Erica Blinn & The Handsome Machine
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Erica Blinn & The Handsome Machine

Nashville, TN | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Nashville, TN | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Blues Rock

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A last minute addition to the line-up was Ohio rockers Erica Blinn & the Handsome Machine. They joined the show when their previously scheduled appearance was cancelled. This band flat out rocks. With an old school sound they deliver a guitar heavy attack sounding more like bands from the 70’s than most of what you have today. Their set was high octane as they rolled through a selection of original tunes. Glad they got added to the show.

When the music ended, the folks there were quite satisfied with the quality of music their ears had been treated too. Four bands took the stage and four good sets of music was the result. I highly suggest you check out all of their music and if you are given the chance catch them live. - Atlanta Live Music Examiner


I knew I would dig Erica Blinn when I read an interview in which she mentioned that one of the films she returns to over and over is Harold And Maude, my favorite film of all time. Of course, that doesn’t really give any indication of what her music would sound like (she is nothing like Cat Stevens). Her new CD, Lovers In The Dust, is full of great, straight-forward country-rock vibes and some excellent vocals. Erica also plays a mean harmonica. All the tracks on Lovers In The Dust are originals.

The album gets off to a great start with a fun, energetic country-rock-pop gem, “Whiskey Kisses.” This is the song that really got me interested in her. Her vocals have the right amount of drive mixed with a sort of yearning. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “I can’t go another day without you/I hate to admit it, but baby I’m a mess/And I’m so sorry that I doubted you/Now I’m wondering what happens next.” I’m also keen on the work on keys by Kevin Sweeney. This is one of the CD’s best tracks, and the album also ends with a brief reprise of this tune.

“Let’s Give Love” has more bright country-rock vibes. I especially like it when she belts out the lyrics. She has a certain power, and when she lets loose, the song has almost a celebratory feel. It lifts you up, in spite of lyrics like, “When life moves fast, love don’t last/Maybe we’ll get lucky, but I don’t think that’s the case.”

“Sexy Mess” opens strongly, with a steady pounding beat and some great work on harmonica. The song then relaxes slightly when Erica’s vocals come in. It has more of a pop vibe on the verses, its rhythm and sound in the realm of a group like the Go-Go’s. I really dig the short section with bass and drums and just the repeated line, “My heart is pounding.” It’s a nice little punk moment, and it leads back to some wonderful harmonica and great energy. This is a fun track, one of my favorites.

There are some mellower vibes on “Need Somebody Tonight,” which features some sweet work on harmonica. Devon Allman plays lead guitar on this track. “And I’m just sitting on this couch waiting for the phone to ring/And I’m singing to anyone who’s listening/That I need somebody tonight.” And we can all relate to these lines at some point or another: “I turn the stereo on, makes me think of him/It plays all the songs that we used to dance to/I’m not in the mood, don’t want to hear them again.”

My favorite song on this album is “How Lucky I Am.” It begins as a softer, more acoustic tune, but still enters the pop realm, with a catchy rhythm. It’s a sweet love song, and Erica’s vocals have a beauty, even an innocence that’s not so apparent or prominent on other tracks. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “And now you’re holding my heart in your fist/And I hope you never let go/So if you see me staring at you/And it looks like I’ve lost my mind/You can bet I have/Baby, I’m your biggest fan/And I’m just thinking about how lucky I am.” This track really stands out. It’s an earnest and adorable love song, and I like it more and more each time I listen to it.

She follows it with a kick-ass, demanding, high-energy tune, “Home,” one to get you moving. This one features more nice work on harmonica. Someday I’m going to make a mix CD of songs titled “Home.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad tune with that title. “I want you to come home.”

The title track, “Lovers In The Dust,” opens with lines that make me smile: “Found my name and number penned on that bathroom wall/I think it said I’m a slut, but I can’t recall/She didn’t say it to my face, ain’t got the guts/Somehow I keep forgetting that she’s better than us.” A nice intro, right? I really like the lyrics of this one. Sure, it also has a good beat, but it’s the lyrics that really drive this song. “Life is way too short/Everybody lets you know/And in the same breath they say you should take it slow.” And it also has some “Ooh la la” vocals.

CD Track List

Whiskey Kisses
Let’s Give Love
Let Me Be Yours
Sexy Mess
Need Somebody Tonight
Pull The Trigger
How Lucky I Am
Home
Lovers In The Dust
Choices
One Of These Days
Whiskey Kisses (Reprise)

Lovers In The Dust is scheduled to be released on January 28, 2014 on Curry House Records. - Michael Doherty


*Columbus rocker Erica Blinn is set to release her new record, Lovers in the Dust, on Jan. 28. The official album-release show will be at Woodlands Backyard on Jan. 31.

Part Joan Jett, part Bonnie Raitt, Blinn rocks with enough blues and even country to garner wide appeal. This record has all sorts of potential, as Blinn and her band, The Handsome Machine, storm the Midwest throughout early 2014.

Tickets for the Jan. 31 show, which also features New Albany native and guitar whiz Aaron Lee Tasjan, are $10. Visit woodlandsbackyard.com or ericablinn.com.

*Tasjan, who makes his home in Nashville and still fronts the New York-based Madison Square Gardeners, has big news of his own.

He's got a record coming out, his debut solo EP Crooked River Burning. He was just named lead guitarist for veteran rockers Drivin n Cryin. And he just played a gig at the Kennedy Center as part of an ASCAP program highlighting up-and-coming songwriters.

Nice.

He's at aaronleetasjan.com. - This Week Community News


Midwestern-Southern fusion blues rocker Erica Blinn, along with her band The Handsome Machine definitely have - in a phrase - what it takes to go all the way. That’s what this new artist is all about. She’s got the heart, the soul and the band that could take her to the top. Her album Lovers In The Dust immediately puts her on par with the ‘big’ women rockers of the last 20 years and will resonate with listeners from all sorts of lifestyles. Big city bus or back roads pickup truck, people everywhere will be able relate to Erica Blinn. It’s her ability to unite people with music that makes this album really special.

Over the last couple of years Erica Blinn And The Handsome Machine have been on the road and touring, with headline dates as well as sharing the stage with folks like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Royal Southern Brotherhood & Devon Allman - who plays lead guitar on Need Somebody Tonight, a song which also features Aaron Lee Tasjan on backing vocals. Rounding out the band is PJ Schreiner on percussion, Mark Nye on bass, with Greg Wise and Andy Harrison on guitar. This team really does work as one big, bad rock and roll machine plus there are another dozen really, really talented people contributing to this album - making it a real group effort.

This team effort philosophy shows that there is a smartness to this artist, similar to Little Lonely who brought in a collective of amazing performers for her recent debut album. You know, the one that got our 2013 Critic’s Choice Best Album of the Year award. Likewise here, you get the feeling that there is a broad spectrum of personalities contributing to Lovers In The Dust. It doesn’t sound like the cliche’d solo artist at work, it’s more like being invited to a crazy rock and roll party where you meet a whole community of new friends.

The album kicks off with the song Whiskey Kisses which is as catchy as they get. Whiskey Kisses maxes out the RUST Magazine anthem-o-meter and it’s definitely the hottest track we’ve heard recently when it comes to breakout potential. And that’s just the first song on the album! After that the party never stops. The whole album is great. Need Somebody Tonight (with Devon Allman) is another one of our favorite tracks, showcasing a slower, more soulful side.

Mike Landolt of Mike’s Curry House deserves a lot of credit for the recording and post production on the album. Technically, it’s superb. The vibe stays just right through all the songs and the balance between the artists is perfect. And this is a real challenge when you’ve got a super talent like Erica Blinn out in front. Together these artists have accomplished something really special and hopefully they all will be able to share in the success that Lovers In The Dust deserves to be. Very Highly Recommended. - RUSTzine


When asked who she would love to play with some day, Columbus blues rocker Erica Blinn said without hesitation, “Obviously Tom Petty. I’ve always said that when I grow up I wanna be Tom Petty.” Despite being young, female and from Ohio, it seems clear Blinn shares a lot of musical sensibilities with that particular 63-year-old man from Florida.

Blinn and her band, The Handsome Machine, released its new record, “Lovers in the Dust,” Jan. 28. There will be a record release show to celebrate the occasion at Woodland’s Backyard Friday, Jan. 31, doors open at 8 p.m.

“Making an awesome record, to me, is just being happy with the overall outcome of what we did and I’m really proud of it,” Blinn said. “Everybody that worked on it is proud of it as well.”

Devon Allman, son of rock legend Gregg Allman and member of Royal Southern Brotherhood (also known as Honeytribe), even lends his lead guitar playing to the track, “Need Somebody Tonight.” Allman’s part was recorded before a past Woodland’s show in which Blinn opened for him.

“We had just talked about it and I had a couple of tracks in mind that I was thinking of having him on,” Blinn said. “He was in town for a show and so I just got the guitar ready … and got the stuff together and got him some dinner … and we hung out and did that in an afternoon. So it was really cool.”

Recent shows by Blinn and The Handsome Machine have yielded the live debuts of many of the songs from “Lovers in the Dust.” That has led to Blinn narrowing down her favorites from the new material.

“My favorite has been ‘Need Somebody Tonight,’ which Devon played on and Aaron Lee Tasjan (Madison Square Gardeners, Semi Precious Weapons) sang backing vocals on,” Blinn said. “More recently, now that we’ve been playing more of the new songs live, there’s a song called ‘How Lucky I Am’ and that’s become one of my favorites. For some reason, that’s the one that people have told me so far that it’s their favorite.”

Another stand-out track from the new record is “Whiskey Kisses.” While the track is lamenting the absence of a lover, Blinn is far less deep when talking about the beverage itself. When asked what her favorite whiskey was, Blinn said, “Oh, I don’t know. It depends on who’s buying. I basically drink Old Crow at home. We’re poor musicians, so on the road, that’s our whiskey … either that or well whiskey.”

Blinn and the Handsome Machine have been staples of the music scene in Central Ohio for quite some time.

“I was just out of high school and there was a guy who lives here in town (Tom DeLorenzo), who was part of the Columbus Blues Alliance, and he was doing an event for the Gahanna Creekside Jazz and Blues Festival,” said Blinn, recalling how she got into the music scene. “He was putting together a band of kids, basically, that had been taking lessons and he auditioned some. So he put together this blues band and he had approached me about playing harmonica in the band.”

Many musicians are influenced by what their parents listened to at home, but Blinn found the blues and harmonica on her own terms.

“I really took it on as my own because I wasn’t really raised listening to the blues much,” Blinn said. “My parents liked old rock ‘n’ roll. The exposure I had to the blues was very minimal until that point (when she joined DeLorenzo’s band). I just really fell in love with it.”

Blinn and her band also have strong ties to Woodland’s Backyard dating back to when it was the Thirsty Ear Tavern.

“We love Woodlands,” Blinn said. “We love the venue and the people involved.”

Blinn wanted to stress that the record release show would be special for several reasons.

“We’re going to have some special guests up that night,” Blinn said. “Just some very dear friends and musicians here in town and people who have worked on the record, so we’re going to have a little family jam thing going on.” - Uweekly


You will - after watching this video and checking out the latest CD Whiskey Kisses from Erica Blinn. The music is part pop-rock, part county, sometimes bluesy, and at times, jamming. My favorite track is Sexy Mess - which really showcases her band - The Handsome Machine - with plenty of rockn' guitar, harp, and drums. They can also slow it down gracefully with Need Someone Tonight and How Lucky I Am. Then back to the her harp and some punk rock and Home. There's something for everyone with this CD. Did I say the harp and guitar rock? Pretty cool. Pair with a Greenbroad Leaf and Schlafly Bottleworks Session IPA. - Todd M. Godbout


Life as a working musician, according to Worthington native Erica Blinn, is far from glamorous.

She lives in a modest apartment near the Worthington/Dublin border, keeps her overhead low and plays locally as often as possible to support the occasional out-of-state tour, which are often completed at a financial loss.

“We did a short tour in July and we played Athens, Georgia, for the first time,” said Blinn, 26, over coffee in early September. “There was a ridiculous storm where it was raining sideways and there were ambulances and fire trucks going down the road and we’re like, ‘Is this the end of the world?’ I think maybe 15 or 20 people made it in that night.”

Here in Columbus, however, Blinn remains a consistent draw at both her frequent stripped-down bar gigs (she performs regularly as a duo at places like PJ’s Pub in Powell and both World of Beer locations) and her more sporadic full-band concerts with her backing crew The Handsome Machine, which will join the singer for this weekend’s show at Woodlands Tavern. It’s an audience certain to grow when Blinn releases her long-in-the-works new album, Lovers in the Dust, which is due out late January 2014.

Judging by the album’s first single, “Whiskey Kisses,” Lovers promises to be a far more personal affair. The bluesy rock number is littered with references to the emotional wreckage left in the wake of a broken relationship, Blinn singing: “I can’t go another day without you”; “It’s been a hurricane here inside”; “I hate to admit it, but baby I’m a mess.”

“There’s a lot of truth in [the songs],” Blinn said. “I’m not good at making stuff up because it feels fake.”

Still, there’s no need to feel any sympathy for the singer. In spite of the occasional hiccup, the last year has been, in her own words, “pretty great all around.” She’s simply more likely to pick up her guitar when things are bleakest because those are the times she needs music most.

“It is tough to write when everything is going great,” she said. “I feel like writing is part of my therapy. It’s my way of getting things off my chest and really working through them.”

By Andy Downing
From the September 12, 2013 edition

http://www.columbusalive.com/content/stories/2013/09/12/locals-erica-blinns-audience-certain-to-grow-once-new-album-is-out.html?fb_action_ids=635319839823456&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22635319839823456%22%3A1409585875935248%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22635319839823456%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D - Columbus Alive!


LOCAL ROUNDUP: Erica Blinn, the Regionals
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:37 pm | Updated: 5:18 pm, Fri Oct 21, 2011.
By Joel Oliphint |
Blinn's recording debut is well-chaperoned
"Shut your mouth, get out, or get used to it," sings Erica Blinn on her self-titled debut EP.
Like 2011 breakout artist Lydia Loveless, Blinn is an up-and-coming Columbus girl with talent and spunk beyond her years. She has
been surrounded by music her whole life, working at Ace in the Hole Records and playing in bands since she was 14.
For her debut, Blinn wisely surrounded herself with capable musicians. Watershed's Colin Gawel gets co-writing credit on five of the
six tracks, and for a backing band Blinn enlisted North Carolina's Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass Kickin Team (which will be in
town Saturday for Blinn's release show).
There's nothing trendy about Blinn's songs. Recorded and produced by Mike Landolt, standout tracks "Pull the Trigger" and "Choices"
sound like they could have been written any time in the past 30 years. This is Midwestern, heartland rock 'n' roll with nods to other nononsense
female band leaders like Chrissie Hynde and Pat Benatar. If that's your bread, Blinn is your butter.
The lone ballad, "I'm Gonna Kiss You," is sonically great in the hands of Anderson and his band, but lyrically it's a bit cheesy. Blinn is
at her best when showcasing her no-nonsense attitude. It's a minor misstep, though, on a promising debut EP.
A CD release show will be held at 10 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 22) at the Rumba Cafe, 2507 Summit St. Joining Blinn are Terry Anderson and
the Olympic Ass Kickin Team and the Moving Parts. Cover: $7.
New band - Joel Oliphint - The Other Paper


By Chris DeVille
Rumba Cafe

10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

2507 Summit St., Campus

columbusrumbacafe.com

There’s a no-nonsense air about Erica Blinn. She inherited it from her father.

Whether strumming her Gibson Les Paul Special or tinkering with her Sportster, Blinn’s main pastimes were passed down from her dad, Jerry, a longtime player in Columbus music and a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. Growing up in Worthington, Blinn latched onto these passions, made them her own and pursued them with passion.

And while she’s become an accomplished mechanic — she disassembled and rebuilt her motorcycle’s motor — she’s been making her biggest strides as a singer-songwriter. Though she identifies her sound as blues rock, her rough-and-tumble rock tunes carry a whiff of Bonnie Raitt, with a saucy attitude and melodic twang that veers near to Nashville-ready country.

However you classify her, Blinn’s music career is picking up steam 10 years after she first wailed away on the harmonica in Columbus bars at age 14.

Her relentless pursuit of rock stardom led her to essentially stalk Columbus rockers Watershed. Fortunately, her persistence won over Watershed guitarist Colin Gawel rather than send him scrambling for a restraining order.

“I always followed them around, and I would introduce myself to them every time I saw them,” Blinn said. “Finally one day I went to see Colin play at Rumba, and we were talking about stuff, and he says, ‘Come outside. You’re serious about this, aren’t you? I want to help you any way I can.’”

Gawel’s help included recruiting producer Mike Landolt (O.A.R., Maroon 5, Earwig) to record her self-titled EP and Raleigh rockers Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team to play on it. Those connections have stuck: Landolt will release the six-song set on his Curry House Records, and Anderson’s band will play the release show Saturday at Rumba.

What’s next? A little touring, more recording and hopefully a few hours set aside to ride.
- Chris DeVille - Columbus Alive!


Local Limelight | Erica Blinn

STYLE » “bluesy rock ’n’ roll”
WEBSITE » ericablinn.com
CONCERT » 9:45 p.m. Friday at Ace of Cups,
2619 N. High St.
ADMISSION » $5

Erica Blinn spent her youth learning guitar, violin and harmonica, but she found her performing desire through a concert experience at age 7.

“My father took me to see Linda Ronstadt,” the Columbus native said, “and I knew I wanted to play music professionally.”

After playing sit-in stints with groups, she formed a rock band at 16.

At 24, Blinn is taking the next step by promoting a self-titled debut EP produced by Mike Landolt — whose work is featured on efforts by Blues Traveler, Maroon 5 and O.A.R., among other acts — and co-written with Watershed frontman Colin Gawel.

Q What lyric topics do you address most?

A In general, I write about things that are bothering me or that .?.?. (make me mad) — mostly because I can’t stop thinking about them and eventually they just manifest themselves as songs.

Q You sometimes perform at a Moose Lodge, an atypical choice. Why there?

A I kind of grew up at this particular Moose Lodge. My dad and uncle Garry were Moose members and formed an organization called the “Moose Riders” — which is a motorcycle group that does charity work.

I always get a lot of support from my West Side “family” when I play there. Plus, my aunt Bev currently tends bar there, and she taught me everything I know.

Q What other musicians inspire you?

A Comparisons I hear most often are Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow meets Joan Jett, Melissa Etheridge, Lucinda Williams and Bonnie Raitt.

Q Printed inside the case of your debut CD is a dedication to your father, Jerry. What advice did he offer?

A First, if you want to be a successful musician, you have to eat, sleep, live and breathe it.

Second, if you get to the point where you’re not having fun anymore, it’s time to quit and do something else.

— Kevin Joy?

kjoy@dispatch.com? - Kevin Joy - The Columbus Dispatch


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

...a Midwestern beauty with a wistful voice and a country-rock sound somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Sheryl Crow... - Don Thrasher, Active Dayton.

This is Midwestern, heartland rock n roll with nods to other no-nonsense female band leaders like Chrissie Hynde and Pat Benatar. If thats your bread, Blinn is your butter. -The Other Paper, Done Waiting, Joel Oliphint

ERICA BLINN CONSTRUCTS AMERICAN ROCK SONGS ONE EARNEST MELODY AT A TIME. SHE FORCES MIDWESTERN AIR THROUGH BEAT-UP HARMONICAS AND HAMMERS OUT HONEST WORDS THAT STRETCH AND TWIST THROUGH HER TUNES. SHE BENDS THE RULES OF THE BLUES AND KNOCKS DOWN THE WALLS OF POP MUSIC TO CREATE BLUE COLLAR MUSIC THAT EVERYONE CAN STAND UP FOR AND BE PROUD OF.

Lovers In The Dust features producer/engineer Mike Landolt (Maroon 5, Blues Traveler, OAR) as well as guitarist Andy Harrison, and guests Ruf Records artist Devon Allman, and First Of Three Records artist Aaron Lee Tasjan. “I like to think of this album as having a little something for everybody,” says Blinn, “It definitely has the rockers but it also has some more intimate songs as well as a couple of just plain fun ones that reach towards a more pop sound.”

Band Members