Eric Green
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Eric Green

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Eric Green & the FroZen SWamp Choppers get Hot at Free St."

"Tight, Lowdown and Dirty" see more at http://www.swampsound.com/goodtimes.htm - Good Times


"Eric Green ‘raw’, original"

He’s the hardest-working man in show business.Well, in Maine show business, anyway.

Eric Green, a Bangor area mainstay, is back with a new band, and he’s better than ever. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, consistent lineup than the Frozen Swamp Choppers, the latest incarnation of Green’s blues-fueled musical vision.

Formed in 2004 to support Green’s solo album, “Hot All Day,” the band has turned out to be a permanent gig for the members. After the stripped down blues-folk of Green’s previous band, Green & Bosse, the Choppers offer a more explosive sound, highlighted by Green’s virtuoso guitar skills.

Playing what they deem “raw Americana,” they’re one of the few Maine bands that make a living off playing music, and almost all original music at that. It’s equal parts Delta blues, Muscle Shoals, the Black Crows and Johnny Cash, with a dash of acoustic alternative like G. Love and Special Sauce, or the softer side of Sublime. Green honed his current sound during a stint in New Orleans, and you can hear the Cajun influence in there as well. It’s gritty, soulful party music-the best kind.

- Bangor Daily News


"Green’s music boils with raw emotion."

Eric Green is a mad genius! This is one of the gutsiest, edgiest, most original sounds I’ve heard in a long, long time. Green squeezes blood out of everything he plays whether it’s a lap steel, acoustic or electric guitar, harmonica or his own voice. Green’s music boils with raw emotion.
Green’s style runs the gamut from Cajun-drenched Sonny Landreth slide, to southern rock a la Lynyrd Skynyrd, a little jazz, a little gritty slow blues, an acoustic ballad or two, and all topped off with some of G Love’s Special Sauce. It’s all this but none of it and more.
If I were going into the management business and I had to pick one artist to manage it very likely might be Eric Green. Eric is the genuine article.

- FACE Magazine


"Sonic Gumbo"


"Big Easy-style sonic gumbo of rootsy blues, rockabilly, vintage country and funk well-seasoned with spoonfuls of fuzzed-out guitar and tongue-in-cheek humor."
- George Bragdon, Bangor Daily News


"Goose Bump Blues"


"There are not a lot of voices out there that give me goose-bumps. This man’s voice did just that. And so did the music that surrounded him. This band is made up of some very talented musicians."
- GigMaine.com, June 6, 2005


"Rockin’ Out"


It’s no secret that we here at “Rockin’ Out” are big fans of Eric Green’s brand of down and dirty blues rock. And when we last checked in with the guitar-man this summer, he was hard at work laying down tracks for an album. Now, fellow swampy blues fans, the wait is over: “Hot All Day” is here.

While the album isn’t the first recorded effort by the Frankfort singer-guitarist, Green says it is the first he’s truly pleased with. And he should be.

Recorded at Bangor’s Nightcrawler Studios last summer and this fall, “Hot All Day” doesn’t stray too far from what Green brings out live: a Big Easy-style sonic gumbo of rootsy blues, rockabilly, vintage country and funk well seasoned with spoonfuls of fuzzed-out guitar and tongue-in-cheek humor.

Standouts include: “Super-Elastic,” a G-Love-style hybrid of blues and hip-hop; “Space Girl,” a raucous tale of extraterrestrial love; and “Chicken Lick’n Hiway,” a rockabilly scorcher with a lyrical feel somewhere between Hank Williams Jr. and Bob Seger. Sure, the album is a little rough around the edges, but that mostly works in favor for
Green’s overall sound and vibe.

Green says that he’s already at work on the follow up, and he’s also busier than ever gigging around Maine these days. At 7p.m. this Saturday, Green and co-conspirator Josh Small will rock The Kave in Bucksport as part of a blues showcase. Later that same night, the duo will appear at Bangor’s Sea Dog Brewing Co. at 10 o’clock. You can also catch Green with his backing band, the Frozen Swamp Choppers, at 9p.m. Wednesdays at the Waterfront Bar and Grill in Downtown Bangor. They’ll hold down that gig until January, when Green and the guys will head south for a two-week tour that will take them all the way down to Green’s “second home”-- New Orleans.

Copies of “Hot All Day” are available at Bull Moose Music stores, at gigs, and eventually through Green’s new Web site, www.swampsound.com. For more about Nightcrawler Studios, log onto www.nightcrawlerstudios.com.

- George Bragdon, Bangor Daily News, November 12, 2004


"The Blues Are Green: Frozen Swamp Choppers in tow, he's Hot All Day"


I’ve been dismissive of the blues in the past. In 2002, I even published a column wishing they’d go away for a year. The genre had lost its freshness for me, mired as it seemed to be in solos in E-minor, B, and A, similar as all the songs seemed to be to each other. My Robert Johnson discs gathered dust. Taj Mahal sat unspun. Howlin’ Wolf was quiet as a mouse.
Like a bolt of blue lightning, however, Eric Green has helped me rediscover what I was missing. Driving to Boston a couple weeks back, I had his Hot All Day in the briefcase. Filing away the newest G. Love album, I noticed Green’s duotoned, funky horse-woman on the cover, so I gave it a play.

The first song was on repeat before it had gone two minutes. Green’s truncated staccato guitar sound on the album’s opening title track hooked me hard. Incredibly warm and inviting, it was just enough to match Green’s wonderfully affected voice, deep, gravelly, and seemingly born in the swamps of Louisiana (though Green currently hails from Bangor, and I have no idea where he might have been born, but he doesn’t appear to be a 75-year-old black man — rather a late-twenties white guy).

"Let me crawl like a reptile across your kitchen floor," he coos to his mistress before exploding in frustration: "If you won’t tell me, how’m I s’pposed to know?" That last line has been stuck in my head for weeks.

A funked- and spaced-out bass from Ezra Rugg ... contemporizes the sound just enough so that this isn’t some kind of Delta Blues homage, but rather a riff on a well known genre. It’s not altogether unlike what the Black Keys are doing ... but it’s not quite as stripped-down as the Keys, nor quite as manic.

"I need a little voodoo to bring my baby back to me," Green growls, his guitar emitting a paucity of notes, used to great effect to evoke "gators in the swamp . . . dripping in the moonlight/ Baby you better get a cup/ When the sun gets up/ Baby it’s gonna get hot."

Green’s delivery is perfectly on, relaxed without seeming drunken, with just enough hesitation behind the beat to increase anticipation. That beat’s supplied by Nigel Hall’s largely minimized drums, and though they’re maybe a little hollow, their lo-fi mic’ing lends just enough outdoor, on-the-front-porch feel to help Green pull this whole thing off. Each line of the chorus is punctuated by a cymbal hit, leading to visuals of the entire band kind of rocking forward as one in their chairs. ...

"Piece of the Pie" is a superior mix of a simple guitar-bass-drums arrangement, with Paul Bosse especially fine on the rhythm, and the sound getting back to that warm and inviting tone. Green’s delivery makes what could easily be a corny set of lyrics instead just drip with sexual innuendo and suggestion that tucks you under the covers on a cold night....

"A little piece of the pie at the end of the ride will keep me satisfied," he leers, "with cream on the top, shouldn’t come as a shock . . . spoonful of honey, baby, at the end of the night, not too much, just enough." It rings of hot Savannah nights.

What’s so impressive, though, is the variety. Green succeeds with more than just one blues approach. "Three Leagues Deep" is a "Minnie the Moocher" jazzy blues, with guitar pops followed by isolated lyric delivery in smooth fashion and ample spaces for finger snapping. "Chicken Lick’n Highway" is rockabilly/jump blues, a truck-driving homage where "the hammer’s down, the engine’s hot."

But the kicker is when Green pulls off the acoustic blues ballad in "Steel Wall," which is remarkably full and embracing, and effectively puts forward the same persona evinced in the other songs with such swagger, here in total supplication. "How could I be wrong?/ After all of those nights, turned into days/ Tell me I’m right, if I step to the ledge, to cure all the ills/ If I open my door, would I warm all the chills?"

Talk about chills, the chorus delivers: "Can you come down off the mountain?/ Still have my heart in your hands/ Sinkin’ slow in the deep water/ Still have my heart in your hands."

This stuff sure feels authentic, even if Green may not have your standard hard-core bluesman resume. And it’s definitely enough to get me dusting off those Robert Johnson discs again. Maybe I could make a deal with the Devil that would just ensure that I never have to hear "Mustang Sally" again.

- Sam Pfeifle, The Portland Phoenix, December 17, 2004


Discography

"Hot All Day" is the latest Eric Green release. Available at http://www.louisianamusicfactory.com
more info on Eric's Discography may be found at:
http://www.swampsound.com/discography.htm

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Nominated in 2005 by the "Portland Phoenix Best of the Beat Awards" in three categories:
Song of the year,
Male vocalist of the year,
and Best R&B/Soul/Blues act
also nominated best new band in 2003 for GREEN&BOSSE

In September 1964, Eric’s Native American Grandfather, R.A. Nicola, took Suzanne, Eric’s pregnant mother 13 miles downriver from the Penobscot Indian Reservation and Eric was born at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor Maine. When he was two years old, Suzanne married an Army man and the traveling started. Military bases became home. Fort Devens Massachusetts, Fort Benjamin Harrison Indiana, the Panama Canal Zone, White Sands Missile range New Mexico, Fort Indiantown Gap Pennsylvania and Fort Hood Texas are some of the Army bases where Eric grew up.

Spending most of his time with his younger sister, Terri, moving almost every year while his stepdad taught new computer technology in the military. When in Texas at the age of twelve he started listening to “Black” radio in Killeen, Texas. The Ohio Players, the Commodores, Chaka Khan, and Hot Chocolate were the artists whose songs Eric sang to himself on the way to Pop Warner football practice. Although he was drawn to music at an early age, he did not pick up a guitar seriously until the early eighties. Consumed with dirtbikes, and skateboards in his early teens, like the other Army Brats, Eric spent his lawn mowing money on Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, and Kiss Albums.

It wasn’t until he was sophomore in High School that he started listening to the blues. After his stepdad left in the night, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen counter, Eric started hangin’ out with his uncle Ralph. Ralphy and Eric would go on cruises in a cherried-out green & white Caprice Classic (very much a north-country lowrider), which is where he first heard Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter. After that it was difficult to take the music his classmates where listening to (Journey, Foreigner etc) seriously. Screamy white boys in tights had nothin’ on the Mannish Boy or Albino Bluesman covered in tattoos playin the Chitlin circuit in Texas. Under the tutelage of Uncle Ralphy, Eric had been bit by the blues bug hard. Cruisin’ hours to Portland in the Caprice to hit the record store, cause they might have a Robert Nighthawk album......and through the University of Maine, checkin’ out chicks, listenin’ to Muddy.

The University of Maine was three miles from the reservation and was mostly Granola-type Forestry majors who listened to Bluegrass and Grateful Dead. In tryin’ to hook up with one of these patchouli'd out long-haired hippy chicks, Eric started checkin’ out the Dead. Before too long he was on tour, chasin’ the drug-addled caravan coast to coast for several years. After several scrapes with Johnny Law he took some of his stash money, bought a guitar, moved to the mountains and started learnin how to make the sounds that affected him so deeply. With a mail-order Stefan Grossman tab book and a Seagull Acoustic, Eric holed up, and began his life as a singer/songwriterIn the early eighties.

Eric started picking guitar in a small run-down A-frame cottage (across fron the famed Red Stallion Inn) in Carrabassett Valley Maine, with no electricity or running water. He wrote his first song, “Still”, huddled around a woodstove in the dead of the Maine winter. After a year of playing gigs in the mountains, he hitched a ride to Portland and landed an opening slot for John Hammond Jr. at Raoul’s Roadside Attraction. He hung out in Portland for a year playin’ Amigo’s, the Bramhall and the newly opened Gritty McDuffs. In Portland he was cold and broke and he needed to get out of dodge, and see if he could make all these songs he was writing stick.

Settin’ out for New Mexico he got caught up in Harrisburg PA for a while, playin Club Met, Zee's, and the Chameleon with his first real band “Beg, Borrow and Steel," a name that pretty much summed up the guitar-bum lifestyle Eric had adopted. Then it was on to New Mexico for awhile, playin' coffeehouses and coming to the realization that it was a hard row in the “Land of Enchantment” if you did'nt play Flamenco for the tourists.

Eric then reunited with his sister Terri who had become an OKC firefighter. It was in Oklahoma where Eric’s music started to get legs landing him dozens of opener gigs for national Blues acts. Although still not really considering himself a “Bluesman”, this type of music felt natural and people reacted in a good way when he played it. OKC was where Eric bought his first Dobro. Gigging was alright in Oklahoma, with not much more to do than play guitar and work on songs. During this period Eric had several bands and played bass as well in five different acts. Life was good. Then the Murrow building blew up and OKC was unbearable. This was the perfect excuse to move to New Orleans, where Eric had recently visited after playing a gig in Baton Rouge. Eric packed it up and hit the Big Easy.

New