Baltimore Media Blog Q&A

via Baltimore Media Blog

Q: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Connecticut (suburbs on NYC). My dad commuted to the city everyday.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

I knew when I was about 15 that I wanted to play music and hopefully make a living at it. I was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin at the time and wanted to be in a band so bad.

Q: You’ve worked with Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Aaron Neville..what has it been like being able to work with music legends?

It’s been an honor to work with so many great musicians. I’ve discovered that many of them are great people as well. Producing/writing Aaron Neville’s album was a dream come true. I went from super fan to close friend, very thankful for that experience.

Q: What was it like winning Grammys for working on “Already Free” and “Revelator?”

I’ve been friends with Derek and Susan for a long time. I absolutely love them and working with them is always a blast. I am very proud to be a part of their records.

Q: Why did you decide to release a solo CD?

I started writing songs for the record in 2012 with my good friend and co-writer Dave Gutter. We wrote and recorded a bunch of songs that summer up in Maine, a lot of the ‘demos’ are actually the versions you hear on the album.

Q: How hard was it stepping into the spotlight after previously being a part of a group or being behind the scenes?

It was nerve racking at first to step out front. But as I’ve doing more shows it’s become more natural to me. I am very thankful to have a killer band of players…all of which can also step out front at anytime.

Q: What is your song “On The Rise” about?

On The Rise is kind of a call to arms. It’s a psychedelic pep talk haha. I encourage everyone to watch the animated video if they like the song. It’s on YouTube. I feel that it totally captures the vibe of the song.

Q: What is your favorite song off your debut CD, and why?

I think I like On The Rise the best because it sounds original. Like it’s own genre in a way. My new record I’m working on now kinda continues where that song left off.

Q: Are you excited about your show next week in Baltimore?

I’m very excited to play Baltimore! Always a great energy there!

Eric Krasno On World Cafe

Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Eric Krasno's collaboration credits read like a who's who of the music industry over the past couple decades. Krasno's played guitar and composed for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, produced for 50 Cent, played guitar for Norah Jones and engineered for Matisyahu. He also cofounded the funk-jazz unit Lettuce and fusion ensemble Soulive. (I could go on.)

Suffice it to say that, somewhere in your music-listening life, you've probably heard something Krasno has touched as a producer or musician. But this might be the first time you're hearing his voice. Krasno made the leap to sing his own songs — for the first time — on his debut solo record, Blood From A Stone. So our first question was: What on earth took him so long to take the mic?

Guitarist Eric Krasno stretches beyond Soulive's jazz and funk

 
 

via Daily Progress

A hallmark of master musicians is their ability to play with seemingly effortless grace.

This aptitude will be on display Wednesday evening when guitarist Eric Krasno brings his band to the Southern Cafe and Music Hall in Charlottesville. Also on the bill is Richmond-based band Butcher Brown, which will be playing music ranging from jazz and funk to “elegant compositions.”

Krasno recently laughed during an interview when it was remarked that he looks to be a musician who plays with great ease. He said that although playing the guitar came naturally to him, it’s not as easy as he makes it look.

“I remember Stevie Ray Vaughan saying that he knew he was in the right place, musically, when he wasn’t thinking at all,” Krasno said. “I understand what he was saying.

“For me, the effort goes into the preparation, and then when I’m playing live, I try not to think and let the music flow out. I’m always striving for that moment, and the more we catch that moment, the better we are.

“Over the years, I’ve been able to tap into that more and more. The more I play, and the more I’m out there gigging, the more it happens.”

Krasno is perhaps best known for his guitar work with the bands Soulive and Lettuce, both of which he helped found. These days, the Grammy winner is touring with the Eric Krasno Band in support of “Blood From a Stone.”

Although the guitarist recorded a solo album around 2006, it was filled with mostly instrumental works. The new disc has him singing, which is somewhat new for him.

“When I was a kid, I did sing some in the choir and musicals at school,” said Krasno, who grew up outside of New York City. “Once I got to be a teenager, I was all about playing the guitar — and I thought that was the cool thing to do.

“Then later on, especially in my late 20s and early 30s, I really got into songwriting. I started doing a lot of production and songwriting with other artists.

“At some point, I wanted to combine all that together and make a record that was my own. My friend Dave Gutter, who is the co-writer on the album, pushed me to sing the songs myself. With his encouragement I decided to do it.

“To be honest, I consider this my first album, because this is the first one with my vocals on it.”

After making the record, Krasno put together an all-star band to start touring with. He plays guitar and provides lead vocals, and Mary Corso sings backing vocals and lead on certain numbers.

Deshawn Alexander plays keyboards, Danny Mayer plays guitar, Stu Mahan is on bass and Eric Kalb plays drums.

“I have a lot of guitar on the album, and I wanted to represent that live,” Krasno said. “Mary is kind of like our secret weapon.

“She is a star in her own right and is an amazing, soulful singer. I was able to handpick all the musicians, and now the great thing is that the whole project is evolving and becoming its own thing.

“You’ll see at the live show that we have taken these songs to a new place. And we’re writing a lot of new songs, and throwing in a couple of covers here and there that fit the right vibe of the band.”

Although Krasno can play just about any style of music he puts his mind to, he said his roots are in rock ’n’ roll. He thanks guitar gods like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page for steering him to his ultimate instrument of choice.

“I played bass first and I was also into playing trumpet,” Krasno said. “But my dad and brother played the guitar, and I gravitated toward that.

“I was always into soulful music and singers. I thought the guitar emulated the voice really well, because of the vibrato and bending of the strings that you can do. It seemed like the most expressive instrument to me.

“I always wanted to be a professional musician, although I didn’t know exactly how to do it. When I was young, it didn’t matter if I made any money.

“As long as I could play music with my friends every day, I was happy. Then I set my sights on different goals as I progressed with my career.”

Krasno’s career has found him working as a producer and songwriter for acts like Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, Aaron Neville and Allen Stone. His highlights include opening for the Dave Matthews Band and the Rolling Stones.

“Playing with the Rolling Stones was like a dream,” Krasno said. “They’re my dad’s favorite group, ever. So, I grew up hearing their music playing in my house.

“They’re the greatest guys in the world. And it was great opening for the Dave Matthews Band and Neil Young when they played in Charlottesville.

“I’m very thankful for everything that has come my way. The older I get, the more I appreciate where I am at that moment.”

Omnipresent musician, producer Eric Krasno to play 3S March 17

 
 

via SeacoastOnline.com

By Christopher Hislop
On Friday, March 17th (yes, St. Patty's Day), Eric Krasno comes to town for his debut Granite State performance as the Eric Krasno Band at 3S Artspace. Sure, he's spent all kinds of time in the area with the likes of Soulive and Lettuce, but this solo project is entirely different. It still incorporates some of the hard-driving funk and soul we've come accustomed to, but it's also very much a gritty, rockin' affair.

EDGE caught up with the omnipresent musician and producer to talk a bit about his career, his love of music, and the impending performance here in Portsmouth.

EDGE: Let's talk about "Blood From a Stone," your second solo record. What kind of goals did you put forth when you set out to make this record?

Krasno: Originally, I wanted to make kind of a rock record, I guess. I had been writing a lot of songs and I knew I wanted to incorporate lyrics into a record being that my first solo record was entirely instrumental. Initially, I wasn't totally sure I was going to sing lead on everything, but as we dove into it, I started to own and accept it a little more and more, and eventually it was clear that that was the type of record we were going to make.

The initial ideas that sort of set the groundwork for this record came out of my collaboration with Stu Mahan and Chris St. Hilaire from the London Souls. We got together and jammed on some riffs, which I recorded into my iPhone and then sent to Dave. I don't know that we used any of those "blueprints," but it definitely set a tone and when he and I finally got together in a room with guitars, the writing came together pretty easily as we developed tunes based on those initial ideas.

EDGE: To that, let's talk about the songwriting process a bit. You've written tunes for a number of folks over the years. Do you enjoy writing songs? Is it an easy or arduous task for you? Further, I understand you wrote some of the record with Dave Gutter, a regional legend in these parts, for sure. What was it like working with Dave? How'd you guys originally meet?

Krasno: Yeah, I do enjoy writing. It's definitely a challenge, but it's generally pretty fun. Yeah, when I pulled in Dave I knew that he would immediately add a different twist. He was great. We instantly caught a cool vibe and started writing songs that I think are pretty unique. That was the first big chapter in the making of this whole thing. I sent him some tracks, he wrote stuff to that, and then when we got together, we hit the ground running. He also played a strong hand in pushing me to accept the role of singing lead on the project. We've actually done a lot together. We wrote for Aaron Neville's record, we wrote for the Tedeschi Trucks band – a lot of different people.

I met him through (Ryan Zoidis) so long ago, I mean, back in high school (laughs). We met back then and somewhere down the line I worked with Rustic (Overtones) on their "Viva Nueva!" release that they made with Tony Visconti – they had David Bowie on it – it was a blast. I threw down some leads for that. So, yeah, we were friends for a long time. Soulive used to open for them.

EDGE: As mentioned, this is your first record showcasing your vocal capabilities. How'd that feel? Does that sort of play into the title at all?

Krasno: Yeah, and I guess part of the title had to do with what I had going on in my career at the time as well. I had different bands, I had been producing a bunch – I didn't really expect to do this, but I realized it was there and that I wanted to – there was a desire to do this. Eventually I formed a band around it and have been touring and doing it for a little bit now. It kind of blossomed as we kind of chipped away at making this record. This wasn't what I necessarily expected to happen, but I'm happy it did.

EDGE: Music. Why do you seek it? Why do you create it?

Krasno: Well, I mean, one thing, I'm a huge fan of music. It's one of those things where, I've always been kind of obsessed with it. So, if I wasn't playing it, I'd be a super fan. I guess I still am a super fan. That's part of it. I also love how it brings people together – not to sound cheesy – but it's true. Music brings people together more than anything.

EDGE: You've been in the game now for quite some time. Was there a moment or experience that led you to chase life as a professional musician?

Krasno: Seeing concerts. I remember my brother bringing me to a Grateful Dead concert when I was a kid – seeing all those people there, and the community that surrounded it – seeing this different reality from what I'd known growing up. That was a huge part of it. Also, my brother and dad used to have jam sessions at the house, and as a kid I kind of wanted to be a part of it. They'd tell me "Oh, you need to practice your instrument and then you can join in." So that was part of the motivation, too.

EDGE: Why guitar?

Krasno: Well, I started with bass first. That's sort of what the family jams needed (laughs). But I love the guitar and the expression you can get out of it. I was really into Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page – I love hearing those soaring leads – that singing through your instrument kind-of-thing.

EDGE: You walk on both sides of the line here as a performer and as a producer having worked with some big names (Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, Allen Stone) in the industry. What do you enjoy about both "worlds"? How does being a musician yourself help shape or inform your producing projects? And, well, vice versa?

Krasno: I guess producing is really interesting to me and I've always been really into it. One of the reasons is because you can sort of put yourself into different people's shoes and jump around into different genres. I've gotten to work with so many different musicians as a producer that it has really broadened my palette as a musician myself and just as a person in general. I've learned a lot. It's a really interesting job that calls on different skills for different projects. Certain projects I find myself very involved in the songwriting, and the arrangements; certain projects I'm involved more in the engineering and sound part of it, and in certain cases, I'm a psychologist (laughs). It's really broadened my palette, like I said. The more I learn as a producer, the more I bring to my own music. They kind of feed into each other. The biggest challenge is trying to schedule it all and fit it all in to what I get up to in a calendar year while considering my own sanity (laughs).

EDGE: Along those lines, is diversity important in achieving longevity in today's musical landscape? And/or does it help keep things interesting for you?

Krasno: That's a really good question and I don't know that I have the answer, but I will say this; yes, it's probably the key to longevity. Is it the key to success? I'm not sure. There's something to be said for people that are very much known for a sound or for one thing because they always get hired for that thing. I would say that my diverse taste has both helped me and hurt me. Over the years had I had one really obvious skill that I developed relentlessly, I might be more successful, but I think I'm happier doing a lot of different things because it does keep it fresh. I am really enjoying this solo band right now because it does bring an element of consistency for me currently as I've been jumping around a lot over the last few years. It's been really nice – working with the same people, developing a repertoire and creating a "vibe" with the band.

EDGE: What's Soulive up to these days? I haven't heard a ton about the band in a bit.

Krasno: We took a little time off. We're coming back together to do Bowlive, which is our Brooklyn Bowl residency, which is happening in June this year. Lots of special guests ... It's going to be a fun couple of weeks.

EDGE: You're headed to New Hampshire for a gig at 3S Artspace. You're no stranger to these parts. What excites you about the gig? What keeps you coming back to the Granite State?

Krasno: I'm excited. I haven't been to 3S yet. I love getting up there and playing music. The people in the Northeast have a strong appreciation for what my whole crew does. I'm excited to play people this new music. I hope people dig it.

EDGE: It'll be on St. Patty's Day ... could be a lot of fun, could be a sea of free flowing green beer. You into boiled dinners?

Krasno: (Laughs) Right!? You know, I wouldn't say that I'm the biggest St. Patty's guy, but I'll join in the festivities, for sure.

EDGE: What can folks expect this time around? Who all is in the band?

Krasno: It's a killer band including members of the Dap Kings – Danny Mayer on guitar, Mary Corso on backing vocals, Stu Mahan on bass, Deshawn Alexander on keys – it's a great crew, killer band, killer guitar and vocal harmonies. They all have crazy skills, and emit a great vibe. We'll be playing songs from the record, though perhaps not exactly how they exist on the record. We'll do a couple of older songs from my career, and songs I've written for other people. It's going to be a great night, man.

Go & Do

What: Eric Krasno Band with Johnny Trama and The B3 Kings
When: Friday, March 17, 8 p.m., doors open 7 p.m.
Where: 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $20, $18 for member, 21-plus show, standing, no chairs
More info: www.3Sarts.org

Eric Krasno, Oteil Burbridge, Scott Metzger, & More To Play “Daze Between” Jazz Fest Late Night Show

 
 

via Live For Live Music

For some, the days between Jazz Fest weekends are a time to rest up, and a time to explore the other elements that the city of New Orleans has to offer. For others, those who affectionately refer to those three days as the “daze between,” it’s a time to keep the party going, and to seek out more music and more unique combinations of artists that you couldn’t find anywhere else. For music fans looking to fill their time with shows, you won’t find better combination of artists than the group hitting One Eyed Jacks on Wednesday, May 3rd.

The group, appropriately named the “Daze Between Band,” boasts an impressive lineup of players from across the musical spectrum. Guitar master Eric Krasno is on the bill, as is Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge. Widespread Panic‘s Duane Trucks will be on drums, Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis will be on keys, and Scott Metzger will fill the second guitar slot, a role he currently occupies in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. When it comes to Jazz Fest, this is simply as good as it gets. The band will be joined by DJ Soul Sister, who will set the mood with an opening set. The band also expects a few surprise guests to join them throughout the evening.

See below for full info for this show with the “Daze Between Band” featuring Eric Krasno, Oteil Burbridge, Duane Trucks, Danny Louis, and Scott Metzger.

Eric Krasno to Join Phil Lesh & Terrapin Family Band at Brooklyn Bowl

 
 

via Jambase

This weekend, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band return to Brooklyn Bowl for two nights, and the collective will welcome Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno for both nights, March 12 and 13.

The second night of the run will see Lesh and company pay homage to the 1977 Grateful Dead and the 40th anniversary of that landmark year for the band, which featured high-level touring and the release of Terrapin Station.

More information on the Brooklyn Bowl run is available at the venue’s website.

Bowlive is Back!

 
 

Bowlive is back, people! We would like to take a moment to officially announce the return of Bowlive - our 8-night residency at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY - this June 7-10 and 14-17.

As usual, we'll be announcing numerous special guests who will join us on stage throughout the run, so keep an eye on Soulive.com. Tickets for the entire run go on sale this Friday, March 3.