Eric Jerardi review….February 25, 2019….

ERIC JERARDI

OCCUPIED

NICHE RECORDS

DO RIGHT BY HIM–WHOLE AGAIN–DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY–OCCUPIED–NEVER LET THE OLD MAN IN–DEAF LEAD THE BLIND–IN MY LIFE

Dayton, Ohio-based guitarist/vocalist/composer Eric Jerardi has been an accomplished performer for some 30 years, after winning a battle of the bands contest in 1989 while attending Ohio U.  He’s shared the stage with B. B. King, Keith Urban, and Little Feat, among many others, and has teamed up with producer David Z for his latest set, “Occupied.”  It’s a soulful set of seven songs–six originals and one cover, written by Jerry Lynn Williams–laid down at the Nutthouse Recording Studios in Sheffield, AL.  The thing that makes this set extra special is the backing band–yup–the legendary Muscle Shoals guys are all on board here, including Clayton Ivey on keys, David Hood on bass, Milton Sledge on drums, Kevin Holley on rhythm guitar, and a host of others that makes this one a soul-blues lover’s dream.

Eric was encouraged to stretch out not only through his gifted writing abilities, but also in the lead vocal role, and the results are astonishing, indeed.  The songs deal predominantly with love, loss, and hopeful redemption, and the set begins with the question, “When will it stop?,” as our hero reaches the literal end of his emotional rope in “Do Right By Him.”  “Whole Again” finds him getting a measure of redemption, and picking himself up after a setback, while he gets downright funky with some sage advice for wanna-be Romeos, “Never Let The Old Man In.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Occupied” deals with a lover who’s long-gone, and our hero seeks anything he can find to keep his mind off her memory.  Perhaps the set’s most bluesy, biting offering is the wah-wah-infused “Don’t Take It Personally,” where, “sometimes the right choice is the most difficult one to make,” to just git while the gittin’ is good and cut your losses.

Eric Jerardi has also just been named an official brand ambassador for Stella Artois beer.  With a set as powerful and diverse as “Occupied,” he has also served notice to the blues community that he is here to stay!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Chip on February 26, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    wonderful review. http://www.ericjerardi.com for anyone that would like a listen.

    Reply

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