It’s the end of January and that usually means cold temps and of course snow. That always spells out fun for us living in and around Erie. My favorite part is driving on the slick roads. Alright, you can tell I’m being slight sarcastic. But you should be used to the weather by now (and maybe my sarcasm). Those brave souls who didn’t let the weather stop them from having a good night came out a winner if they stopped in the Vermont Tavern on Friday night.
Eric Brewer and Friends…perhaps you have heard of them? If you have not, then you need to get with the program! Ok, ok, sorry for yelling at you but you really need to hear these guys if you haven’t already. These guys are RockErie Music Awards winners and they earned it.
This past year alone, they won best Jam band, best guitarist (Eric Brewer), best drummer (Steve Barone), best bassits (Ralph Retinger) and past winner in the horn category (Joe Cieslak). Who knows, maybe Charlie Meyer will win the keyboardist category this coming year? Needless to say, they are the definition of talent in the music scene in Erie.
I could listen to them play 24/7 for the rest of my life and I would not get sick of it. In fact, I’m listening to them as we speak. I’m attaching their submission that won them a REMA in the jam category so you can enjoy it too (Click to Listen). When they play, each member gets to display their talents with small solos. I am shocked how these guy can stick around in Erie and not be signed to a major label. Eric Brewer is by far the best guitarist that I have ever heard. I know the patrons at the Vermont Tavern agree with me because when Eric went nuts on a song of theirs, he had the crowd whistling and applauding in approval before he was even done with the song. But Eric is not a one band man.
Eric is often found jamming with other artists when asked to. For those who do not know, he (as well as Ralph) is also apart of Ron Yarosz and the Vehicle who will be heading to Memphis Feb. 2 and 3 to compete against 100+ bands in the International Blues Challenge. Best of Luck to them!
Although he is not a one band man, he is not a one man band either (hence the name “and friends”). Joe, Steve, Ralph, and Charlie add their talents to the menu that makes a music platter that can feed the hungry. Joe’s saxophone skills are incredible. Not too many sax players out here in Erie, but when you hear a band with one there is nothing like it.
Steve’s drumming style looks easy going, but it’s his quick hands that make it look simple.
Ralph’s bass line was awesome. He went out on a solo at one point and you can see the music being played through the guitar and through his body.
In fact, every band member had the passion of music being played through their heart by the way of body language.
Charlie’s keyboarding reminded me of Bruce Hornsby’s song, “The Way It Is”. The quick notes and great rhythm, it sounded great and you can tell in the mp3 I have posted.
They do not play too many songs with lyrics, but Eric wasn’t shy to go on the mic, nor was he shy to share it. Rose Kanj joined the band for a few songs and what a voice! She seemed to fit right in and did a great performance.
Another cool thing they fellas did involved their guitar strings. It looked a bit hard to tell but they were rockin’ colored strings for StringsforaCURE in honor of Eric’s cousin who is battling cancer. Prayers go out to her and those battling!
I’ve seen these guys play before but the more I see them play, the better they sound. You must see of show of theirs because they play for free! Who knows, they could be a signed band and not be around Erie as often. Anything can happen!
Be sure to check out the full gallery on GoErie and don’t forget you can purchase prints from the show along with other items like magnets and what not. But before I go, I want to tell you where I will be at this week.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying to see shows on Friday nights, but this week’s shows had a particular one I want to see on Thursday at Sherlock’s. Otis, Face Down in High Water, and X7 will be entertaining the crowd and Mike from X7 made a promotional video for the event in which I will share with you guys here. See you soon everyone!