Eric Essix at the Baked Potato
Live at the Baked Potato
by Paula Edelstein
Looking out at the Southern countryside, he felt inspired! That’s the sentiment that Eric Essix relays from his latest CD, SOUTHBOUND recorded at Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Tonight, that “down home” feeling was transported to one of Hollywood’s trendiest nightclubs, The Baked Potato. His smooth, soulful, southern-style jazz flavors combined with rhythm and blues, gospel, and traces of rock, came across to the packed house with heartfelt interpretations of “Rainy Night In Georgia,” “Sara Smile” “Amazing Grace,” “Yearnin’ For Your Love” by the Gap Band, “Creole Strut” and the great title track “Southland.” Accompanied by Sean Michael Ray on bass, drummer Lil John Roberts (fresh from a great set with Hiram Bullock in Germany), and Kelvin Wooten on electric piano, the guitarist laid into “Out Da Frame” to get the crowd energized with their Southern hospitality.
With great wah-wah tones and echoes reminiscent of George Benson and Wes Montgomery, Eric Essix launched his signature sound with the sweet fragrance of a southern “Camellia.” His stage presence played well but his message played better. His excellent command of his solid-body Gibson is a relationship to behold and tonight, he showed his ability to translate his “Southbound” roots to the world stage. With powerful gospel rhythms, smooth jazz, “second line grooves” out of New Orleans and for good measure, some down home funk, Eric Essix’s experiences as a musician growing up in the Southern part of the United States came through loud and clear. With his band, they conveyed his love for these images and the place they call home through some great playing and showmanship. Excellent show and one you should catch when they head your way!