The Eric Tessmer Band
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The Eric Tessmer Band

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Blues Rock




"Eric Tessmer Band at High Noon Saloon"

Wisconsin-bred, Austin-based guitarist Eric Tessmer will certainly draw Stevie Ray Vaughan comparisons for as long as he straps on a Stratocaster: The 24-year-old uses the same Hendrix-ian flourishes that Vaughan did to connect the dots between arena rock and old-school blues. And though the whole enterprise lacks sparkling originality, the blues usually boils down to one question: Can the kid play? The answer is a heartfelt yes. The respect Tessmer has garnered in the Austin scene was on display recently at the musical wake for Austin legend Clifford Antone, owner of the famous blues club Antone's: In an evening filled with stars of the fertile Texas music scene, Tessmer and his band were selected to play the emotional final set of the evening. Tessmer's 2004 live CD, Last Night at Joe's..., displays the band's live prowess, and this tour supports the new studio disc Blues Bullets. - The Onion

"Go to Canada!"

Go over to Canada, right now, eh. Why? Sit back and I'll tell you all aboot it. The Eric Tessmer Band, well, they're getting play on CBC radio, even though they're from Texas. So northward they trek. Recommeded to all you Stevie Ray Vaughan fanatics. The cat can play the blues. - Real Detroit

"Blues Bullets Review"

ERIC TESSMER BAND - "Blues Bullets" (Independent)
Style - Blues
Origin - USA (Austin, TX)
Darren's Review - I was lucky enough to experience a little of 6th street while spending some time in Austin. What a place! Live music is blaring out of what seems like an endless number of clubs. The Eric Tessmer Band is one of those bands hitting the scene really hard, playing almost every night and making a strong name for themselves, not to mention creating a following. Now, I realize that this band doesn't fit into our core of reviewed artists... but make no mistake, this band is heavy! Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my all-time favorites, he did things with a guitar that Eddie Van Halen only dreamed of doing. SRV made me explore a whole new genre. I really enjoyed it, but most of the artists I found were either nothing special, or way too predictable. What SRV did was break that barrier. He made it EXTREME, taking it to the next level and beyond. The Michael Jordan of blues. I would get a roomful of my metal friends and throw on a SRV video and watch their jaws drop! Anyhow, the reason I dig ETB is they seem to bring that bad-ass attitude. I'm no expert on blues, but I love these guys! My biggest criticism with their last disc (Last Night at Joes ; - towards the bottom of page) was to step it up the vocals, and boy did they ever! Eric Tessmer delivers some incredible riffs and solo's, all with a guitar tone that would make SRV happy. The sound recording is top notch, very professional. Sometimes it is a good thing to take a break from metal, do so and pick up Blues Bullets! ;

Production/Engineering: 8/10 Originality: 7/10 Instruments: 10/10 Vocals: 9/10
Overall: 8.5/10

- Adrenalin Fanzine -

"Texas Platters"

Eric Tessmer Band
Blues Bullets
Half the globe still imagines Austin's Sixth Street churning out Stevie Ray Vaughan clones like Strats in the "Little Wing" video. They're down there, but this particular young guitarist in the Steamboat-era SRV cap sounds especially slick in Red River corner pocket Headhunters and now Antone's. On gunning third release Blues Bullets, Eric Tessmer and his equally young local blues trio take another step out of the $3, early-days footprints of their legendary role model. Winking at "Scuttle Buttin'" with opener "Rebuttal," BB's tone, string tension, and attack are unmistakable, Tessmer's voice his own as it moves out from guttural blues to Ian Moore soul. "Ain't With You" and its roadhouse riff recalls another guitarist for whom SRV paved the way, Jeff Healey, while the blues gangsterism of "Every Time" is the exact sort of rave-up for which Doyle Bramhall II's sets beg. Swamp instrumental "Origin" is nicely situated in the middle. "Blind Eye Blues," all too standard in structure, offers Tessmer as a convincing guitar disciple in need of interior monologues; see the title track's fire sale on "Voodoo Chile." Things stall at the end, not so much in momentum as in material, and while there's plenty unoriginal in Blues Bullets, save for all nine cuts, the ETB's conviction isn't.

2.5 Stars

- Austin Chronicle

"Eric Tessmer Band Heats Things Up..."

Eric Tessmer Band Heats Things Up At Antone's

Nothing is more human or more cosmic than an electric guitar in the right hands. if you’re craving some soul-warming power to balance out this cool December air, the Eric Tessmer Band’s got you covered. When Tessmer strums, the blazing frequencies resonate with the whole body, pulsing through the soles of the audience’s feet. While skeptic heads may cock at comparisons to Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, they’ll thank themselves for taking the challenge: Tessmer’s the real deal. His finger-blurring riffs and deep, rumbling vocals make for a night of Blues rockin’ transcendence.

Tessmer plays like a physical extension of his guitar. Though self-taught, he learned the instrument at age eight, taking cues from his guitar-playing father and grandmother. He hasn’t yet permitted any labels to snatch up him, but his new album, Green Diamond, comes out later this month. Meantime, he and local avant-garde storm-chanteuse Leila Bela are collaborating on “To beya”, a heart-wrenching Persian folksong. Like Tessmer’s multigenerational guitar reverence, this song has a long lineage in Bela’s family. Her great aunt and cousin recorded the song in all its traditional sorrow and resignation, but Bela imbues it with a driving, visceral passion and gorgeously moving operatic force that only Tesmer could keep up with, which explains why perfectionist Bela even considered him for the role. A master of the craft, who never loosens his grip on the soul of what he’s doing, this will be the best eight bucks you spend this week. You’ll swear he’s set his guitar on fire, but you won’t see any flames. -

"Every art has a venue, every taste a plate"

Just when we think we've heard it all, a flood of smoking fretwork fills the air. Perched by the open windows of a Sixth Street saloon called Friends, Eric Tessmer sublimely channels the spirit of Stevie Ray. Barely old enough to get into a bar, this guitar prodigy plays like a man possessed. - Boston Sunday Globe

"The Eric Tessmer Band"

For over a decade, Austin has seen its fair share of Caucasian bluesicians pick and strum their best interpretations of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Unfortuanately, this saturation of homage and mimicry has never quite yielded the talent or sincerity of the late Double Trouble guitarist. However, The Eric Tessmer Band, a young trio of humble musicians and music collectors alike, have blazed a trail up and down Sixth Street as of late, turning up the gain on blues tunes while turning the heads of many blues-conscious scenesters.

Eric Tessmer holds a nightly clinic, a sermon if you will, in Strat manipulation. During this soulful gospel however, more than a few sins are committed. The 22 year-old Wisconsin native rapes his guitar. To call his licks fast would be an insult to Mr. Graham Bell and to light itself. With pillage and fury, Tessmer pounds out Stevie, Jimi, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf and others with a crisp, bristling precision. The he steps on the gas - soloing like a rocket ship, zooming back through time. You can just see IT in this kid and any fan of the guitar won't have to see IT. You can usually hear the trio from several blocks away. Texas native Allen Daniell keeps busy on the low end, bellowing out greasy, back-porch rhythms that, combined with drums that create the perfect domain for Tessmer to work.

If there's a down side to the band, it might be the vocals, but don't tell that to Daniell. He belts out "Natural Ball" by T-Bone Walker like a choir boy on Sunday morning.

The blues scene in Austin is young, alive and well. You can check out Tessmer and company every Wednesday free of charge at Agave on Sixth Street.

- Smitty - Rank and Revue Magazine

"Hammer of the Gods"

Watch Austin guitarist Eric Tessmer at - - Dallas Morning News

"Tessmer is hooked on the blues"

Tessmer is hooked on the blues

By Käri Knutson, Winona Daily News

When Eric Tessmer moved from Richland Center, Wis., to Austin, Texas, he didn't know a soul. ADVERTISEMENT

"It was kind of scary, but at the same time, it was more exciting," Tessmer said. "I knew I had to do it."

Tessmer, now 23, was only 19 at the time. For awhile, he lived in his truck. That's what you call paying your dues.

Tessmer will return to the area for two shows: Saturday, July 23, at Rascals in Winona and Wednesday, July 27, at Nighthawks in La Crosse.

Tessmer knew he had to play music after seeing Pink Floyd at Camp Randall in Madison when he was only 12.

"After that, I never pictured myself doing anything else," Tessmer said.

His dad played guitar and bought his older brother a guitar. When his brother didn't play it,

8-year-old Tessmer did. He took full advantage of his dad's expansive record collection, listening to Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.

The bluesy feel of the music was what connected with him.

"It's just the feel, the groove," Tessmer said.

His band plays original music as well as covers of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James and Hendrix.

He likes to stick with older blues songs.

"The new stuff is old news because it's all been done before," Tessmer said.

He first got into the Austin music scene by signing up for open blues jams and ended up playing with gospel choirs.

Sometimes he has to work a little harder to earn the respect of veteran blues players.

"It's interesting. When you're young, you're treated like a novelty act," Tessmer said. "At the same time, B.B. King wasn't always 70."

If you Go

WHAT: The Eric Tessmer Band

WHEN and WHERE: Saturday, July 23, at Rascals in Winona and Wednesday, July 27, at Nighthawks in La Crosse

Cost: $4 for either show


Käri Knutson can be reached at or (507) 453-3523.

- River Valley Newspapers - Winona, MN

"Spoltlight: The Eric Tessmer Band"

The Twisted Parrot
August, 2005
Galveston, Texas

The Eric Tessmer Band
Marc Phillips

If you happened to be on the mainland and listening to the show in Cosmos Café on Heights Boulevard the night of June 24th, you weren’t likely to notice much in the way of artistic innovation. You likely didn’t lament its absence, either. Allen, Eric, Doug, and Russell gave you electric blues. It was their third sold-out appearance at Cosmos. Maybe the blues is exactly what you came to hear but, unless you’re an irremediable optimist, it’s better than you expected to hear it. As for those who wandered in without expectations, well, they were the ones on cell phones in the parking lot or the privy, heard shouting, “You gotta hear these guys!”

The Eric Tessmer Band drove down from Austin, the fertile crescent of live blues that adopted Stevie Ray Vaughan as its son and emissary soon after he moved there in 1975. Just as SRV derived his inspiration from B.B. King, Lonnie Mack, Albert Collins and others, Eric and the band now take up the colors from his legacy and move forward, though not yet on any surprising course. The surprise is the talent.

Gloria Trent-Michael, a cousin and good friend of the late Vaughan, said, “[Eric’s] like Stevie reincarnated… Except he’s better than Stevie was at that age.” Gloria is also a friend to Eric and the band.

Reincarnated? Maybe not. Eric was already nine years old in Wisconsin, not far from where Stevie’s helicopter went down in 1990. Gloria’s “better than” remark is liable to get under the skin of diehard Vaughan fanatics, so we’ll let them argue the point with her. She makes a strong case. Not having the privilege of Vaughan’s personal acquaintance in his youth or otherwise, I’ll rest on safer ground, along with the consensus of ETB fans I’ve spoken with in following the band. They’re damn good.

As with Vaughan’s rise, recognition for the Eric Tessmer Band grows steadily by word of mouth, just rapidly enough to thwart frustration in drummer and de facto manager, Doug Day–just slow enough so they can keep up. They have no advertising budget to speak of for their two CDs and their live performances. But, they also have no day jobs; living, playing, surviving (even profiting) entirely on their music. Remarkable in itself, as the oldest two among them, Doug and bassist, Allen Daniell, are 24 years old.

Their website helps some (, but Doug attributes the band’s early notoriety to the number of business travelers and convention goers mingling with college students at their Sixth Street gigs in Austin, departing with ETB merchandise in hand. Sound man and guitar tech, Russell Sowell, agrees. He points to the age demographic at their shows from Galveston Island to the Sturgis Bike Rally, where they were guests of Harley-Davidson last August. He speaks truth. I look around their gigs and can’t decide which is more startling; the quarter of the crowd with grey hair, the number of t-shirts displaying Greek letters, or the slight majority of thirtysomethings like me, all swaying in unison to licensed covers of Hounddog Taylor and John Lee Hooker, intermixed with ETB originals.

Earlier this year, Eric Tessmer Band CDs went on shelves in Canada, courtesy of HMV Canada, a record distributor with 102 stores nationwide. Doug commented last month that, apparently, there’s a cottage industry of pirated ETB albums in Mexico. They regularly receive emails from Europe, he says, and on occasion from Asia. It makes for interesting conversation but, for the band, highest on the priority list is their upcoming tour of the Midwest. With dates booked in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison, WI, they’re now working on Missouri.

At the house they share in suburban Austin, I asked them if they had plans to write more original songs. Do they feel the need to express themselves more?

“Sure,” says Allen. “But that takes time. When?” he wonders. Then he wings one in on me with a straight face, “I just feel lucky to be playing with Eric.” The guys chuckle and let me in on the joke. It’s the question they most often get from female groupies. Don’t you feel so lucky to be on stage with Him?

“We could sleep less,” says Eric. You don’t get many quotes from Eric. It’s difficult to tell if he’s shy or realizes even now the market value of his own mystique. He peruses fan mail and idly fingers one of his unplugged guitars.

Doug says, “I let them take care of that,” pointing to Allen and Eric, the songwriters and vocalists for the band. “I know we need more of our own stuff. We’re doing pretty good, though.”

That’s hard to argue. As well, I can’t disagree with their self-awarded title as “the hardest working band in Austin,” what with an average of five local shows a week, mixing in jaunts to Houston and Galveston, tending their website an hour or two a day, and reading up on the legal intricacies of the music business. Oh yes–and they must find time meet with booking agents and people like Gary Warren from HMV, and somehow squeeze out tolerable private lives for themselves.

“It’s funny, but I do feel lucky. I mean, I know I am,” Russell tells me.

Indeed. I felt a little lucky myself, for the show, a sneak peek at tomorrow’s famous people. Maybe, like Gloria, I’ll be telling people about having a beer with those dudes back when they lived in Austin, when they had the time put up with a freelancer. I’ll compare the newbies to Eric’s crew and pontificate from the vantage of insider access. You think? Maybe not. Fame is capricious and has a lot to do with luck.

As I’m checking to see that I have enough in my notes to piece together a story on these guys, the four of them file out the patio door to jump on a trampoline somebody’s girlfriend left in their backyard somewhere along the line. They like to do this while they plink at random targets–and one another–with a BB gun. I tell them that Academy Sports & Outdoors has better BB guns, powerful ones you don’t have to pump. In a couple hours, they’ll be loading amps and instruments for tonight’s gig, but Eric thinks they have time to run up and buy a new toy. They agree to use the “band fund” for that. They seem relaxed back here, and I can’t help but think that taking your welts from an air rifle from time to time is a fine, if dangerous, exercise in humility; not necessarily an unwise allocation of band resources at all.

They’re different onstage. I mean, they’d have to be, right? It’s hard to be “better than” anybody when you’re bobbing up and down, laughing, trying not to shoot each other in the face. Gloria, who arranges ETB gigs on our side of the bridge, promises they’ll be answering the call to reappear at the Lone Star Bike Rally in Galveston this fall – even if she has to secure an independent venue. If you’re a blues fan going to see them for the first time, plan on staying put a while. If that’s not normally the scene for your crowd, you might bring a cell phone.
- The Twisted Parrot: Galveston, TX


The Pistachio EP (2011); Green Diamond (2010); Blues Bullets (2006); Last Night at Joe's... (2004); Live in Austin (2004)



Stunning audiences throughout the US, Canada and Europe, the Eric Tessmer Band has demanded the attention and respect of fans of all ages as a result of their uncompromising musicianship and unbridled aggression. With a background based firmly in electric Post-War Blues (Texas/Delta/Chicago), Psychedelic Rock of the late 60s/early 70's and the energy of the Punk scene, the ETB combines deep soul, sonic tapestries and howling momentum in face-melting live shows that weave timeless music-forms and new sounds and original direction flawlessly.

Live Collaborations: Anders Osborne, Stanton Moore, Mikkey Dee (of Motörhead), Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Coco Montoya, Alan Haynes, Monte Montgomery, Storyville, Bugs Henderson, and many others.

Key Performances: Stubbs-Austin, Antone’s-Austin,Summerfest-Milwaukee, Taste of Chicago, Montreal Jazz Festival, Mont Tremblant Blues Festival-QC, Johnstown Folk Festival-PA Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride-Dallas

2011 Tours:
May-September: North American Festival
September: India