DEEP ROOTS MOUNTAIN REVIVAL

JULY 20-22, 2017 | MASONTOWN, WV

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The Eric Krasno Band

Live At Deep Roots Mountain Revival 2017

For nearly two decades, Eric Krasno has been an omnipresent figure in popular
music. We’ve heard his virtuosic, innovative guitar playing with Soulive and
Lettuce (both of which he co-founded), seen him onstage supporting the likes
of the Rolling Stones and The Roots, watched him take home multiple GRAMMY
Awards, and benefited from his deft, behind-the-scenes work as a producer and
songwriter for everyone from Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, and 50 Cent to
Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, and Allen Stone. Krasno’s rousing new solo album,
‘Blood From A Stone,’ reveals a previously unknown and utterly compelling side
of his artistry, though, inviting us to bear witness as he both literally and
metaphorically finds his voice.

“I’ve been writing songs with vocals for other people for a while,” explains
Krasno, who sings for the first time on ‘Blood From A Stone.’ “With these songs,
we initially wrote them thinking others would sing them, so when I was in the
studio with different artists, sometimes I’d introduce one of the tracks and
they’d record it, but it wouldn’t necessarily work out. Eventually, I realized it
was because I’d written these songs for myself.”

It might sound strange hearing Krasno discuss the idea of “finding his voice” so
deep into a career already chock full of remarkable songwriting, but as he sees
it, there’s something new, something intimately personal about this album that
urged him to step up to the microphone for the first time. And though so much
about this album feels like uncharted territory, in some ways, it brings him all
the way back to his musical roots.

“Growing up, I listened to Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the
Grateful Dead, along with a lot of hip-hop,” remembers Krasno. “When I linked
up with Soulive, we played instrumental music, and that’s the path I’ve mostly
been on ever since. This record loops back to those initial bands and songs I
loved, but with the added experience and influence of the past 20 years.”

When it came time to begin formal work on the album, Krasno left his home in
New York City to join Dave Gutter from Rustic Overtones in Maine for the first
writing session, which turned out to be so productive that the two had penned
most of the album in just a few days. In a shift from the looser, jam/funk spirit
that has marked Krasno’s previous work, the songs for ‘Blood From A Stone’ took
shape as tight, infectious, highly structured blues and R&B-based tracks. Krasno
and Gutter commiserated over recent relationship turmoil and their shared
love of music like Bobby “Blue” Bland’s ‘Dreamer’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘Electric
Mud’ to create a sonic palette at once classic and modern, deeply personal and
totally timeless. Deciding to strike while the iron was hot, the duo headed into
Gutter’s barn along with Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce) to lay down what they
envisioned to be demos, but in fact turned out to be the backbone of the
album.

“We set up an old tape machine and pieced together gear and borrowed
microphones and cobbled a little studio together,” remembers Krasno. “It was
one of those things where, once people heard the songs we were coming up
with, every musician in town started coming by with gear and helping out. We
didn’t realize we were actually making the record, so there was no pressure,
and that let us experiment in really cool ways. There’s a lot of rawness to the
recordings, and that really bled into the performances and my vocal delivery.”

It’s apparent from the first moments of the funky, Hendrix-esque album opener
“Waiting On Your Love” that Krasno’s voice has been an ace up his sleeve this
whole time. Rich, warm, and full-bodied, his tone blends earnest sincerity with
casual swagger and, much like his guitar playing, taps into a deep vein of
emotion. On “Torture” and “Jezebel,” he sings as a bruised survivor of love-
gone-bad, while the slow-jam of “Please Ya” channels Otis Redding soul, and
“On The Rise” builds off a bass-and-percussion groove with psychedelic samples
and gorgeous harmonies. The album has its lighter moments, too, from
“Unconditional Love”—inspired by the spirit-lifting arrival of Gutter’s daughter
after school every day—to “Natalie”—a romantic ode to an automobile originally
written during Krasno’s Soulive days. It’s an eclectic collection, to be sure, but
it’s all tied beautifully together through Krasno’s understated vocals and skillful
songcraft, which always leaves enough room for him to stretch out on his six-
string.

As brilliant as Krasno’s guitar work is throughout the album, though, Derek
Trucks arrives as a special guest on “Curse Lifter”—a hypnotic instrumental that
lands somewhere between Santana and the Allman Brothers—to give him a real
run for his money.

“Derek is my favorite guitar player in the world,” says Krasno. “I’ve known him
for close to 20 years, because the first national tour Soulive ever did was with
the Derek Trucks Band, and we’ve been super close ever since. I’ve watched
him progress into the best, and it was really important to have him on this
record.”

The track’s gorgeous, evocative guitar harmonies are a fitting way of bringing
things full circle for Krasno, who’s so often utilized his guitar in the service of
others. In the end, he may not have drawn blood from a stone, but Krasno
discovered deep wells of soul and untapped reservoirs of talent by recording
this album, and he opened up entirely new worlds for himself as an artist in the
process.

“It’s something I didn’t know was there,” he concludes. “I would have been
totally content just being a guitar player and writing songs for other people,
but this inspiration just happened, and I’m really glad it did, because it’s
changed things. I didn’t know I had this in me.”

CONNECT WITH

The Eric Krasno Band

https://erickrasno.bandcamp.com/

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