All Guitar Gods Are Not On The Cover of Rolling Stone-An Interview with Eric McFadden
Someone who can say they have played alongside the likes of Joe Strummer, George Clinton, Eric Burdon, Stephen Perkins, Bo Diddley, Bonnie Raitt, Stewart Copeland, Pink, Keb Mo’ & Ron Wood to name only some, can at the very least be called versatile much less incredibly talented and sought after. Such is one Eric McFadden, six-string virtuoso, song writer extraordinaire, traveling man and possibly the best guitar player you may not know you have heard. I had the chance to get Eric to answer some questions, he is currently on tour making new friends, blowing away audiences and causing I am sure more than a few people to say “Well now I know I suck at playing guitar…”
Tell us about your current projects
I’ll start with T.E.N. which is a power trio consisting of Thomas Pridgeon, Norwood Fisher and myself. Thomas was the drummer for The Mars Volta when they received a Grammy and is currently also drumming for Suicidal Tendencies. Norwood is the co-founder and bassist for Fishbone. T.E.N. has a new album recorded and we are getting ready release the album this Fall. Producing & managing the project is delphine de St. Paër from phYne Entertainment. I have also been doing a lot with Jane’s Addiction drummer, Stephen Perkins and other talented characters including Corey Glover and Doug Wimbish (Living Clolour), Mike Dillon (Garage A Troi) and more. Nels Cline (Wilco) and I have been speaking of putting together a project for years now. I’m hoping that transpires someday.
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HEARING HENDRIX’S ROMANTIC SIDE AT YOSHI’S, 2/14/14
Better than: More Hendrix cover bands than you can shake a flaming Stratocaster at.
One might not think that an evening of Jimi Hendrix covers would be a major draw on a romantic holiday like Valentine’s. However, the huge line stretching out the front door of Yoshi’s in San Francisco last Friday night proved the city has no shortage of couples who feel that Hendrix – much like Virginia – is for lovers. The big crowd was also indicative of the sizable following earned by SF’s onetime resident guitar hero Eric McFadden.
The talented musician now lives in Los Angeles, but has built a loyal fan base over the past two decades. In addition to leading an array of bands including Liar, Alien Lovestock, and the Faraway Brothers, he has also served as six-string gunslinger for hire with George Clinton’s P-Funk and singer Eric Burdon’s modern incarnation of The Animals. For this high-powered Hendrix tribute set, McFadden took the stage with his latest project, the virtuoso power trio T.E.N.
Read the rest at SFWeekly.com
SUPERGROUP ‘FUNKY BUT BETTER’ BENEFIT SHOW AT BEEKMAN BEER GARDEN
Supergroup Funky But Better is playing a benefit show at NYC’s Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club September 25th at 7 PM. The band is made up of some of today’s best funk musicians including Big Sam from Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Ivan Neville of Dumpstaphunk, Stanton Moore from Galactic, Eric McFadden of P-Funk and The Animals and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour. Proceeds from the event will go to The Roots of Music, a non-profit group started by Derrick Tabb of Rebirth Brass Band to guide New Orleans’ youth with music and academic education while staying true to New Orleans’ unique culture.
New Supergroup Alert! Ten Featuring Thomas Pridgen, Eric Mcfadden & Norwood Fisher
April 3, 2013
New supergroup alert! TEN are Thomas Pridgen (The Memorials, ex-Mars Volta), Eric McFadden (P-Funk) and Norwood Fisher (Fishbone). They promise music of the rock, funk, punk variety”.
“T.E.N. released a limited-edition EP on April 1st, 2013, (…) featuring songs from their recording session at Hyde Street Studios, which was the first day the supergroup ever played together in 2012. It is available here. + check their tour dates below.
Read the rest of the writeup on Afropunk.
T.E.N. – New Album April 1st
April 1, 2013
Effective Immediately PR is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the debut self-titled EP of T.E.N. – the premiere alternative rock trio comprised of music virtuosos Thomas Pridgen (Grammy Award-winning drummer, The Mars Volta), Eric McFadden (guitar and lead vocals, George Clinton/P-Funk), and Norwood Fisher (bass and back-up vocals, Fishbone). The 4-track EP will be released on April 1st, 2013, exactly one year after the three musicians recorded the EP at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. The T.E.N. EP is a limited edition (only 1000 copies printed) and is a precursor to their upcoming full-length album to be released on 10-10 (October 10, 2013).
On April 1, 2012, the trio joined forces for the first time to record their first tracks together at Hyde Street Studios. All songs were written by Eric McFadden (except “On a Front” by Gary R. Wertz) and were produced by delphine de St. Paër Suter & McFadden. The EP was recorded and mixed by Travis Kasperbauer (Robot Recording), John Karr (Ear Relevant) and Kurt Schlegel (Lucky Cat) and mastered by Travis Kasperbauer.
Read the rest of the release on New Millennium Music.
T.E.N. – “On A Front” [SoundCloud Song Stream]
March 28, 2013
The Skinny: Effective Immediately PR is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the debut self-titled EP of T.E.N. – the premiere alternative rock trio comprised of music virtuosos Thomas Pridgen (Grammy Award-winning drummer, The Mars Volta), Eric McFadden (guitar and lead vocals, George Clinton/P-Funk), and Norwood Fisher (bass and back-up vocals, Fishbone). The 4-track EP will be released on April 1st, 2013, exactly one year after the three musicians recorded the EP at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. The T.E.N. EP is a limited edition (only 1000 copies printed) and is a precursor to their upcoming full-length album to be released on 10-10 (October 10, 2013).
Read the rest of the writeup on Pure Grain Audio.
Eric McFadden Gets By With A Little Help From His Friends
January 17, 2013
January seems to be a potent month for musical residencies in L.A., from pianist John Beasley’s stint at The Blue Whale while saxophonist Azar Lawrence and guitarist Julian Coryell trade nights at Venice’s RG Club. In mid-city, the 43-year-old New York-born, L.A.-based guitarist Eric McFadden’s five night residency at The Mint continued this week with a loud and loose jam session featuring McFadden’s bluesy, Hendrixian hard rock. And a few friends.
Read the rest of the review on Los Angeles Magazine’s website.
Nels Cline and Mike Watt join Eric McFadden and Melt the Mint – 1/16/13
January 17, 2013
Last night as part of Eric McFadden’s month-long, five-show Wednesday Residency @MintLA, Guitar God Nels Cline (Wilco) and bassist Mike Watt (Banyan/Minutemen/Stooges) joined in alongside Seth Ford-Young (bassist – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros / Tom Waits), drummer Curt Bisqueraand Abby Travis (Beck/Bangles/Eagles of Death Metal) for a little rock and roll-post-punk-psych-jazz-awesomeness.
The show took a little while to get to the stratospheric proportions it would achieve in the second set and began with a brief solo mini-set by the Mint resident. McFadden showed a great deal of stylistic range and a quiksilver style of playing seldom heard on a classical guitar. Although no nylon strings were harmed in the performance, EMAC sure tried. After a heavy and poignant cover of Vic Chesnutt’s “Blight”, Nels Cline and his randomly-strewn pedal setup made its way onto stage the night completely blasted off.
Read the rest of the review on Live Music Blog.
Review: Eric McFadden, Live @ Papillon Blue
November 19, 2011
Read the entire review (en Français) here.
Interview on The Guitar Channel
November 11, 2011
Click here to listen.
Review: Eric McFadden Trio and the Vau de Vire Society
October 5, 2010
Photo by: Ryan Montgomery
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that good burlesque is notoriously difficult to pull off. Well, it’s maybe not universally acknowledged by people in mediocre burlesque troupes, something that San Francisco seems to be absolutely lousy with, but it really should be. Good burlesque acts objectively look like simple things to do, and the onstage attitude of a really cool burlesque performance â€“ sexy, aggressively coy and more than a little art-damaged â€“ seems eminently capturable. If, at the end of the day, all it really takes to pull off is a pair of fishnets and precisely the right pose and how hard can it be?
Answer: pretty fracking hard.
When Aria Entertainment teamed up San Franciso’s Vau de Vire Society with the Eric McFadden Trio and whole host of special guests at the DNA Lounge, they put on a pretty conclusive demonstration of the correct way to do burlesque. Vau de Vire was largely born out of the Bay Area’s thriving circus arts community and comes off like a punk rock take of Cirque du Soleil if it were performed at a strip club.
…The Eric McFadden Trio, featuring James Whiton on bass and Paulo Baldi (who also plays with Cake) on drums, is a monstrous power-trio. McFadden himself is an imposing stage presence â€“ dreadlocks down to his chest, trademark bowler hat perched on his head, arms covered in tattoos. Wearing a dapper red shirt and unbuttoned black vest handing loose around his torso, he looks like a voodoo priest leading the band at a semi-formal vampire wedding.
Eric’s music starts from a place of punked-up swampy blues with a twinge of gothic metal, but from there quickly starts to go all over the place. The band jumps from groovy metal riffs to country rave-ups with astonishing consistency. What unites the divergent styles is both a consistent heaviness and McFadden’s virtuoso guitar playing. McFadden can play guitar like Eric Clapton if Clapton never became so famous that he could do whatever he wanted which, I guess, was to play old blues tunes with the guys he listened to when he was a teenager. When he wants to, McFadden can shred like Eddie Van Halen or do a mean Joe Walsh impression, but what’s great about the band is that, for the most part, he showed a lot of restraint. McFadden plays guitar like someone who has nothing to prove until a moment, ever so often, when he decided to teach a master class in shredding for about 30 seconds a time.
The rest of the band has similar attitude of generally laying back before flashing the audience with their outrageous instrumental mastery. Whiton and his stand-up bass are especially impressive. He managed to get a brutal tone out of his stand-up that I’ve only heard Les Claypool even come close to matching. Not only that but he did a number of things with the stand-up bass that I’ve never seen anyone even attempt before. For example , he used a wah pedal while bowing his bass. It sounded great and, on the surface, doesn’t seem like such a revelatory move â€“ but I’ve never even heard of someone making the combination. When he took that combo and started layering counterpoint figures with a looping pedal and then throw a sea of dissonant harmonies over that, it was one of the highlights of the show.
While it was a treat every time the Vau de Vire would come back out and do a trapeze act or have someone whip roses out of another performer’s teeth from across the room, what really made the show were all the special guests. Gabby La La came out and fit her sitar so seamlessly in with the band’s sound that it begged that question as to why the sitar isn’t considered as integral to blues rock as the electric guitar. The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin, with her shock of bright blue hair, joined Gabby on stage to duet on slow, mournful version of Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. Stripped of its glossy production, its turns out to be a really pretty song.
Sure, it’s a ridiculous scene but it all kind of fit together as part of big, post-modern cabaret show â€“ with one surprise coming after another. And let me just say that to make sense of a lead singer of the Go-Go’s dueling with a sitar player on a cover of a Lady Gaga song on the same stage where, only moments earlier, two girls in leather bikinis were doing a precisely choreographed dance number with a whip . . . is no small feat.
Written by Aaron Sankin · The Bay Bridged / San Francisco, CA
Poin-Poin.com – ERIC MCFADDEN – Concert – Paris 2009
Train to Salvation est-il le meilleur album d’Eric McFadden – Ou, simplement, le plus beau – Vu la qualite delirante de sa discographie (sans parler de ses prestations sceniques, comme en novembre dernier au Cafe de la Danse – chro ici –, avec confirmation prevue le 26 mars 2010 au meme endroit), meme son plus mauvais album meriterait chronique.
The Denver Post – EMT Denver, CO 12/12/09
The hard-touring and harder-rocking Eric McFadden Trio descended on Owsley’s Golden Road Saturday night, offering their eclectic history lesson of rock. It was a three-hour potpourri of brash guitar and the middle show in a blitzing 17-day tour that stops in 13 cities in five states. Led by renowned session guitarist Eric McFadden, whose stacked resume includes a sustained stint as resident barn burner for George Clinton’s P-Funk All Stars, the trio’s energy matched the tour’s breakneck pace.
McFadden is a six string virtuoso. His command of so many genres – yes, that was Dick Dale-flavored flamenco on a nylon-stringed classical acoustic guitar for the instrumental “The Ghost Maker” – is accentuated with meticulously crafted songs. There’s the poppy twist on traditional psychadelia. Poetic yet sinisterly distorted punk. Rowdy rockabilly. Dark, foreboding grunge.
His melodies hinge on seriously catchy choruses that resonate thanks to a crunchy baritone reminiscent of Tom Waits or the late Mark Sandman of Morphine. At one point in the evening, McFadden veered from a breezy Jackson Five riff into a heavy, even scary, Nine Inch Nails cover. For an encore, McFadden married a loping AC/DC groove with Neil Young’s anthemic “Hey Hey, My My.” Yeah, it sounds schizophrenic but McFadden’s mastery of his hollow-body Gibson makes the seemingly bipolar layering reach dynamic heights.
When some of his songs wilt towards staid 4/4 grunge-pop – complete with dread flipping, gunslinging lunges – he rebuts all scoffing with fiery, utterly unique guitar work. The trio’s deep end features James Whiton slapping and hammering an upright acoustic double bass, which compliments McFadden’s wide range… -The Denver Post, December 2009
Eric McFadden Trio :: 2:05-2:45 p.m. :: The Barbary- Outside Lands Music Festival, San Francisco, CA
EMT played The Barbary every day of the fest and mostly to packed houses. Just before their Saturday set, Kitten On The Keys played quality burlesque behind the piano, singing songs about her snatch and greeting McFadden with, “Hello, sexy man! I heart you more than bagels and cream cheese.” EMT hit like a heatwave, a blur of unwholesome sound that took your knees out from under you. McFadden (guitar, vocals), über-bassist James Whiton (a real force of nature with seemingly no end of extraordinary vision on his instrument) and drummer Doug Port wrangled flamenco, hard rock, gypsy jazz and more into an utterly cool whole. Their brute force sometimes hides what not-simple-at-all music is happening, much like the more complex bits hidden within The Stooges’ raging. The swing between fierceness and hushed observation would flop in lesser hands, but with some of the strongest songwriting and playing happening in the S.F. area today EMT soared mightily. (DC) Jambase Sept. 09
Click here to read the rest of the article!
Jimmy Leslie’s Inside Take on Outside Lands
Outside Lands is becoming an annual must do as it takes root in Golden Gate park, which happens to be within walking distance of my apartment. On the same grass that legends such as Garcia, Santana, and Hendrix played many moons ago, a host of local and imported guitar gurus conjured oodles of inspiring noise over the last weekend in August.
If San Francisco is home to anyone approaching the abilities of a modern Hendrix, it’s Eric McFadden. His trio held court all weekend in the cabaret-style Barbary Tent, which was a welcome addition. The former P-Funker’s squalid gypsy rock sounded like Django meets Van Halen with guttural vocals. McFadden worked over a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin archtop with a P-90 pickup through a dinky Zinky for a modern-retro tone.
It was advantageous to play all three days,” the dreadlocked gunslinger told me at a Nels Cline show that Guitar Player presented a few days later. “By Sunday, we were accustomed to the acoustics inside the Barbary’s antique, mirror-walled wooden tent. And the dancers from [local circus/variety group] Vau de Vire Society figured out ways to work with our music, so that our performances complimented and inspired each other.” – Jimmy Leslie / Guitar Player Magazine 2009
Click here to read the rest of the article!
ERIC MCFADDEN : “I need to play. It’s medicine…it’s church” (interview, 2009)
Stoner, rock, (voodoo-)blues, funk, gypsy… Guitarist, singer and songwriter Eric McFadden’s shows various sides according to his numeros projects and works, sometimes with no less than great figures such as Eric Burdon, George Clinton or Joe Strummer. Delicate Thing, released early in 2009 with the Eric McFadden Trio, demonstrates his heaviest side. Interview with a genuine and unpredictable artiste.
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Eric McFadden Trio/The New Up :: 03.14.09 :: Starry Plough :: Berkeley, CA
Words by: Dennis Cook | Images by: Dave Vann
These are revolutionary times – if you want them to be. The old ways of doing things are sliding away, and while the shape of what’s ahead remains hazy there’s lots of promising lines and curves coming into focus. Music is in as much flux as politics, commerce, social relationships, national identities, etc., which makes it fraught with danger and promise. This notion about music’s current mad fluidity within the larger framework o’ things hit me as The New Up and Eric McFadden Trio burned and twisted next to a quote from Irish socialist icon James Connolly painted large on the wall of The Starry Plough that begins, “No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetic expression,” and ends with, “It is the dogma of the few and the faith of the multitude.” Faith and dogma – big ideas – but these bands and looming concepts coalesced into marching anthems for today.
Click here to read the rest of the article!
Eric McFadden: Let’s Die Forever
By: Andy Tennille
Jambase.com: Eric McFadden : Let’s Die Together… Forever
“It was around that time that I started hearing things in my head.”
Eric McFadden in Barcelona by Kayceman
Sitting on a bench in a bricked courtyard behind his apartment, Eric McFadden snickers a wicked little laugh as he casually strums a Manuel Rodriguez e Hijos acoustic guitar while discussing his most recent studio release, Let’s Die Forever… Together.
“Inspiration can come from anywhere for me, man,” the 38-year-old San Francisco guitarist and songwriter explains as dusk falls on another warm summer evening in the Haight Ashbury district. “It could be anything – a movie I saw, some book I read, something a girl says, a beautiful sunset, a sunrise after getting too drunk the night before, really anything. I hear music in pretty much everything.” Click here to read the rest of the article!
ERIC MCFADDEN – 2 NEW reviews for Let’s Die Together… Foreverfrom France!
Eric McFadden : Let’s Die Together… Forever – Amb France Music
Eric McFadden : Let’s die forever…together (2007)
ERIC MCFADDEN – by Bill Picture
POP BEAT- San Francisco Chronicle
The trio, McFadden’s vocals and guitar with James Whiton on the stand-up bass and Paulo Baldi, of Cake, on drums, is most often compared to Tom Waits. The comparison is valid enough to be repeated, with slower, deep rhythm guitar and creepy leads going along with a story-telling lyrical approach. But McFadden’s voice is more like an angry, deep-voiced grunge rocker than the satanic Russian that Waits imitates.
The band’s newest album, Joy of Suffering, glides from the crunchier, Waits-esque tracks into faster, country sounds and on to noisier, apathetic diatribes. “The Ghost of Saint Patrick” touches on McFadden’s frustration when he sings, “We wanna change the world but there’s no time/ We want to celebrate but there’s no wine/ We want you to please give us a sign/ The ghost of Saint Patrick’s doing time.” There’s an overall vibe on the album of “I know what’s really going on here and this is what I think about it … you jerks.” And it’s quite refreshing.
ERIC MCFADDEN – Dementia– (Bad Reputation)
Rockpages Web Magazine – CD Review
Who’s Eric McFadden… yeap, that’s a good question. We are talking about a multi-talented guitarist, participating in a dozen bands (Holy Smokes, LIAR, Angry Babies, to name a few), while playing live with huge Eric Burdon.
This particular album (double CD), a best-of, which has been released a few months ago, contains songs and instrumentals from Eric’s works in general.
For those of you hoping to listen to powerful gear-on electric guitar and that sort of stuff… you’ll be covered in some of the songs (Workin’ for a dead man, Bury our sins and three or four more), in the first CD only. All the rest 32 in total (!) are based on the “crystal-clear-clean cut” guitar, without any distortion. You’ll get to listen to Flamenco themes, slide passages, blues and honky tonk “stories”, even classic hybrids, yet… no electricity.
However, deciding not to pay attention to that, we face the fact that the songs are quite fancy. “Rich” orchestrations, mandolin, violins and harmonica as well as “street” vocals. An album for all listeners.
“I feel too good to die” is superb. Picture the following. Hendrix and Lou Reed are jamming and suddenly… D-A-D enter the room! Power!
Costas Koulis, Rockpages Web Magazine
Click here to read the online article.
Eric McFadden rides the wave of Dementia hard with a tight rein, six-string precision, and an eerie eye-of-the-storm demeanor that terrifies. The double album acts as a “best of” and menacingly strokes the darker recesses of human nature. Painted with sinister circus art that would give Mark Ryden or Trevor Brown the all-overs, Dementia reminds us that it is high time we give McFadden his due.
“Sicko Gets the Girl” and “Waltz Right Home” pay homage to McFadden’s cabaret fetish and paint him as a maniacal provocateur who tiptoes into town and steals all the virgin daughters away. “Bury Our Sins” is a thick, sinister, and rasping troubadour tale told with reckless abandon: “Dig in the dirt where we bury our sins/ The day we’re born is when our troubles begin.”
“Babylon Milkbird” is full of delicately tugged strings, flamenco whimsy, and all the invasiveness of pure metal – as if a Bollywood troupe and narcocorrido band were meeting at the crossroads to steal the devil’s pocket change. McFadden croons and wails, growls and whimpers, and laughs with the conviction of a madman, effortlessly lacing country, blues, gypsy, flamenco, rock, metal, and punk together into one of this year’s most exciting releases. (Tighe) San Francisco Bay Guardian / September ’06
Jambase.com: ERIC MCFADDEN ON TOUR
Eric McFadden may just be one of the hardest working performers in the business. Fresh off a European tour with Eric Burdon and the New Animals, McFadden returns to the states and hits the ground running. He will finish out the spring on the road with the Eric McFadden Trio in support of their new album, Joy of Suffering. The Eric McFadden Trio features McFadden on guitar and vocals and James Whiton on the acoustic bass along side drummer Jeff Cohen a long-time friend and musical compatriot – this dynamic line-up is the latest incarnation for one of music’s most prolific personalities. In addition to being in several successful bands on the west coast, McFadden has independently produced several solo albums which are regarded as underground masterpieces by fans and critics alike. Click here to read the entire article.
Guitar Player Magazine: Eric McFadden’s Multi-Colored Iconoclastic Gypsy Soul
Eric McFadden was destined to be different. His mother sang in an early incarnation of the Fugs, the Ed Saunders-led New York ensemble that was arguably the first underground rock band. Bob Dylan slept on the McFadden couch while Eric was still in the womb, and counter culture poet (and neighbor) Allen Ginsberg successfully protested when the family was faced with eviction from their Greenwich Village apartment. McFadden’s father turned Eric on to Jimi Hendrix and the Mahavishnu Orchestra at a young age-influences he would combine with flamenco, punk, and heavy metal to form a unique style. Click here to read the entire article.
Bill Graham’s 75th Birthday Bash / 40th Anniversary of the Fillmore Acid Tests
01.07 & 01.08 :: The Fillmore :: San Francisco, CA
Jambase – Show Review – January 2006
Eric McFadden may have been the most well-known of all the participants in Sunday’s show, having gigged regularly around the Bay Area for years with both his Trio and Experience, as well as being a member of George Clinton’s P-Funk AllStars and Stockholm Syndrome, the brainchild of Jerry Joseph and Widespread Panic bass player Dave Schools. As always, McFadden did not disappoint, both in his own short set as well as during the various sit-in appearances he made throughout the rest of the night. Part raging rock star, part flamenco gypsy, McFadden is one of the most talented musicians in San Francisco today, bar none. Whenever he steps into the spotlight, McFadden turns up the energy level a few notches, and the unexpected becomes the norm.
– Andy Tennille
View entire article: BILL GRAHAM’S 75TH BIRTHDAY BASH
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO – Joy of Suffering – Terminus Records
Jambase– CD Review – February 2006
From the first notes, it’s clear we’re in for some heavy weather. But in these featherweight days, it’s invigorating to find an axeman who bears down hard like Robert Johnson sparring with Metallica AND whose tunes hum with apocalyptic menace. McFadden infuses a Dylan-esque landscape with punk and metal seasoning. The initial flavor is aluminum and regrets, but the bittersweet aftertaste will stay with you. Wisdom only comes after years of healing and introspection. There’s a whole range of emotions in between experience and insight, and McFadden and his extraordinarily organic rhythm partners, Paulo Baldi (drums) and James Whiton (bass), excel at exploring what happens when life pricks us. “Long Way Up” is about the pang of almost getting what you want, or maybe more accurately, almost being what someone else wants. Suspect the buzzing cover of the Talking Heads’ “Memories Can’t Wait” is a nod to Byrne and co. but also Living Colour, who used to do the song regularly. Parts bring in elements of flamenco and pure country, but the bouillabaisse works well. Rather than simmer in bitterness, McFadden sifts the interesting parts hiding in life’s dark matter. Sunny it ain’t, but the evening has rarely had badass odes like these.
– Dennis Cook
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO – Joy of Suffering – Terminus Records
Rootshighway.it– CD Review
La band di Eric Mc Fadden avrebbe ben ragione d’esser considerata power
trio, non fosse che la definizione calzerebbe alquanto anacronistica per un
gruppo le cui sonorità sono fin troppo attuali e irriverenti, rispetto a
quanto una classificazione di tal fatta potrebbe far pensare (Slow-Hand &
soci, Jimy & Co). Tant’è, ma l’esperienza del titolare emerge gradevole
nell’ensemble sì da non risultare invadente, in una formula di rock comunque
potente e protesa a lontane eco di crossover, nell’ostentare accordature
abbassate e ritmiche quadrate, corpose negli accordi quanto nei supporti al
basso e batteria, di James Whiton e Paulo Ubaldi. La compagnia pertanto si
addentra in un terreno insolito, se vogliamo, nel coniugare i nomi del
suddetto mancino di Seattle, le venature oscure dei Black Sabbath e il
cantautorato waitsiano, con tinture da western di Sergio Leone e accenni da
nu-metal, in una rielaborazione della materia rock più classica nella
rivisitazione avuta dal grunge in poi, attraverso un certo stoner-rock. Un
insieme di influenze, che dalle radici vissute dalla trafila professionale
di Eric con gli Widespread Panic, l’ultimo Joe Strummer o persino Bo
Diddley, approda quasi fuori dal seminato in un’insolita via, talora di uno
stile molto particolare, se non piuttosto originale. Qualcosa di fortemente
contaminato, che rischia di non essere apprezzato ne dai fautori del rock
più tradizionalista, ne dai più intransigenti per quel che riguarda queste
evoluzioni neo-contemporanee. Intanto, l’ascolto regala una spigolosa
apertura esemplare per ciò di cui si è detto in Bury Of Sins, dalla voce
cupa e abrasiva, disarmonie su di una ritmica martellante, un assolo tecnico
ma di gusto e persino un mandolino; così ipnotica e persino hendrixiana
potrebbe apparirci nel suo arrangiamento la fantasticaMemories Can’t Wait,
librandosi in un crescendo finale tra voce e chitarre. Tiratissima è The
Ghost Of Saint Patrick che mostra i toni più aspri e scuri di un gruppo che
non cela affatto questo lato, mentre l’aggressività muta in malinconia nella
ballata dai toni flamenco di Never Gonna Burn. Alcuni esempi da un album,
Joy Of Suffering, a tratti ruvido e petroso, da cui potrebbe non trapelare
alcunche degli spazi aperti di un’America cui piace ricondurre le nostre più
note geografie musicali, ma soltanto ombreggiature metropolitane di un più
feroce rock urbano del nuovo millennio. –
(Matteo Fratti) Roots Highway
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO – Joy of Suffering – Terminus Records
1340 Magazine– CD Review
The Eric McFadden Trio is like a gem buried in a pile of rocks. The indie music scene has become so congested with talentless, average, non-inspiring rocks, yet the Eric McFadden Trio is a gem that shines amidst the rocks and they have returned indie rock back to its original state and purpose.
Indie music veteran Eric McFadden has joined up with acoustic bassist James Whiton and drummer Paulo Baldi to create one of the best indie rock bands of this day. There are moments when EMT reminds is a mixture of sounds including a hint of Latin American sounds, a touch of funk and a heavy dose of good ole hard rock. Vocally McFadden really reminds me of Soul Coughing’s Mike Doughty and his guitar playing is a raw, yet fresh style that spans across the musical styles board. From the opening rock song “Put it Down”, to the funkified American western influenced “Miranda” to the driving sounds of “Memories Can’t Wait” EMT’s “Joy of Suffering” is a great listen. If you enjoy independent music but you are getting sick of the “averageness” (I know it’s not a word) of this scene then the Eric McFadden Trio is a band you may want to check out. –
Reviewed by: Jeff Holton
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO – Joy of Suffering – Terminus Records
Relix Magazine– CD Review
Any band that titles its album Joy of Suffering presumably has a delicously
dark sense of humor and such proves true for the Eric McFadden Trio. “When I
arrived at the carnival/They were taking down the tents,” sings McFaden on the
representative “Bury Our Sins.” The Trio brings that black circus vibe to the
album as a whole. And sure enough, it woks. McFaddden’s “Iron Man” riffage
provides the appropriate bed for his guttural, often-sinister vocals to sprawl
down on. The unique instrumentation (James Whiton plays an acoustic upright
bass like his back hair’s on fire) leads to a similarly unique attack, and
influences ranging from gypsy jazz to punk-rockabilly round out some of the
corners. But make no mistake, Joy of Suffering is a rock album, grimy rock that
gets under your skin like dirt gets under your nails. For once, thats a good
BENJY EISEN for RELIX
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO audio tracks added to playlist on KRFC(RadioFreeColorado)!
The best times to hear Limitations, Long Way Up, and Never Gonna Burn will be the four hour slots on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning at 9, 10, 11, and noon MST. KRFC’s station page link is: KRFC (RadioFreeColorado)
ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO – Joy of Suffering– 4.5 stars!
Salt Lake City Weekly – Utah
by Bill Frost – 10-20-05
This is rock & roll, jam-heads, not undercooked noodling. Singer-guitarist McFadden blends Tom Waits/Morphine seediness with Gov’t Mule heaviness, and even tops Living Colour’s revered cover of Talking Heads’ “Memories Can’t Wait.” (EMTMusic.com)
Eric McFadden’s got an ax to grind.
San Francisco Weekly – San Francisco, CA
by Silke Tudor – 8-11-04
Since becoming George Clinton’s guitar player, Eric
McFadden has turned into one of San Francisco’s
phantom treasures, a rarely glimpsed dark angel of
blurred guitar strings, swinging dreadlocks, and
flashing teeth; but rest assured, McFadden’s talents
continue to mature even as his countenance remains
frozen in time. McFadden began winning awards for his
guitar playing decades ago, but his youthful flair
would hardly appear as a glimmer next to the player he
has become. Mercurial rock improvisations, sexy R&B
rhythms, elegant gypsy jazz runs, whirling bluegrass
fills, opulent classical chords, and deep European
mandolin strains flow effortlessly from McFadden’s
fingertips while his dusty, road-parched voice
embodies the crossroads where he must have sold his
soul. Over the years, the Bay Area has been privy to a
number of McFadden’s musical permutations (Liar, IZM,
the Eric McFadden Experience, and Alien Lovestock, to
mention a few), but the Eric McFadden Trio, comprised
of McFadden, longtime collaborator and drummer Paulo
Baldi, and long-lost friend and bassist James Whiton,
is the finest yet. In Whiton, McFadden has found his
musical foil. A virtuoso of acoustic upright double
bass, Whiton slaps, bows, maneuvers, and manipulates
his instrument with orchestral precision and
street-corner desperation, reflecting the sinister
world of desert derelicts and carnival cons who have
so long proliferated in McFadden’s songs.
Eric McFadden Trio – Joy Of Suffering
The Eric McFadden Trio’s Joy of Suffering gets my vote as the best and most
original guitar recording of the year so far. The overdriven tones McFadden
conjures by amplifying an ancient Gibson archtop (as well as a classical
nylon-string) are as unique as his Gypsy-jazz-inspired trills and
carnival-noir tales of sin and redemption. His gruff, Tom Waits-like vocals
fit perfectly with the dark and haunting nature of the material, which
ranges from the slammin “Bury Our Sins” to the spaghetti-western feel of
“Miranda” to the surf-music-gone-mad instrumental “The Ghost-Maker.”
McFadden has been an underground sensation for years – finally gaining
recognition playing mandolin and guitar with George Clinton’s P-Funk All
Stars from 2000-2004 – and he realizes his potential on Joy of Suffering, a
record that may just win him the legions of devotees an artist of his
uncompromising character and unquestionable quality rightly deserves.
Jimmy Leslie / Guitar Player Magazine, October 2005
Devil Moon review from France!
“McFadden is a master of guitar and
mandolin, a 25 year veteran who waltzes the
dark, eerie corridors between Jimi Hendrix
and Django Reinhardt. As a true testament to
his deft touch and intuition, he’s also one
of the few performers who can play either
acoustic or electric and still severely
eardrums.” ( Jonathan
Zwickel -San Francisco Bay Guardian, October
“A meeting of the devils and angels
defines the Eric McFadden Trio’s sound. At
times, their sound mimics elements of Tom
Waits’ dreamy, sordid underworld with a
harder edge, and at others even approaches a
Motorhead heaviness. The all-acoustic band
comes forward as a fully plugged-in Mack
truck.” – (Ryan Heinsius, Flagstaff Live,
Artist: ERIC MCFADDEN
Album: Devil Moon
The Scoop : A genre-straddling, jaw-dropping guitarist who moonlights as a touring member
of Parliament/Funkadelic , Eric McFadden seems afraid of no musical challenge. His latest
offering is a voodoo-haunted batch of songs, as beautiful as they are spooky. There are a
lot of comparisons that crop up, and most of them have been made before; most importantly,
the grizzled pipes of Tom Waits and the nimbly inventive touch of Django Reinhardt.
McFadden seems attracted to the darker corners of human life, but he isn¹t without a sense
of humor. His rendering of “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” is a mischevious kindred
spirit to ³You¹re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.² But McFadden also carries the sorrowful soul of
a bluesman, demonstrated when he mourns wasted days (³Nostalgia Song²) or bellows about the
days growing so long (³Don¹t Make Me Explain²). Guitar virtuosos are hard enough to find;
it¹s even harder to find one who has such a commanding voice and presence.
Highlight Tracks : “Devil Moon” and “Don’t Make Me Explain”
(Adam McKibbin, Suite101.com, June 2003)
Showin’ that guitar who’s boss, injecting his acoustic blues with a
devilish pang that will set them coyotes howlin’, fogging up the
windshield of mainstream blues with his rattling, growly bass voice,
this kindred spirit to Tom Waits and Nick Cave is spittin’ some
smoky, dark, americana gypsy-blues for the hopeless and undecided.
However gloomy and lead-heavy his style can be, this man knows how to
pick it up with a carnival twist, cousin to a danse macabre. This is
one artist with an unflinching command of his muse; highly
(Derek Sivers – President, CD Baby, April, 2003)
Virtuosity award: Eric McFadden (guitarist for George Clinton, Liar (R.I.P), Izm, Alien
Lovestock, Faraway bros.) in this post DIY-era, being able to actually play your instrument
has often become a novelty. To have mastered it, is almost unheard of.
(Ian Brennan / Zero Magazine, February 2002)
Local Guitar marvel Eric McFadden has been hired by one Mr. George Clinton as a full-fledged
member of Parliament / Funkadelic. And considering how versatile and downright dazzling
McFadden¹s guitar and mandolin work is-whether playing sinister circus rock or jazz, bluegrass
or blues, funk or flamenco-it¹s hard to say whether this is better news for him or
Parliament / Funkadelic.
(Sam Hurwitt / East bay express 2001)
An acoustic trio with an electrifying sound, Faraway Brothers is an opportunity for McFadden,
Baldi and Tuba and bass man Ed Ivey to play a heavy melange of country, jazz, blues and rock covers
alongside rock-solid originals in all styles. This mix is gorgeously captured on The Brothers recent
live cd, “Start the engine and drive away”.
(Sam Hurwitt / Rock in a hard place 2000)
Tonight’s show was at the Arnada Cafe in Vancouver. The turnout was heavy for a very hot billing,
starting with a performer out of San Francisco named Eric McFadden. This guy was really amazing!
Usually, he’s with his band, The Eric McFadden Experience, or tours with George Clinton but
tonight he was solo, playing an acoustic nylon-stringed guitar through the whole set. His
classical influences were obvious and his riffs were mind-blowing! Watching him perform gave me
shivers. Keep your eyes out for him to swing through P-town again and make it a point to go
(Steve Kinchen, April,2001 F-Stop section of Jam Magazine)
Says the SF Weekly; “Eric McFadden’s guitar playing would stand out in any environment; it
negotiates the terrain between Flamenco, C&W, and Acid Rock with ease. Add to that his
distinctly rasp voice and macabre lyrical sensibilities and you have a blend that has made Liar,
and now The Eric McFadden Experience, a local favorite.”
“If I were asked who’s the artist of the year ’round these parts… I would have to say
Eric McFadden. His sextets’ shadowy carny-rock and gloomy Americana beautifully showcases
McFadden’s flamenco-fueled guitar work, husky baritone and gleefully twisted lyrics…”
(Sam Hurwitt, Pacific Sun)
“McFadden’s fingers dance across the guitar strings with an ease that betrays a pact with
the devil…”(Silke Tudor)
MORE PRESS & REVIEWS COMING SOON!!!
SUPERGROUP ‘FUNKY BUT BETTER’ BENEFIT SHOW AT BEEKMAN BEER GARDEN