147

Eric Madis: Traveling Light

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Madis: Traveling Light Those that are familiar with his recorded work, or those who have been lucky enough to hear him perform live in and around his home base Seattle, know that guitarist/singer/composer Eric Madis is an eclectic musician that draws from many styles and influences. The result is a style that is wholly his own, as evidenced on his debut CD, entitled Traveling Light. For this CD, Madis is in a blues bag, as he explores the blues repertoire of the last century, as well as contributing his own fine compositions to the mix. There is plenty of variation within the genre though, as Madis uses different configurations and instrumentation throughout, much as an artist uses various colors from his palette, blending them to achieve a unified whole.

Madis has about everything you could ask for in a guitarist: good tone, good time, a clean sound, and a relaxed, unhurried feel. As a singer he belt out a blues with the best of them, but Madis has a much more refined, skilled voice than the usual gravelly, guttural blues shouter; a voice that would be equally at home singing jazz standards. As a composer, there is a honesty, romanticism, and altruism in his music; he composes pretty, and sometimes bittersweet music that appeals to the listener on a very emotional level. Although this disc comprises a mix of minor/major blues combinations, two Madis originals are also presented here that are quite devoid of the blues form. There is the peaceful, yet forceful "Aspire to Inspire", a quiet unaccompanied guitar solo with overdubbed bass that has an almost saintly quality to it, and the lovely "La ‘Ela ‘E"; a slack-key acoustic guitar solo that serves as an proud anthem to Madis' wife Eileen. The slightly exotic minor blues "Far Wes", is a nod to one of Madis' inspirations; Wes Montgomery. Madis plays the melody in octaves, which is followed by a sweeping single-string solo. On "Shotgun Blues" Madis shows off his impressive slide guitar skills over this major blues with a lively blues shuffle feel, while on the slower, unaccompanied "Brownskin Woman Blues", he convincingly takes us back to the Mississippi Delta for some down-home pickin' and blues hollerin'.

Traveling Light represents chapter one in the life and music of Eric Madis. It is the story of human expression written by a man who has a lot to say about life itself, and is told with uncommon passion and desire. I can only say that I look forward to putting on my reading glasses, and perusing future successive chapters of the good book of Madis.


Track Listing: North Wes; Cold Hearted Woman; Way Down Upon My Knees; Brownskin Woman Blues; Shotgun Blues; Aspire to Inspire; Sent For You Yesterday; I Left My Baby; Milk Cow Blues; Swimming in the Duwamish; Is You Is or Is You Aint My Baby; I'm Leaving Town; La'Ela'E

Personnel: Eric Madis(electric, acoustic guitars, bass, vocals); Rick Leppanen(bass); Jim Charlier(bass); Edward Contreras (drums); Brad Stoll(drums); Jim,Jay & Eric(hand claps, tambourine)

Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Luna Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Pineapples and Ashtrays" CD/LP/Track Review Pineapples and Ashtrays
by James Nadal
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "The Beautiful Day" CD/LP/Track Review The Beautiful Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "In Case Of Fire" CD/LP/Track Review In Case Of Fire
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!