unapologetic rock n’ bluz set off by an introspective acoustic streak
After twenty years playing guitar, fifteen years in remission from leukemia, and now two albums into a career as a singer/ songwriter, Eric French has even more love for the blues than when he started. Celebrating milestones is satisfying, but the constant change that brings new experiences is what keeps things passionate. His band’s roster, his tone, even his songwriting style has matured since his debut double record in 2010. This is evidenced by the second L.P. released on Eric’s own independent label French Maid Music.
Following being named The Providence Phoenix’s 2011 Best Blues R&B Act, he undertook the sophomore effort that would continue to deserve such acclaim from his hometown. This new collection, entitled Old City Blues, is named for Eric’s second home of Boston. It’s a high-energy study in modern, songwriter, blues-rock. A more focused endeavor than his first album, both in length and content, this collection of songs and the singing/ fretwork that present them are lean and instinctual.
Initially recorded with his band in the dead of winter while snowed-in at a cabin in Peru, Vermont, Eric finished overdubbing and mixing at his home studio. The New England based artist released small, serialized sections of the effort online over the following year, a first for him, one of a few for this project.
Old City Blues includes Eric’s premiere instrumentals featuring the players with him in Vermont, snapshots of excitement and camaraderie over the music at hand. The album’s title track rolls like the great wooden ships that filled Boston harbor years ago and allows for a stretch, while the upbeat Spread It Around gives more of a chance to flex and flash. The record also features Eric’s first release of a cover, Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’. But this isn’t the Heartbreakers tried and true version. This is a young rockin bluesman informed by 27 years of AC/DC riffs, Clapton solos, and Stevie Ray showmanship, ripping it up with the abandon the lyrics speak of.
Evenin’s With the Blues stays rooted in his acoustic origins, pushing his love for a bottleneck slide and an unrequited love song forward. The upbeat single Baby Where Ya Been and the brazen Gonna Get show his keen songwriting sense and easily convey Eric’s sheer joy over playing his favorite instrument. Even the traditional tale of Poison in Mah Pie takes the old blues standard, a man and his mean murderous old lady he can't put down, into a modern context.
Eric continues to play with both friends and family (brother Aaron often plays drums, father Ronnie guitar and bass), and to raise money and awareness for cancer treatment and blood donation. The new full record is set for release August 3rd in Providence, RI. Solo and band performances throughout the northeast at familiar venues as well as tours beyond the region are set to follow in the fall.
- Ronnie French
- Aaron French
- Tim Carman
- Walt Skorupski
- Zac Casher
- Tim Butterworth
- Corey Schreppel
- Eric Kalver
- Craig Weiman
- John Hirst