am a perpetual songwriter and lyricist.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think songwriting is my strongest skill, the ability to create a mood and to convey it in a uniquely told story. I love clever lyrics -- as long as they're not trying too hard. But, it all has to start with a great idea, and then grab the listener with melodic and rhythmic hooks.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of music do you like that you want your music to resemble without exactly mimicking? Is there a genre outside of the obvious that you might want to subtly make its way into your music? Do I have permission to subtly alter your lyrics to better fit the rhythm of the music I've written?
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My songwriting is generally singer/songwriter and indie rock with an Americana undercurrent. I love straight-forward and natural-sounding. But I also sometimes go for a nuanced and atmospheric sound. My music that has appeared in TV shows ranges from heavy rock to quirky jazz/pop to science fiction drone.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming this desert island has no electricity, I'd take my acoustic guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, banjo, and drum set. If this desert island had electricity, I would have to take my computer and a microphone to record all the ideas and songs I'd come up with (you did say "desert" and not explicitly "deserted"...).
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: For full songs with vocals, I usually am writing singer/songwriter tunes with a strong Americana, indie rock, alt country, or power pop influence. I write in a variety of genres for my production music work, and write jazz, easy listening, and orchestral indie pop instrumentals, for example.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Good melodic and rhythmic sense and judgement. I seek melodic and rhythmic phrases that complete a song, to help it say what it wants to say. Knowing when to shut up and let it breathe is key, to add dynamics and contrast. It's all about the song and the message. And, speaking of the message, I am also very experienced in helping a lyricist streamline what they want to say, for clarity (my college degree is in English Literature, with an emphasis in creative writing).
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't rush it, and don't overdo it. Go for the overall feel, not chopped-up perfection.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Music has always been a big part of my life. And I've played many shows in many bands over the years. But in 2008, at a fork in my career path, I began a concerted effort to build a career producing music for TV, film and advertising. So far, my music has appeared in more than 240 TV episodes.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be clear about what you want, and don't be afraid to ask for it. Bad communication can result in disappointment, unless you really love surprises. I've never had a client turn down my creation, and have received very high marks for my communication and my productions. I put the client first, and I don't go down a road until I'm sure the client wants to. I ask questions before I start, and will ask for clarification along the way to make sure you get what you want. It's your baby.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen carefully. Listen again, and hear the accompaniment in my mind's ear. I serve the song and look for those magic moments.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I record in Pro Tools with a vast array of top-notch plugins and microphones, such as Sennheiser MD 421 II, Shure SM57, AKG C414, a Warm Audio tube mic, tube mic pre, outboard compressor/limiter, and Pultec-style EQ.