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Raves and Reviews!
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It seems as though there are more fingerpicking guitarists than ever making records these days, but few indeed stand out from the crowd. There are a small number who seem to love guitar playing enough to put some honest work into it. Every one of this small circle is worth hearing; each has something original that their working relationship with the instrument has produced. This is the community that sustains and furthers the music, and if you want to know who is making waves in the guitar world, these are the folks to talk to.


Eric is great at taking a well-known tune from an unexpected angle and completely reworking it. "Glory of Love", a 3/4 setting of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child", and the highly harmonized "Eight of January" are good examples. He can also pay respect to a master without losong his individuality, as he does with Gary Davis' "There's a Destruction". His rambunctious setting of the fiddle tune "Colored Aristocracy" over a slippery Professor Longhair bass line is already considered a classic in picking circles. He even tackles Thelonious Monk's "Manganese" (a.k.a. "We See") with excellent results.

Good as he is with arranging, it is no surprise that he does so well with his own musical ideas. I think of Eric as one of the best American fingerstyle composers, and there is convincing evidence here, from the joyful "Cajun Cook" to the excellent jazz waltzes "Strike" and DeRigueur".

Eric is a good singer and superior songwriter, and I wouldn't be suprised if he manages to contribute something of lasting value in that field. But when it comes to guitar playing, arranging, and composing, there is no doubt about it, if they send some fingerpicking astronaut on one of those 300 year voyages that only takes ten years out of his life, he will find on his return, if he finds anything at all, that guitarists are still listening to this CD.

Duck Baker, Oakland, 1997




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