Eric Erdman
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Eric Erdman

Mobile, Alabama, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Mobile, Alabama, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter

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The Ugli Stick is taking care of some overdue business.

Since bursting onto the Mobile scene a decade ago with forceful, upbeat rock music that drew on hip-hop and other influences, the band has maintained a regional reputation for killer live shows.

It’s played at BayFest numerous times. It has been chosen for two Armed Forces Entertainment tours, playing to American troops in the Middle East and the Pacific. And it’s had a song used as theme music for a cable series, the Speed Channel’s “Drag Race High.”

Like the other bands playing this weekend on BayFest’s Launching Pad Stage, it’s definitely got the power to stop people in their tracks. But what it’s never had — until now — is a live album that captures that power.

Lead vocalist Eric Erdman summed up the irritation caused by that omission.

“Basically we’ve heard, for our whole 12 years of being a band, we’ve heard people say, ‘We love your songs, we love your albums, but they don’t do you justice. You’re a live band’,” he said. “And I pretty much agree with that.”

The group has released three studio albums, the most recent being “Nostoi,” released in 2006. Erdman said he’s proud of them and thinks that over time, “the schizophrenic styles of the Ugli Stick finally started melding in a more cohesive way” on those recordings.

But still, they never struck the perfect blend.

“Before, it would be like, this is the hip-hoppy song, this is the rock song. And that tends to make it disjointed,” he said. “Well live, those borders get kind of blurred more easily.”

Thus the demand for a live album. It finally arrives on the Tuesday after BayFest, when the Ugli Stick will play an album release show at The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint in Mobile. The free show is part of WZEW-FM 92.1’s “Second Tuesday” series, meaning the first hour of music will be broadcast live by the station. (Visit www.92zew.net for more details.)

Erdman hinted that the disc might be on hand for the Ugli Stick’s BayFest set, but couldn’t promise it. Either way, he’s glad it’s finally a reality, and he said a lot of the credit goes to Mobile-based Fishbowl Records, which is responsible for the recording, promotion and distribution of the album.

“This is extra special for us, because I feel like this has been a long time coming. We should have done this years ago, basically,” Erdman said. “Without them saying, ‘Let’s do this, right now,’ we probably wouldn’t have done it.”

The disc was recorded mostly at a couple of Soul Kitchen shows, with a few tracks drawn from performances at the BlueGill, the Shed and Guitar Center.

“This is going to be a few of the songs that people have heard for years, with a lot of new things,” Erdman said. “I feel like more of these songs showcase all of our varied influences … It just feels more natural.”

As for where the band goes from here, change is in the air. For several years, Erdman and Drinkard have had a publishing deal that has employed them as staff writers at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

But that deal is ending, and they’ve gotten interest from some companies in the greener pastures of Nashville. The busy month ahead includes a series of Nashville showcases arranged by Fishbowl.

Erdman said a new deal in Nashville won’t necessarily mean that he and Drinkard move there full-time, but would definitely spend more of their time there.

Meanwhile, he’s also curious to see what fruit is borne by the relationship with Fishbowl, an upstart company much younger than the band itself.

“I’ve always been of the mind that if you find people who truly believe in it and are willing to go to the mat for it, I’d rather have those people on my team, as opposed to people with more connections that don’t really care,” Erdman said. “I know they’re hustling and they’re really doing a lot of work to make it happen.”

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The Ugli Stick plays BayFest’s Launching Pad Stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.

The group’s release party for its new live album will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint, 5753 Old Shell Road in Mobile. The first hour of the performance will be broadcast live on WZEW-FM 92.1.

The album will be available through iTunes. Local outlets for the CD had not been finalized at press time, but a Fishbowl representative said it will be available at locations in downtown, Midtown and west Mobile. - Mobile Press Register (October 2011)


Young blues and rock based artists who have signed to Fame recently say this tradition remains important...Guitarist Eric Erdman, whose funk-rock band The Ugli Stick released its FAME debut in 2009,felt the decades of camaraderie when his group moved to Muscle Shoals from Mobile last year. "I can tell the difference in our sound by rubbing shoulders with the old guard" Erdman said. "You get a little bit of funkiness from being around them". - Downbeat Magazine


Self proclaimed "old funk, new soul" band. The Ugli Stick is making a stop in Hattiesburg tonight to perform songs from their new album, "Nostoi". Band members look forward to their trip to Hattiesburg area because they have friends and family in the area. Their new album brings them back with a new, more parralel performance relation to their recorded sound. Guitarist Dale Drinkard attributes the album's authentic sound to an emphasis on unified writing and coposition by all four band members.They also had the support of acclaimed producer Jimmy Nutt. Nutt has worked with such artists as Jimmy Buffett and Clarence Carter. Lead vocalist Eric Erdman praised Nutt as both a professional and a mentor saying, "his fingerprints are on the album as much as ours". Stanton (drummer) adds "Nutt acted as a true producer rather than an engineer". Erdman recalls listening to some college lectures on tape while on tour. They came across one in particular describing an old Greek play about soldiers returning home from war. The title was "Nostoi" meaning "to return home." The band adopted it as their album title. Althoug they write all of their own music, their personal favorites trickle through into their overall sound with hints of reggae, folk, and jazz. Specific artists also influence their style such as Jack Johnson, Outkast, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Otis Redding and Vivaldi. - Lagniappe


Self proclaimed "old funk, new soul" band. The Ugli Stick is making a stop in Hattiesburg tonight to perform songs from their new album, "Nostoi". Band members look forward to their trip to Hattiesburg area because they have friends and family in the area. Their new album brings them back with a new, more parralel performance relation to their recorded sound. Guitarist Dale Drinkard attributes the album's authentic sound to an emphasis on unified writing and coposition by all four band members.They also had the support of acclaimed producer Jimmy Nutt. Nutt has worked with such artists as Jimmy Buffett and Clarence Carter. Lead vocalist Eric Erdman praised Nutt as both a professional and a mentor saying, "his fingerprints are on the album as much as ours". Stanton (drummer) adds "Nutt acted as a true producer rather than an engineer". Erdman recalls listening to some college lectures on tape while on tour. They came across one in particular describing an old Greek play about soldiers returning home from war. The title was "Nostoi" meaning "to return home." The band adopted it as their album title. Althoug they write all of their own music, their personal favorites trickle through into their overall sound with hints of reggae, folk, and jazz. Specific artists also influence their style such as Jack Johnson, Outkast, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Otis Redding and Vivaldi. - Lagniappe


A modern interpretation of a singer/songwriter set by Eric Erdman (Ugli Stick), Ryan Balthrop (Bowlin Buddies), Ross Newell (Hamelin), Les Hall (Phar Fletcher), Wes Loper (Wes Loper Band), Heath Underwood ( El Cantador), Josh Ewing (Top of the Orange) and Gregg Fells. Stripped down and straight forward communication between the artist and the audience. Port City Rising is the opportunity to hear some of Mobile's most popular songwriters in the intimate setting of the Joe Jefferson Playhouse. 10 N Carlen Street. The September 22, 2011 event starts at 7pm with just 300 seats available, doors open at 6pm, Admission is $10.
Port City Rising, is a collaborative effort between Eric Erdman and Radio Avalon to put the music in the spotlight rather than the party. Port City rising ...sponsored by Fishbown Records and callaghan's, after party at Callaghan's Irish Grill. - Mobile Press Register


Alabama based phenoms, The Ugli Stick, bring their Musle Shoals sound to the stage for a live performance that can best be described as a knockout. Melding acoustic funk and unforgettable hooks with a dynamic stage presence, these guys are not just your average 'bama band. - Mobile Press Register


Alabama based phenoms, The Ugli Stick, bring their Musle Shoals sound to the stage for a live performance that can best be described as a knockout. Melding acoustic funk and unforgettable hooks with a dynamic stage presence, these guys are not just your average 'bama band. - Mobile Press Register


Dale Drinkard and Eric Erdman of the Ugli Stick spoke to Bliss about the fear and elation they are experiencing over the creation of their third album, produced at Nuthouse Studios in downtown Sheffield with producer Jimmy Nutt and legendary grammy award winning producer Alan Shulman. The album has just been completed, although it took a year of work, while we're talking, Dale picks up a blue kddie guitar with orange and pink flowers and Eric tunes a light pink Gibson. They break into a medley of Jack Johnson. Jim Croce, Rocky Horror songs and finally end with "a Stevie Ray version of a Buddy Guy verson of "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Playing our daughter's toy guitars and making them sound incredible makes us even more amazed at what they can do with "real" musical instruments. - Bliss Magazine


Dale Drinkard and Eric Erdman of the Ugli Stick spoke to Bliss about the fear and elation they are experiencing over the creation of their third album, produced at Nuthouse Studios in downtown Sheffield with producer Jimmy Nutt and legendary grammy award winning producer Alan Shulman. The album has just been completed, although it took a year of work, while we're talking, Dale picks up a blue kddie guitar with orange and pink flowers and Eric tunes a light pink Gibson. They break into a medley of Jack Johnson. Jim Croce, Rocky Horror songs and finally end with "a Stevie Ray version of a Buddy Guy verson of "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Playing our daughter's toy guitars and making them sound incredible makes us even more amazed at what they can do with "real" musical instruments. - Bliss Magazine


What they're saying about the Ugli Stick..."Of all the bands in our area, The Ugli Stick is the most poised to end up on a national label soon. Tim Camp, Director of Operations/Programming 92 ZEW- WZEW / Mobile, AL
"If you like your rock with a side of groove, you'll love The Ugli Stick. It's hard to stand still and listen to these guys rock! Unless your audience is already dead, They will love The Ugli Stick!, Rick Hendrick, Program Director 95.1 The Fox-WXFX/ Montgomery,AL
"The Ugli Stick throws together rock, funk, punk and rhythms like a band possessed...they're the funkiest boys I've seen in a while", Woofy, Program Director 99ROCK-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL.
"They blow up the phones, pack people into venues, sell cds, are wonderful to the fans, have great hooks, great lyrics, excellent musicianship, an incendiary live show...what more can you ask for?"" THE NEXT BIG THING is here....and it's Ugli." "The Ugli Stick is one of the most entertaining bands I have ever had the pleasure to see. They relate with the audience and connect with their fans. Their talent, stage presence and energy will be discovered soon. Until then they will be WABB's secret weapon!" WABB/Mobile, AL
"The Ugli Stick is the most talented bunch of musicians and songwriters I have ever had the privilege of working with. The harmonies are great and the live show is something everyone must see. Keep it Ugli."
Special K, Midday DJ & Homegrown Show, WCPR/Biloxi,MS
"You can imagine all the bands that hound us at 99ROCk for airplay and live show mentions, so it says something about The Ugli Stick that we play them, and bring in studio. Hell, I could just as easily have bikini tourists in here, but no...I choose to pump up the great Ugli Stick! And you haven't seen the full picture until you see them live." Kevin McKay, Afternoon DJ 99Rock-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL. - Mobile Press Register


What they're saying about the Ugli Stick..."Of all the bands in our area, The Ugli Stick is the most poised to end up on a national label soon. Tim Camp, Director of Operations/Programming 92 ZEW- WZEW / Mobile, AL
"If you like your rock with a side of groove, you'll love The Ugli Stick. It's hard to stand still and listen to these guys rock! Unless your audience is already dead, They will love The Ugli Stick!, Rick Hendrick, Program Director 95.1 The Fox-WXFX/ Montgomery,AL
"The Ugli Stick throws together rock, funk, punk and rhythms like a band possessed...they're the funkiest boys I've seen in a while", Woofy, Program Director 99ROCK-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL.
"They blow up the phones, pack people into venues, sell cds, are wonderful to the fans, have great hooks, great lyrics, excellent musicianship, an incendiary live show...what more can you ask for?"" THE NEXT BIG THING is here....and it's Ugli." "The Ugli Stick is one of the most entertaining bands I have ever had the pleasure to see. They relate with the audience and connect with their fans. Their talent, stage presence and energy will be discovered soon. Until then they will be WABB's secret weapon!" WABB/Mobile, AL
"The Ugli Stick is the most talented bunch of musicians and songwriters I have ever had the privilege of working with. The harmonies are great and the live show is something everyone must see. Keep it Ugli."
Special K, Midday DJ & Homegrown Show, WCPR/Biloxi,MS
"You can imagine all the bands that hound us at 99ROCk for airplay and live show mentions, so it says something about The Ugli Stick that we play them, and bring in studio. Hell, I could just as easily have bikini tourists in here, but no...I choose to pump up the great Ugli Stick! And you haven't seen the full picture until you see them live." Kevin McKay, Afternoon DJ 99Rock-WKSM/Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL. - Mobile Press Register


The Ugli Stick spent a month performing at U.S. bases throughout the MIddle East. Memeber of the Ugli Stick band are Vocalist-Eric Erdman, Drummer-Tim Stanton, Bassist-Quintin Berry, Guitarist-Dale Drinkard. The ugli stick band a rock band founded in Mobile,Alabama was selected by Armed Forces Entertainment to play the SW Asia circuit, traveled from base to base playing for the troops in in Jbad and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,Oman, Bahrain,United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Djibouti and Kyrgyzstan. Vocalist Eric Erdman said "To me it's the single most validating thing I've ever done in my whole career" - Mobile Press Register


The Ugli Stick spent a month performing at U.S. bases throughout the MIddle East. Memeber of the Ugli Stick band are Vocalist-Eric Erdman, Drummer-Tim Stanton, Bassist-Quintin Berry, Guitarist-Dale Drinkard. The ugli stick band a rock band founded in Mobile,Alabama was selected by Armed Forces Entertainment to play the SW Asia circuit, traveled from base to base playing for the troops in in Jbad and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,Oman, Bahrain,United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Djibouti and Kyrgyzstan. Vocalist Eric Erdman said "To me it's the single most validating thing I've ever done in my whole career" - Mobile Press Register


Discography

  • Beatdown (1999)
  • Stop Please Please Stop (2003)
  • Nostoi (2008)
  • The Ugli Stick Live (Fishbowl Records 2010)
  • My Brother's Keepers (2012)
  • Color The Silence (in Australia 2013)
  • Not Slowing Down (in Muscle Shoals 2015)
  • It's Not Like You Don't Know Me (Baldwin County Public Records 2018)
  • Fresh Song Fridays Vol 1 (2019)
  • Fresh Song Fridays Vol 2 (2019)


Photos

Bio

When the conditions are just right in South Alabama, a jubilee occurs along the banks of Mobile Bay. The waters virtually erupt with a harvest of seafood as the creatures lunge to the shore for more air. Singer/Songwriter Eric Erdman was born and raised along those shores and it seems as if he has that water in his veins. His songs are introspective but fun, quirky but accessible, profound and palatable but they all seem to have sprung up from that salty Mobile water. Eric has performed his songs while serving as the lead singer for the funk rock band, The Ugli Stick, since 1999. The Ugli Stick's powerful live shows and unique songs have captivated audiences worldwide. They have performed 3 USO tours for the US Military overseas as well as released four albums and had their song "Put It On The Wood" used as the theme song for "Drag Race High" on the SPEED network. However it is obvious there has always been something more to Eric Erdman that had yet to rise to the surface. In 2012 he recorded his solo album, "My Brother's Keepers". This album was followed in 2013 with the release of "Color the Silence" (which was recorded while on tour in Australia). These two albums laid the groundwork and provided the platform for the launch of Eric's biggest album yet, "Not Slowing Down". For the recording of "Not Slowing Down", Eric went to Muscle Shoals and recorded with some of the greatest musicians on Earth. The power and electricity captured on "Not Slowing Down" are unmatched on any of Eric's previous works. When listening to this new collection of songs you get the feeling that conditions are just right for another jubilee‌.and this one will stretch much farther than the shores of Mobile Bay


Band Members