“What an incredibly beautiful voice, full in the middle ranges and, in the high ranges, as straight as an arrow. She sang with a clarity; that surprised me. Why didn’t I know her? Underneath which rock had she been lying?”
“Elrieke once played a house concert in the house of the old manager of a famous dutch band who couldn’t believe what he heard: “Why haven’t we heard of her before!!”
As the oldest child of a psychiatric nurse and a passionate business man, Elrieke grew up in the centre of The Netherlands. She was an early bird when it came to music: she sang before she could talk and she swung and sang along with the songs on the radio and followed lessons in the recorder and flute.
Nevertheless, it would take years before she would actually proceed along her road in music. The impact of moving to the south of The Netherlands, when she was 12 years old, was enormous and music disappeared from her life. She withdrew within herself and, in her bed room, she listened to music and started writing.
The desolation of puberty appeared to have another side as well. Elrieke became fascinated in people and what moved them. She wanted to help people, make a difference! Elrieke started to study the bachelor Social Work and she found a job as a social worker after her graduation.
In her twenty’s, Elrieke’s life seemed settled but the opposite was true. The restlessness inside her gave her new impetus and direction. She ended a longterm relationship and the search for what she really wanted in life quickly gathered pace. After playing a part in an acting production, Elrieke knew what she now desired so much: Singing! Here, the piano entered her life as well. Elrieke started following (group-singing) lessons where she met piano player Jeroen Mathijssen and within time they formed the Band ‘A Woman’s Voice’ along with some other musicians and played at the annual festival ‘Jazz in Duke Town’ in Den Bosch.
It took till 2005, after she had met folksinger-guitarist Leopold ‘Poldy’ Geldtmeijer at an open mic in Waalwijk, that she really made a great leap forward. It was now to be: nothing but music! Besides playing the piano Elrieke started playing guitar and writing songs. She played live in different formations but mostly with Leopold.
One beautiful summer eve in 2008, at an outdoor concert of ‘Magna Carta’ Elrieke was noticed by
them and it became the start of a collaboration with Linda Simpson from that band. Later that year Elrieke leapt into the next step of her musical adventure. Resigning from her social work in Breda she moved to another part of the country to work in peace and to pay now full attention to her music career.
Together with Linda Simpson and ‘honorary sister’ Leopold she formed Sisters in Song and they toured during 2010/2011/2012 in The Netherlands as well as The United Kingdom. They made several recordings including those with Paul Burgess (10CC, Joan Armatrading), Jonathan Barrett, Andy Tillison.
In 2013, Elrieke made the EP ‘A Touch Of The Dutch’ together with Leopold and sound engineer Willem Bart for their upcoming tour throughout the UK. For two months, Elrieke and Leopold played a host of gigs from the north to the south of England and left for home accompanied by an award nomination from the Buxton Fringe event together with the heart-warming memory of a standing ovation at the Great Britain R&B Festival in Colne, Lancashire where they were called ‘the pleasant change’ of the Blues Festival.
Also in that year, Elrieke made her EP ‘Key To My Heart’. Together with Songanalytic’s Henri Meijer, she produced ‘Key To My Heart’ with contributions from drummer Juan van Emmerloot (Stef Burns, Snowy White e.a.) sound engineer Don Willard (Beach Boys, Ron Wood e.a.). Huub Reijnders made a special mix of ‘For A Little While’ , Frans Hendriks provided the master. The EP was released in July 2014 and received a splendid review by Wereldmuziek.
Elrieke’s versatility was now showing in her repertoire: folk songs, americana, singer-songwriter songs, blues, 60’s, 70’s, original work (ballads and up tempo).
It also showed in many of the other things she was doing. In 2013, her compassion for her fellow human beings led her to start ‘Lamento’, Live Music at Funerals and she accompanied many funerals and memorials with the most beautiful songs. This idea started when she was being asked to fulfill the last wish of one of her fans: singing her song ‘Final Journey Home’ at her funeral. Here Elrieke found the missing link between social work and music. In that year Elrieke also started giving guitar and songwriting lessons and coaching (musically) of people with brain damage.
Early in 2014, Elrieke embraced love and later that year started working again (part time) as a social worker. The year also saw another tour throughout the UK, a full schedule of gigs in the Netherlands and her coaching/workshops. What a year!
Unfortunately, in early 2015 fate struck! Leopold’s gout in his hands worsened and for several months he was not able to play the guitar. Elrieke and Leopold always knew that this was likely to happen one day and that she would eventually have to let go of her mentor and friend. Now, it seemed, was that time…. and afterwards it stayed real quiet for a while….
In May 2015, signs of life again. Here and there a gig, here and there an open mic and behind the screen Elrieke worked hard, step by step, firmly believing in her new life in music. Her social work job taking care of grounding, Elrieke also set up a songwriting workshop.
In July 2015, Elrieke played for the first time in that years solo at festival ‘Art Carnivale’. In November, another Festival and in December 2015, she had her first solo concert in – back to her roots – Waalwijk. All performances are a success! Fortunately, too, Leopold recovered from his gout and they played together again, but the road to autonomy was now open and she was enjoying it!
Elrieke now has several plans for 2016. A musical encounter in the sea provence Zeeland brings inspiration which will have an encore in 2016. As is a project with Elrieke’s brother, Dirk. Elrieke is now writing profusely and there are plans for a new EP and, of course, Elrieke would love to go back to the UK for another tour. So everything is now back in musical motion!
Stay in Tune with Elrieke and her music!