Eric Krasno Is A Busy Man of Music


via Hollywood Soapbox

Keeping up with Eric Krasno, the co-founder of Lettuce and Soulive, can be a difficult endeavor. The musician has shredded the guitar with his two bands for years, and he’s still basking in the glow of his latest solo effort, Blood From a Stone. Never a man to rest on his laurels, Krasno is now gearing up for a busy summer.

The Grammy-winning guitarist recently released “Recovery,” a new single with Gramatik. He’s also in the middle of Soulive’s annual residency at the Brooklyn Bowl (appropriately dubbed Bowlive), and there’s a concept album in the works as well.

Krasno’s list of collaborators over the years is impressive. From the Rolling Stones to The Roots to Norah Jones and Aaron Neville, musicians obviously love whatever Krasno is putting out. One only has to look at the guest artists for this week’s Bowlive shows to know the level of Krasno’s musical friendships. On Thursday, June 15, John Scofield will sit in with the band. On Friday, June 16, New Orleans legendary bassist George Porter Jr. will join Soulive.

All in a day’s work for Krasno and company.

“We’ve worked together a bunch over the last few years, and [Gramatik and I] released a song called ‘Torture’ a few years ago,” Krasno said in a recent phone interview. “Every once in a while he checks in with me. He comes around my studio, and I play him a bunch of music. It was kind of the same process this time. I played him some stuff I’m working on. I have a concept album in the works, and one of the songs was called ‘Recovery.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, man, I would love to make a version of this song with you.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, cool.’”

Krasno supplied Gramatik with files featuring vocals and guitar work, and then Gramatik developed an original version of the tune.

“I loved it, and this was like only a couple months ago,” he said. “[Gramatik] decided to release it right away, and I was game. Also we have a few other songs in the works that we had worked on maybe six months ago or so, so we were getting together to try and piece together an EP. It was funny because that song, ‘Recovery,’ he just grabbed it right there and within a few days had this version. He was like, ‘Man, we’ve got to put this out.’ I was like, ‘Go for it. Let’s do it.’ Hopefully this jumpstarts the rest of the project.”

“Recovery” will also be featured on Krasno’s upcoming concept album, albeit a completely different version. “It’ll sound really different,” he said. “It’ll have the same chorus and the same words but kind of a different approach to it.”

This type of collaboration, either working live or in the recording studio, is what makes music interesting to Krasno. He loves teaming up with other writers, singers and instrumentalists. “I love to learn from all of them, and kind of absorb a little bit of what they do and try to take a little bit of that with me,” he said. “That’s been huge for me. I’ve learned so much from the people that I’ve been able to work with.”

As these new chapters open up in Krasno’s professional life, he’s also still enjoying the lingering effects of his last big project, Blood From a Stone. That solo effort tested him, for sure. He needed write those songs and build a band to present them in the studio and on tour. This many months after its release, Krasno can say he’s happy with the results.

“We had great shows, great response,” he said. “We still have a lot of festivals this summer and a few dates in the fall, but, yeah, I’m really happy with it. And the response from it has been great. It’s really prepared me for this next album that I’m working on now. The whole making of the last record was awesome, but it was a little all over the place because I was trying to find my voice literally and trying all these different things. … This concept album I’m working on, I kind of have … a concise vision. It’s really exciting, and now I’m really ready to jump into finishing it and then probably get back out there and tour again with the new material.”

Balancing all of these professional projects can be a difficult, but welcome, obstacle. The Soulive band members have largely been finishing up different projects, but they are able to get together and gig around once in a while.

For Lettuce, Krasno comes and goes from the band he co-founded. “Those guys are really cool about me jumping in at certain times and then other times doing my other stuff, so I work with great people who kind of understand the idea of doing a lot of different things,” he said. “With Soulive, in particular, we all branch off and do other things. When we get back together, we’re kind of really excited to play again. We’re also kind of bringing these different influences from the other projects we’re working on and stuff.”

Those influences include the likes of Scofield and Porter, and Krasno is simply amazed he’s able to share a stage with these guest artists. “John Scofield is definitely one of my heroes, so anytime I play with him, I try to absorb as much as I can,” Krasno said. “Absolutely I learn from them. That’s one of the elements of Bowlive that I love is learning from the guests and getting to work with my heroes. It’s huge.”

Aud Lang Syne: Eric Krasno



In 2017 Eric Krasno will return with new albums from Soulive and the Eric Krasno Band. He will also tour with both groups.

What will you remember most about 2016?
Unfortunately, 2016 will be remembered as the year we lost many great musicians & entertainers. From David Bowie, Leon Russell and George Martin to Muhammed Ali…we lost a lot of greats.

Which album or albums have you listened to most this past year?
I listened to Andy Shauf’s new album The Party a ton this year. I loved the production and feeling of this record. It’s a concept album that tells the story of a night at a party through eyes of a group of people. It made me listen all the way through every time. I love albums like that.

What emerging artists should we watch out for in 2017?
Marcus King is absolutely killing it right now. An amazing singer and ripping guitar player…his band is on fire too.

Any big plans in the works for 2017?
In 2017 I will finish my new solo album (the follow-up to Blood from a Stone ) and continue to tour with Eric Krasno Band. We also have a new Soulive album in the works (produced by Pretty Lights) and will do our Bowlive run again in June. I will also be doing some production and writing work with a few other artists in the studio. Looking forward to year full of new music.

Eric Krasno Makes ‘Blood From a Stone’ Look Easy on His Inspired Solo Debut


For nearly 25 years now, Eric Krasno has built a repertoire as one of the most talented and in-demand guitarists in professional music, be it as a session man or as a member of such influential groups as Soulive and Lettuce. But in 2016, this most unique and innovative guitar hero aims to put his official stamp on the world as a pop artist himself with the release of his stellar solo debut Blood From A Stone.

Produced in Maine with Dave Gutter, onetime frontman for the massively overlooked Portland funk-rock group Rustic Overtones, the album finds Krasno not only playing some of the best guitar he’s ever displayed on record, but revealing major skills as a singer/songwriter as well. It’s funny, for a guy who has played with some of the best vocalists in the world including Susan Tedeschi and Norah Jones, earning Grammys for his roles on Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s Revelator and Derek Trucks Band‘s Already Free, it’s a sin to think he’s been hiding this great voice all these years. But better late than never.

The soulful husk he possesses definitely gives the music on Blood a vibe on par with such Clapton solo classics as There’s One In Every Crowd  and No Reason To Cry as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan, especially circa In Step, albeit with a more contemporary R&B flavor. And there’s guests to speak of as well, namely fellow six-string samurai Derek Trucks who appears on the Santana-esque instrumental “Curse Lifter” as well as his homeboys from Lettuce, Soulive, and The London Souls, a promising group signed to Krasno’s label Feel Records (who released singer Nigel Hall’s amazing soul manifesto Ladies and Gentlemen…Nigel Hall! last year).

Additionally, Krasno has a new album with Lettuce called Crush, played a bunch of shows with the Grateful Dead spinoff group Billy and the Kids (led by percussionist Bill Kreutzmann) earlier this year and continued to espouse his production prowess through the release of New Orleans legend Aaron Neville’s incredible new album Apache.

The Observer recently caught up with Krasno to talk about what inspired him to release his first-ever solo album, what it was like working with Aaron Neville and how it feels to celebrate Lettuce’s 25th anniversary this year.

What took you so long to start singing?

I was always kinda singing demos and writing songs all along. When I started with Soulive, that wasn’t really the direction I was headed in. Alan and Neal [Evans, both formerly of Moon Boot Lover] had a concept of this real futuristic soul jazz trio. And I had been in the studio making songs and producing. My roommate at the time, Jeff Basker who is now a huge producer, he and I were always making tracks and writing songs and doing Lettuce.

It was just one of those things where I jumped on the train with Soulive and rode that where really my focus before that was very different. But it was a blessing, because I got to go out and play and focus on becoming a guitar player for 20 years. I met so many people, so many amazing musicians, along the way that I got to work with and all of this fed into what I am doing now. I’m very thankful for those experiences.

How was the transition for you?

Well, for me I’m kinda finding all these new things that I can do. I’ve always done singing in the studio doing background but never singing lead. So now being on tour with the solo band and stuff, it’s been fun seeing what I can do. I have a great singer in the band named Mary Corso, who is a badass at doing really high harmonies. I made the record on my own and not really with a band, per se. Now I’m going out with a band and it’s really cool watching it evolve and take on a shape of its own.

Listening to the record, I hear a heavy solo Eric Clapton vibe on it.

Yeah, yeah, totally. I love that shit. Actually, part of the inspiration was—and it’s really random—that I read the Clapton book when I was in Japan and about his transition from being in bands to going solo. It was cool to read about that. He wasn’t really a singer before that. He did sing a bit, but it just became a thing for him, and he worked on it and he got really good at it. Just like anything else, really.

Some people just have this natural voice that just turns on instantly, like Nigel Hall, who has always been a great singer. For me, I had to work on it a little bit. I’m not trying to be an acrobatic singer. I’m just trying to sing my songs and play the guitar. I’m always writing songs, but prior to this record I would try to place these songs with other people. It’s great.

I’ve written for Aaron Neville and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and a lot of other people. But the thing is you always have to wait for that moment, which is what I did with this album. I mean, I already have half of a new album written in the can, plus a bunch of songs that didn’t make this one. I’m just excited to be putting stuff out more frequently.

I’ve actually been revisiting some of Clapton’s ’80s albums like Behind the Sun and August, both of which were produced by Phil Collins. It’s interesting to hear, now, the R&B vibe they were trying to go for with those records.

Maybe I need to revisit those. Literally the ’80s Clapton stuff I’d know it because it was in the background as a kid, but I never had those records. I knew Journeyman because it had such massive hits on it. That might be his biggest record. I went to see Clapton about four years ago. Doyle Bramhall II is a good friend of mine, and he played with him on that tour and got me passes to the show and whatever.

I was blown away, man. I thought he sang his ass off. His guitar playing was really great, but I was really impressed by his vocals at this point. His vocals seemed to have gotten better and better and better. And the band he had for that tour, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums and Doyle on second guitar, they were killing.

Willie Weeks is the man! He’s on all those underrated George Harrison solo albums on Dark Horse, David Bowie’s Young Americans, Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys…

Oh yeah, man. Willie Weeks played with a ton of people. He was in the Doobie Brothers for a while. He is on my favorite soul album of all time, which is Donny Hathaway Live, and he was like 18 during that recording. I got to work with him a few times; he’s just the coolest guy ever. He plays his butt off, man. And he played on everything.

I also hear a little Stevie Ray Vaughan in your sound on this record as well. Are you a big fan?

Oh yeah, huge huge Stevie Ray fan. His singing is amazing. When I first saw that video Live at the El Mocambo, it changed my life, man; the intensity by which he plays was like nothing else I’ve ever seen. I remember I was supposed to go see him on the In Step tour with Jeff Beck, but I got in trouble and was grounded. I had tickets and me and my dad were going to go, but I got in trouble in school.

Another interesting thing I get from Blood from a Stone is that it feels separate from the other stuff you’ve done in the past. Was that a conscious decision?

I jump around, man. It’s funny, I was talking about that to someone the other day. The jam scene and the fans of that scene, they want to see us do different things and evolve and change. They want to come see a different show every time, which is kind of a challenge to us in both Lettuce and Soulive.

I think, genre-wise, it’s kind of blown in every direction. It’s kinda to the point where you don’t have to sound like The Grateful Dead to be a jam band. There’s hip-hop and then there’s reggae and there’s EDM now. It’s really just an alternative to radio in a lot of ways.

But what makes Blood from the Stone, in my opinion, stand out is because it’s a more song-oriented collection than much of what is available in that jam-band scene.

This is a huge thing for me. And I think that’s honestly what is lacking with the modern jam bands. It’s too much noodling and not enough songwriting. For example, I started playing with Phil Lesh and some of the Grateful Dead guys in the last few years and going through that songbook and learning those songs made me really love The Dead again; and mostly because of the songwriting. They have so many great songs and really interesting songs.

They’re not just 1-4-5. There are all sorts of amazing changes and Robert Hunter was such a great lyricist. I’ve really become such a huge Dead fan again through this experience. I loved them when I was really young, they opened my mind to a lot of new music. And now I’ve come full circle.

How did you connect with Aaron Neville to produce his new album Apache?

That was a real blessing to be able to do that. I got the job through his manager. I’ve been friends with the Neville family for a while, through Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk. His manager knew me through producing some other stuff that he heard and thought I would be a good match.

When I met up with Aaron, I gave him my spiel and told him, “Man, I’d love to make a real gritty, soulful, funky album that really showcases what you do best.”

And he says, “Well, I got all these poems I’m trying to turn into songs.” So once he decided to work with me, he gave me like 50 poems and myself and Dave Gutter went up to Vermont and sat up there with these poems to try and make them into songs so we could begin recording them. And I got some of the Lettuce guys and some of the Dap-Kings guys to be on it. It really turned into an awesome project.

Was it a little intimidating considering the last Aaron Neville album was produced by Keith Richards and Don Was?

Yeah, that was a pretty big seat to fill. He didn’t talk to me really about those sessions. However, a lot of his previous records he wasn’t really that involved, whereas this one he had a hand in the songwriting, he stuck around for the mixes, he was there when the band was tracking. It’s funny, someone who has been in the business for 55, 60 years or whatever, he’d never been so involved. And he was really excited about that.

It stirred something in him. That was a really cool part to that process is seeing his excitement about being so directly involved in this album.

Next year is going to be the 25th anniversary of Lettuce, is that correct?

Yeah, wow. Well, we met in 1992, but we didn’t start playing shows until 1994. But we were a band, at least in the loose sense of the term. We were rehearsing and stuff. It’s pretty amazing, man. I don’t tour with them consistently anymore because I’ve got a lot of stuff going on and they book a lot of shows now, but I’m still part of the band. I’m in the studio with them and I will do the bigger shows they put together.

You guys were really young when you started Lettuce, yeah?

We were I think sophomores in high school, and we went to this summer program kinda thing at Berklee College of Music. We all were into funk music and improvisation so we were all like, “O.K., when we’re in college we’re all going to come here and start a band.” And we actually did. We’re all best friends. We all make music together in various other ways outside of Lettuce. It’s just kind of this band of brothers and we have a blast, you know?

Eric Krasno plays Central Park Summerstage on September 7. Blood From A Stone is available on iTunes and at better record stores in your neighborhood.

True Blood - JamBands Interview

After two decades of playing guitar in multiple bands, writing songs for dozens of artists, and producing several Grammy winners, Eric Krasno took on a different endeavor: lead singer. The veteran of such groups as Soulive and Lettuce headed to the country, turning a barn in rural Maine into a makeshift studio and emerging with the basic tracks for his solo effort and the debut of his vocal talent on Blood From A Stone. We spoke to Krasno from his Brooklyn home the morning after the album’s release about the new record, the new challenge of singing, and the prospect of Maine becoming the new Brooklyn.

One aspect of your new record that I like is that it feels like an album should, like the old LPs used to feel; with a gatefold, credits, photos, cover art, etc…

Thank you. I like to hold things in my hand, peruse the credits. I like artwork attached to the album. Someone said to me the other day that albums are just playlists. I said, “No, that’s not what I’m doing here.” I still listen to vinyl all the time. I love to sit there and get lost in that world.

Is it wrong to be surprised an album this soulful and funky comes out of Maine and not your home studio in Brooklyn?

One thing that sparks creativity for me is being in a place that doesn’t overrun my senses. Going to Maine, for me, could’ve been Vermont. It could’ve been New Hampshire. I was outside the city. I generally had my phone turned off. I wasn’t rushing around trying to do other things. I was in a world I was ushered into by a guy named Dave Gutter, who co-wrote the album with me, and Jon Roods, who are part of a group called Rustic Overtones, and Ryan Zoidis, who is also in Lettuce. Rustic Overtones is a band I’ve been a fan of for many years.

Was there something about that place that was particularly inspiring?

It was really about being in the space. Originally I was just going there to hang out and write—kind of take a little vacation. I filled up my car with some gear and went up there. Dave and I got together, and in the first day we wrote four songs that are on the album. I knew this wasn’t just throwing stuff at the wall. We were really getting at something.

So once you felt that, you started making the album?

We literally ran around town filling Ryan’s station wagon with gear. Everyone in town knew Lettuce. Everyone knew Soulive. All these people started coming by the studio. Nigel Hall was in town. The London Souls were there. It was like this weird vortex, and we were just having a blast. We’d take a break and go to the lake or go for a hike. There was no pressure. That’s how it came together.

Were you thinking you were making your solo record?

We were experimenting with the sounds as we were writing the songs. We were like kids playing around in the mud. What started out as a writing session became an album. I came home to Brooklyn with 30 songs. Some became songs for Tedeschi Trucks. Some for Aaron Neville. So it was a really productive week.

You went to Maine to get away from everything and actually found quite a bit of activity. Was that ever a distraction?

It just excited me more and more.

So, it was the right kind of distraction?

Yeah. I plan on doing more and more there. I like the idea of getting away.

Is Maine the new Brooklyn?

It could be. There’s amazing food up there. There’s amazing coffee. All the things we love here. And the summertime is just beautiful.

The old gear, the space, the time; it sounds like it all allowed you to be inspired sonically to write the songs, as opposed to using the modern technology of a home studio to mimic the gear and the space.

That’s a really, really important thing that people don’t talk about. The sounds have to inspire you as you’re playing it. As a producer, I have so many artists say, “Let’s just get it done and we’ll mix it however.” I’m like, “No, no, no. The performance is affected by how you’re hearing it.” That’s why this record is so important. “Jezebel” wouldn’t have been written like that if it didn’t sound that way. The drums sounded a certain way, so we started playing this Zombies, ‘60s sort of vibe. It was all one inspiration unfolding in front of us. Not to mention the old tape machine was making noise. You can hear the noise on the record. (Laughs)

What took so long for you to sing on record?

Part of it was being around such great singers. I’ve tried to do this many times, and a lot of times my attempts at doing this turned into making other people’s albums. Nigel Hall’s album—half the album was out of demos that I made. When I met him and he started singing them, I was like, These are your songs.

So singing isn’t brand new for you?

I’ve been singing since I was a kid. I was in musicals, and choir in high school. Part of it, for me, was that it wasn’t “cool,” once I got a guitar in my hand. I was always writing songs on the side, and demoing them in my home. I’ve got hundreds of tracks on my hard drives.

How do you go from years of demos to trying the real thing? What changed?

Dave Gutter really kicked me in the butt. He would say, “Dude, you should be doing this.” I wasn’t a fan of those acrobatic singers. That’s not me. I’m not going to even try and do that. I love Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia. They are what they are. The most important thing about listening to them is their style, the honesty in their performance. It took me awhile to own mine. Not to mention being just straight-up busy. It’s hard to say to your best friends, “You know this thing we built for 20 years, you go do that and I’m going to go do something else.”

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Eric Krasno Rediscovers His Roots


Guitar player Eric Krasno recorded his latest album, Blood From a Stone, by accident.

Two years before the album was released, he reached out to Ryan Zoidis, sax player for Krasno’s funk band, Lettuce, and David Gutter, Zoidis’ bandmate from Rustic Overtones, and expressed interest in workshopping some ideas for a new project. Zoidis and Gutter had been doing some recording out of a barn in Portland, Maine, and they invited Krasno to come up and write some songs.

“It was really like a hang. Like, let’s go hang and write a few tunes,” Krasno said.

Krasno and Gutter worked day and night writing. Krasno brought in equipment to start making demos. Then Gutter and Zoidis started calling some musicians they knew in the area, and soon enough they had a string section and a choir demoing with them. They started to like what they heard.

“It sounds quirky and dirty and whatever, but we loved how it started sounding. We were like ‘hey we’re not demoing, we’re recording,’” Krasno said. “This is a record.”

The album—Krasno’s first solo record and his debut as a lead singer—wouldn’t be released for another two years, after Krasno enlisted the help of producers Russell Elevado (D’Angelo) and Jeremy Most (Emily King). The recordings from the barn in Portland were the foundation for the product.

For those who have followed Krasno’s career, Blood From A Stone may seem as surprising a product as the production that led to it. The album is more informed by rockers and jammers of the ‘60s—The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles—than the soul and funk music that have shaped Krasno’s career in his funk bands Soulive and Lettuce. It also features Krasno front and center as lead vocalist—a role that he has never taken on before. But in reality, the album is a natural return to the influences that first introduced him to music, an organic exploration of Krasno’s roots.

“The funny thing is that that’s what I grew up listening to and playing though,” Krasno said of those ‘60s influences. “So really me stepping into Soulive was a little bit more out of the box. It’s just what people knew me for and that’s what I did for so long.”

Krasno was a fan of the funk and soul that takes a more prominent role in shaping Soulive’s music—James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Tower of Power—but he drew from it consciously to keep up after Soulive took off.

“I stocked up on my soul jazz records and went out there and kind of, you know, initially faked it a little,” he said. “I never owned a hollow-body. I bought it on the way to the first session.”

As for singing, Krasno says it’s really more something that fell off to the wayside than a newly discovered calling. As a kid, he did musicals.

“As that became not as cool and guitar became cooler, I kind of went into that role,” he said. “A lot of times the artists I was working with, whether it was Susan Tedeschi or Nigel Hall or Aaron Neville or whatever, they’d be like, well why don’t you just sing? And I was like, ‘well, you know, I’m gonna do it one of these days.’ It just took a long time.”

Blood From A Stone features Krasno’s impressive vocals over 10 tracks of varying styles. “Torture” could be a track off of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. “Unconditional Love” has a hint of the Beatles. “I Need Love,” rests on bluesy garage rock reminiscent of the Black Keys. It’s a dynamic collection of songs that allow Krasno to experiment with his voice, as he sings on personal subjects of love and betrayal.

Krasno added that he had been spending a lot of time with longtime Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks, which helped inform the album’s jam-rock tilt. “Curse Lifter” features the guitar virtuosos trading licks over an Allman-esque jam centered around a harmonized guitar line. That collaboration is also a return to Krasno’s roots—Soulive’s first national tour was opening up for the Derek Trucks band.

“He’s maybe my favorite current player out there,” Krasno said of Trucks. “He’s just always been super generous.”

Since the album’s release, Krasno has been busy touring with his new band, a hodgepodge of hand-selected musicians chosen to help bring the studio album to life. On stage, the album has taken on new life, Krasno says, as the band works to find itself. And even while this latest project is a return to Krasno’s roots, it provides an opportunity to experiment and explore in a way that feels new, with a new group of musicians who can trailblaze together.

“Part of why I do so many different things is because I like to keep it fresh and try to, the more that I can kind of stretch out and try different things, the more excitement that I get out of it,” he said. “Currently right now my band, it’s really exciting because we’re like doing a lot of things for the first time.”

“It’s Kind of a Journey”: A Fairfield Mirror Conversation with Eric Krasno

via The Fairfield Mirror

For Grammy award winning musician and producer Eric Krasno, vocals have never been the forte of his musical brilliance. With over 20 years invested in the art, Krasno has finally taken the microphone and broken new ground with his newest solo record, “Blood From A Stone.”

“I had never learned or taken a lesson or done any official singing,” said Krasno. “I have done it for fun and written a ton of songs but I had never been a lead singer in a band.”

In preparation for this new feat, Krasno enlisted the help of the Rustic Overtones’ Dave Gutter for a storytelling arc that managed to balance the darker and lighter fringes of musicianship. “I had kind of had been putting concepts together and I kind of had an idea of what the record would be but when he [Gutter] and I got together, is where that concept took shape.”

“It’s kind of a journey,” added Krasno.

Each lyrical composition is complimented with R&B-influenced hooks and melodies that emphasize the bluesy upbringing of Krasno. “Jezebel” and “Please Ya” evoke passion through the means of lost love and desperation while “Unconditional Love” and “Natalie” harken a past that fills Krasno with the soul to provide his music with a tenacious backbone.

Krasno even enlisted the help of Tedeschi Trucks Band guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks on “Curse Lifter,” which dances with the spirit of blues as Trucks blisters his way through the tune. Blues seems to be a recurring theme for Krasno in “Blood From A Stone” as he attempts to bring his prime musician influence back to the forefront.

“I always came up listening to psychedelic blues rock and all that stuff and it always kind of seeped into my other projects,” said Krasno. “But with this album, I really wanted to show those roots.”

This exploration of roots led Krasno heading down to New Orleans with his crew and a couple of drones to film the music video for “Waiting on Your Love,” which blends the scenic atmosphere of the rustic Big Easy with psychedelic tinges that play with the visual senses of the viewer.

“It was a cool exploration in taking color and matching it to music while getting super psychedelic all the while” said Krasno.

This journey will be taken on the road in the Northeast until July 15 to showcase Krasno’s newest effort while blending in a variety of material that spans his whole career. Krasno chose the Northeast because of his roots in New England, born in Connecticut and residing in New York City.

“There’s a lot of different places to play and musicians that are close enough and like in one weekend, you can play Vermont, Boston, Albany, Connecticut and New York City,” said Krasno about playing in the Northeast. “You can get around easy as a touring musician whereas the West Coast, you got to make huge, huge drives to make it city to city.”

After the summer sun fades away and his touring ventures with both his solo band and Soulive come to a close, Krasno will head back into the studio to resume producing records for various artists such as Son Little, The Motet and Allen Stone, a career that has earned him two Grammy wins. Krasno has previously produced records for prominent musicians such as Dave Matthews Band, Norah Jones and even Justin Timberlake.

“Well, I now start to plan out my time so that in the winter, I can try to go somewhere warm to produce a record and during the summer, I like to tour because it’s the festival season and all of that going on,” said Krasno.

Krasno also plans to pursue a new Soulive album, which is aimed to release some time in 2017.

This sort of chaotic balancing act has been a focus for Krasno as he attempts to establish himself and budding musicians in order to preserve the legacy of music that has been left to him. Krasno even toys with the notion of getting into music education.

“I go through different waves of excitement. Right now, I’m really excited about music. There are a lot of new artists that I really love,” said Krasno. “The hard part is navigating to find the good stuff.”

A Huffington Post Conversation with Eric Krasno

Mike Ragogna: Eric, you’re mostly known as a Grammy-award winning artist who produces, composes and plays innovative guitar. However, your new album Blood From A Stone features your vocals for the first time. How do you think you did? Which vocals are you most proud of?

Eric Krasno: I really love how the vocals turned out. My main goal was to deliver the songs with as much honesty and conviction as I could. I think the vocals on “When The Day Comes” were my strongest. I recorded this one toward the end of the album process after I’d been working on my singing a bit more. I’m no Stevie Wonder, but I think we put together some great vocal performances. I’m excited to record the next album now and get even deeper into the vocal side of my work.

MR: Was this collection of songs created specifically for this album or are any of them songs you and co-writer David Gutter stockpiled from other writing adventures?

EK: Most of the time we were just recording and writing without an exact purpose. Sometimes after the song was done we’d say, “This one would be great for Susan [Tedeschi] or imagine Aaron Neville singing this!” In certain cases that actually happened. We’d also have moments like, “Oh yeah, this one is for your record [EK]” 

MR: How do you and David write together?

EK: It’s slightly different every time. Sometimes I send him an instrumental with a melody, maybe with a hook idea and he’ll write verse ideas and send it back. If we’re in the same place we’ll sit with a guitar and play each other ideas until something sticks. 

MR: What was the recording process like? 

EK: The recording process was fun because we really thought we were just doing writing sessions. There was no pressure. We set up a studio where the Rustic Overtones [Gutter and Ryan Zoidis’ former band] are based up in Maine and brought in a bunch of gear. I contributed some guitars, amps and mics, while Ryan pieced together a tape machine and basically built a studio for this session. Chris St. Hilaire and Stu Mahan from The London Souls came up and helped out putting down the initial tracks. It was great because we were writing the songs and recording at the same time. The band would be putting down parts, while Dave was writing a bridge in the other room. It was like we were in a little song factory for those few days. We came out of that sessions with maybe a dozen songs and the tracks sounded killer. I have to say that Ryan Zoidis and Jon Roods, also in Rustic Overtones, did a great job recording everything. We used minimal gear, but it was done right and that is mostly what you hear on the record.

MR: Do you feel there is a conceptual theme linking the material on Blood From A Stone?

EK: Both Dave and I were going through break ups when the album was being written so a lot of the material came out of that and relationships gone wrong—“Please Ya,” “Waiting On Your Love,” “Torture,” “Jezebel,” “When The Day Comes”… Some were also written in the rise from the ashes so to speak—“On The Rise,” “Unconditional Love”. Musically, my guitar also plays a thematic role throughout, there’s always a guitar solo or melody coming at some point in every song. 

MR: Did you bring in any techniques or things you learned from working with other artists?

EK: Definitely. I learn a ton from every album I work on. I try to absorb as much as I can every time I work with a new artist. I’ve been very lucky to work with some great ones.

MR: What do you think of today’s popular music?