Dave Ernst’s ‘Pallbearer‘ comes from his debut solo album ‘Hickory Switch’, an introspective look into the relationships and experiences that have shaped Ernst’s life. The message and inspiration for this one is quite clear, as Ernst pays tribute to his father.
Music was very much a part of Ernst’s childhood; his mother sang in the gospel trio The Treble Tones in the 60s and 70s and his grandfather was the guitarist in a traveling country “orchestra” for over 20 years. Ernst’s mother bought him his first guitar as a teenager and he set off to learn every R.E.M. song he could–an influence he carries to this day.Having progressed through various garage bands in high school, Ernst was ultimately asked to join the seminal Louisville major-label band Big Wheel, fronted by ex-Squirrel Bait singer Peter Searcy. This saw him go on to sharing stages with the likes of Big Star. Later Searcy & Ernst formed the band Starbilly and chased the major label dream for years recording for both A&M and Atlantic Records. Their indie release on Chicago’s Buzz records was a radio success, and gave them the opportunity to tour the country and play tons of radio festivals where they got to see the best (and worst) of 90s music up close and personal. Once Starbilly eventually faded, Ernst spent his time performing both as a solo artist and with various Kentucky-based bands.
This current album follows from a 2016 diagnosis of thyroid cancer – when this didn’t derail his musical career completely Dave Ernst wasted no time in getting back to work after treatment, demoing new material in early 2017. ‘Hickory Switch‘ is out on the 1st of March 2019.