Eric French - New music with an old touch

Overlooking a stonewalled yard and forest beyond, a cozy studio in an old family home nestled in rural Maine shakes with simultaneous purpose and abandon.  Resophonic blues swirled with swaggering rock 'n roll and N'awleans boogie has been germinating since a retreat to northern New England 2 years ago.  A departure from his past efforts, new perspective with a focus on the strength of his writing has artist Eric French flying higher than ever before.

A son of Providence, RI, cancer survivor from a young age, and present day troubadour with hundreds of thousands of miles on the road in the name of performance behind him, a thankful Eric has bloomed here in the northeast as an artist for years.  Phoenix Music Awards, shared stages with blues legends like Luther ‘Guitar Junior’ Johnson & Joe Louis Walker, and relentless development have kept a career in original music possible.  Shows at Lupo's & The Met in his hometown, blues clubs Johnny D's & Theodore's in Boston and western Massachussetts, and classic New York City venues The Sidewalk Cafe & The Bitter End feature his bright soulful voice, bell-like slidework, and joyful electric guitar playing.

Recently Eric often performs solo with his single-cone National and Collings dreadnought while stomping on a cigar box, staying close to his blues guitar-slinger/ songwriter roots.  Yet, as a growing artist, over 2014 Eric has expanded his palette to include a wealth of new voices, sharing his vision with the most impressive ensemble he’s ever gathered.  More than a cast of accompanists, a specific 7 piece troupe combines as The French Quarter to forge a signature sound, a modern vintage.  Big bands put out big sound, and the current example set by the likes of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band has been sincerely taken to heart.

Hailing mostly from around the region, with a few strong roots reaching far west to the rest of the country, a vast pool of influence and style is honed into a singular statement.  Musical educations informed by obsessions with acoustic and electric blues, R&B, jazz, funk, americana and hard rock are distilled and recombined to give life to original songwriting, presented in an organic yet deliberate way.

With the release of the new single, “Drivin”, Eric is touring regionally with The Quarter, and preparing for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in which he has been selected to compete as a solo artist this coming January.

The Quarter

Eric has expanded his palette to include a wealth of new voices, sharing his vision with the most impressive ensemble he’s ever gathered.  More than a cast of accompanists, a specific 7 piece troupe combines as The French Quarter to forge a signature sound, a modern vintage.  Big bands put out big sound, and the current example set by the likes of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band has been sincerely taken to heart.

On bass and drums, still providing an earthquake of rhythm and blues to ride, Iowa City’s Craig Weiman and Norfolk’s Tim Carman set an intimidating precedent for what it means to interpret a song.  Enveloping that base with a textural grace unachievable without vintage tools and an old soul to match, Brendan Moore steps up from back home in Rhode Island with a Hammond B3 organ and a Fender Rhodes electric piano.  To add an integral piece of magick, Allston’s Kristin Santangelo and Caitlyn O’Brien weave both alluring and terrifying resonances o’er the top with voices reminiscent of dark Fleetwood Mac.  Stars align as Bethany Weiman’s rich, expressive cello conjures further beauty still, tugging at heart strings as she bows across hers.

Hailing mostly from around the region, with a few strong roots reaching far west to the rest of the country, a vast pool of influence and style is honed into a singular statement.  Musical educations informed by obsessions with acoustic and electric blues, R&B, jazz, funk, americana and hard rock are distilled and recombined to give life to original songwriting, presented in an organic yet deliberate way.

experience Eric French & the Quarter live

Music

Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.

- Jimi Hendrix -

 

If you don't know the blues... there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.

- Keith Richards -

Road to Memphis

Each January, the Blues Foundation hosts a competition on Beale Street in Memphis, TN called the International Blues Challenge.  This contest features bands, solo artists, and youth acts representing affiliated blues societies from around the world.  It gives up-and-coming musicians within the genre an opportunity to showcase in front of record labels, media, managers, talent buyers and fans.  Networking events and seminars during the day are followed by competition performances, jams, and award ceremonies at night. In its 30th year, the 2014 IBC had 255 acts from at least 20 different countries!

Affiliates hold preliminary contests to determine their representatives each year.  After his set at The Big Easy in Portland this past spring, Eric was chosen as the Maine Blues Society's 2015 delegate in the solo division!  Hear his winning performance

Eric will perform his original blues in two quarterfinal rounds at venues such as Pig on Beale, Blues City Cafe, and Handy Blues Hall.  If he advances, a semi-final performance at B.B. King's could follow, and from there it's fingers crossed for a performance at the New Daisy Theater in the finals.  The winner of the competition in the solo/ duo division receives $2,000 cash, an ad in the Blues Festival Guide, and great gigs including various festival slots and a spot as part of the legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise!  Second place receives about half of that, and the best guitarist in the solo/ duo category gets a Saint Blues Cigar Box guitar.  Aside from the prospects surrounding direct advancement within the competition, Eric is excited to capitalize on the exposure to the professional industry attendees and fellow artists from around the world.

Donate

While many larger chapters of the Blues Foundation are able to subsidize the entire cost for their representatives to travel to the event, not all artists have this advantage.  Eric is thankful for a head start in fundraising from his blues society, but will need to make up a substantial difference for the total amount necessary for this trip to be a success.  Support this blues pilgrimage!  Donations go towards travel, lodging, food, and promotional materials.  Any amount of assistance contributed to this project is welcome and greatly appreciated.  All contributors will receive an exclusive download.

From now through the end of the competition in January Eric will be running his own #roadtomemphis promotional campaign via social media and live events.  Stay tuned to the BLOG as he prepares his show, documents time on the road with pictures, produces new music and videos in his home studio, and tells the story as this adventure unfolds.

Photos & Videos

Contact

For Booking and Inquiries:

email or call 617.304.9040