Tuning In with Erin Lunsford

Posted on September 18, 2014 by


Erin Lunsford, accompanied by her mom on guitar, sang Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On” in her 5th grade talent show. It’s Lunsford’s first vivid memory of singing before a crowd.

“It was quite epic, and so was my hair that day,” she says.

Erin Lunsford sings at the Rockn to Lockn competition. Photo by Shannon Gillen

Erin Lunsford sings at the Rockn to Lockn competition.
Photo by Shannon Gillen

Lunsford’s performances are still epic, but she’s come a long way from the talent show stage. She is a bona-fide singer-songwriter  and a member of rock/blues/folk/soul band Erin and the Wildfire, a group that has been deemed a “local treasure.”

“Compared to then, I am much more comfortable on stage, and now it’s really my favorite place to be,” she says. Erin and the Wildfire recently won a spot in the Lockn’ Music Festival lineup and played the festival stage alongside big-name acts such as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and more.

“It was AMAZING,” exclaims Lunsford in an email. “We rubbed so many elbows with fans and friends, and also Grace Potter…I cried. I asked her if I could take a picture with her and I cried. [The festival] was a great learning experience.”

Lunsford met her bandmates—guitar player Ryan Lipps, drummer Nick Quillen, and bass player Matt Wood— in a student recording group. “It was love from the beginning,” she says. Since then, Erin and the Wildfire has recorded an EP and played countless gigs in and around Charlottesville, building a solid local fan base. The band has also traveled to Washington, D.C., New York, and other cities, gaining exposure and fans.

The band is set to release a single in November and will tour to support it. Before they pack up and hit the road, they’ll play a single release show at The Southern on Friday, November 14, and will rock The Festy in October.

Lunsford’s Tuning In playlist is a collection of songs that she says are “representative of my biggest influences for genre, singing, lyricism and musical artistry in general.” The final song, Macy Gray’s “I Try,” she says, “is for my dearest band mates. <3”

Eva Cassidy’s version of Pete Seeger’s “Oh, Had I a Golden Thread,” isn’t available on Spotify, so give it a listen on YouTube:

Want to help Erin and the Wildfire make their next record? Check out their Kickstarter campaign.

Posted in: music, Tuning in