As Swedish-born, London-bred, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Petter Ericson Stakee – leader of alt-folk outfit Alberta Cross – sits on Yahoo Music’s Austin porch at South by Southwest, he seems right in his element. He’s used to such rustic surroundings, having recently recorded Alberta Cross’s third, self-titled album in Upstate New York, near Woodstock, at a lovely studio called Dreamland. “It’s just a big ole church with a bunch of music equipment in there,” Stakee says of the incredible surroundings. “It’s like in the middle of nowhere, on a hill, in the woods. Nothing, no distractions.”
Stakee may hail from Europe, but right now, the rootsy songsmith is living the Americana dream.
“I’ve been in New York for about eight and a half years now,” he says. “I was in London for nine years before that. I was born in Sweden, but I felt the need to travel around a little bit and get inspired.”
Stakee found such inspiration in NYC’s “secret jams in basement bars that no one knows about. The bar of music is very high there… A lot of songwriters come down and try out new songs… I met so many musicians there that I used on my record!”
Another American inspiration: Joshua Tree, where he spent two boiling-hot desert days filming the Man Who Fell to Earth-reminiscent music video for Alberta Cross’s latest single, “Ghost of Santa Fe.” Have a look at that video below, along with two acoustic performances from Alberta Cross’s SXSW sessions for Yahoo Music.