Eric McFadden review…November 4, 2018….

ERIC MCFADDEN

PAIN BY NUMBERS

WHISKEY BAYOU RECORDS

WHILE YOU WERE GONE–LOVE COME RESCUE ME–LONG GONE–THE GIRL HAS CHANGED–SKELETON KEY–I NEVER LISTENED TOO GOOD–SO HARD TO LEAVE–IF I DIE TODAY–FOOL YOUR HEART–THE JESUS GONNA SEE YOU NAKED–DON’T YOU WANNA LIVE–CACTUS JUICE

Eric McFadden is a powerful singer/guitarist/composer who has just released his latest album, “Pain By Numbers,” for Tab Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou Records label.  This artist has been a guitarist in the Anders Osborne band, Eric Burdon’s band, and even a stint in the George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic Mothership, giving him a leg up on varying genres’.  That’s the cool thing about this set.  It defies any one particular grouping, and it also shows Eric at some of his most vulnerable,and, dare we say, darkest times.

Perhaps the definition of “blues” might mean “three chords and a cloud of dust” at the Saturday night fish fry for some folks, but, for Eric, the blues comes in a much deeper, darker shade.  It is a more personal feeling for him, as evidenced by the stark, dark-natured theme of this material, much gleaned from Eric’s own experiences.

Ever have that “sit straight up in bed out of a deep sleep” feeling where somethin’ just ain’t right?  That’s the vibe in the brooding opener, “While You Were Gone,” with Eric’s grunge-worthy guitar and Hellhound vocal, as his lover’s nowhere in sight, and there’s a “red moon” out his window!!  Tab Benoit adds keys to the next cut, which served as one of our favorites.  Biblical references to Abraham, Gabriel, and Simon Peter’s three denials of Jesus are the theme of the Dylan-esque “Love Come Rescue Me.”  Dealing with the consequences of addiction is the Stones-y blues rock of “The Girl Has Changed,”  while the freight-train, Hooker-styled groove of “If I Die Today,” leads to possible multiple interpretations of the lyrics, exactly what Eric was attempting.  Firstly, our hero could be at peace with himself and be ready to go, or, as we saw it, a cry for help from a potential suicide victim.  This one served as our other favorite.  Eric closes the set with the Djangly, Djazzy “Cactus Juice,” a cool-breeze-on-a-hot-Bayou-day instrumental.

Eric McFadden co-founded the 10-Star Program, to use music and his fellow artists to reach out to troubled youth as a way of giving back.  For blues fans, “Pain By Numbers” gives us the satisfaction derived from hearing an excellent contemporary player at his best!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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