Eric & The Blues Band put new spin on the blues

With a brand new self-titled CD due to be released in early December, we anticipate that Moncton blues-rock trio Eric and the Blues Band will undoubtedly see their schedule filling up rather nicely over the coming weeks and months.

The group is scheduled to perform at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on Sunday evening. The show starts at 10 p.m.

Comprised of guitarist-vocalist Nick Cormier, bassist Daniel Logan and drummer Alex Saunders, the trio started playing together in 2008, landing their first show at the Shediac Blues Festival the following year. It was not long after that first show that guitarist Cormier began writing the material that will be found on the upcoming album.

“Funny enough, I never really intended to do anything with these songs I was writing but before I knew it, I had 20 songs written and so I picked what I felt the best 10 were to appear on the record,” Cormier says.

The group’s new record features nine original tracks in addition to a cover of a traditional song called Ain’t Nobody’s Business.

Recorded with Duane Kelly at Kelly’s studio here in Moncton, Cormier says that capturing the live feel of the group was important and says they strived to keep the performances as spontaneous and natural as possible.

“Our mind frame when we went into the studio was that if we had to do something twice, it simply wasn’t going to sound exactly the same as what a ‘first-take’ might offer. We left ourselves a lot of room to breathe on every one of these tracks and stuck with what ultimately felt natural for us. For each of the tracks, I typically had an idea on how I wanted them to sound but really encouraged both Daniel and Alex to add whatever they felt was right.”

With approximately 45 shows under their belts in the past two years, Cormier says the live stage has been where they have unquestionably gained the most experience that has molded them into the band they are today. And while the band got their beginnings playing blues standards alongside legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, confining the band to one particular genre is a bit of a tough task.

“I think that our sound has definitely evolved over the past two years. When I was writing songs for this record, I wanted to be creative first and foremost. The record definitely has blues songs on it but it has a folk song as well as well as a Chuck Berry type of rocker. To be safe, I think you would have to classify us as a rock n roll band instead of a blues band now. That way no one is offended,” he laughs.

Before wrapping up our interview, we took the time to ask Cormier exactly how the band came up with their name in light of the fact there has not been a band member named Eric pass through their ranks. Cormier jokingly skirts around our inquiry.

“I have been asked a million times and have probably given a million different answers. It is something that looms large in our legend now,” he laughs.

Article published in November 11, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript