Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Ernie Halter, has just re-signed with Rock Ridge Music for the release of his next album, which will hit shelves later in 2008 and is scheduled to be recorded in January and February in New York City. The album will be the follow-up to 2007’s “Congress Hotel,” and Jason Spiewak (Chris Volz, Five.Bolt.Main) is slated to produce.
“I feel Rock Ridge gets me as an artist,” says Halter. “They are very trusting creatively and let me do what I do best. The new record will be so much better because of it. It’s not easy for an indie artist to get the kind of exposure I did on the last record. My CD was available in almost every Borders store across the country.”
Halter, who toured extensively in 2007, is confirmed to perform on the debut voyage of the songwriter cruise Cayamo: A Journey Through Song, which sails from February 4-10, 2008. In addition to Halter, the cruise will feature songwriters Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, John Hiatt and many others. The six-day Caribbean cruise stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Halter will also likely hit the road (tour dates TBD) with Josh Hoge in 2008, and will also perform at a charity event in Thailand in April which benefits tsunami orphans. Other tour dates will be announced as they are confirmed.
It was Halter’s very tech-savvy approach to promoting and marketing his music that garnered the attention of Rock Ridge in the first place: Halter webcasts all of his shows and was one of the first artists to take advantage of MySpace as a promotional tool. Utilizing his tech know-how and his extraordinarily focused work ethic, Halter has incorporated such unique features on the page as a live “tour van cam” and nightly webcasts of his concerts across the US.
In addition to his MySpace endeavors, Halter has been utilizing YouTube.com to broaden his fanbase and began a “covers video series” approximately three months ago that has seen great success, with subscription to his page increasing tenfold over the three months. Fans can submit requests for future covers. So far, Halter’s different takes on songs have included the wildly successful “Cyclone” by Baby Bash (featuring T-Pain) (which has garnered almost 100,000 views in 2 months’ time), “Bubbly” by Colby Caillat, “No One” by Alicia Keys, and OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” He plans to continue the covers series in 2008. In addition, instead of posting guitar tablatures for his own songs that have been requested by fans, Halter is posting video tutorials of some of his songs on his page as well (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ernell42).
Said AllMusic.com of Halter and “Congress Hotel”: “…his voice [is] an extraordinary instrument... Here the Southern Californian works with a full complement of musicians that expose the range of his smooth, soulful singing. … Halter draws from the best of the classic R&B generation (Stevie Wonder is an especially prominent influence, his phrasing apparent in several of Halter's songs), but there's an equally significant nod to the classic rock of Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Billy Joel in the pop-ish arrangements.”