Erik Viel

Erik Viel


"Southern Americana". Erik Viel coins the musical style with a mixture of rock, blues, folk and acoustic music.


Erik Viel has compiled an impressive resume of musical credits in a wide variety of musical genres, and now, with the release of his solo debut, Off the Beaten Path, the dynamic guitarist/songwriter is taking a bold step forward. Producing, arranging, performing and writing ten of the CD's thirteen selections, Erik has created a collection of unusual depth and breadth that can only enhance his reputation as one of the leading musicians in the Southeast.

Erik’s story began in Rochester, N.Y. where he began playing the guitar at the age of fourteen. Within a year, he was on stage honing his chops and creating a recognizable tone and style. During this time he studied under master guitarist/composer Steve Greene, graduate of Rochester’s world renowned Eastman School of Music. Thereafter, Erik would attend the State University of New York at Oswego for his undergraduate study. Soon after arriving, he formed Frostbit Blue with Nick Gravelding and Matt Albano. Other musicians would soon be added to the lineup. Frostbit Blue thrilled their fans with guitar-driven southern rock. For the past twenty years, Frostbit Blue has been without question, one of the most successful bands to ever come out of Central New York. They have compiled an impressive collection of accolades and awards while releasing two albums with sales in excess of 18,000 and performing with artists such as ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker, Government Mule, and Dickey Betts.

Erik would continue his education by receiving his M.A. from West Virginia University. Shortly thereafter, he would accept a full-time teaching position at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, N.Y. During this time, Erik focused his attention on jazz and blues and gained valuable knowledge from guitar legend Jerry Lavene. After Hours performed jazz standards and popular tunes which allowed Erik to add another dimension to his playing style.

In 1996, Erik would move to Atlanta, GA and join Ron Cooley and Hard Times. The Mobile, Alabama born blues singer with the thunderous voice provided yet another education for Erik. “Playing with Ron was a great experience as you were forced to constantly adapt. Musical convention was tossed out the window and it became necessary to adjust on the fly. We never played a song the same way twice”. Erik then moved on to also play in acoustic acts Ronnie Leach and Along for the Ride and Ramblin’ Soul. This turned his attention towards Americana and folk music. “At the end of the day, nothing beats a song that tells a unique story and has a catchy melody”.

Yet all this may turn out to be merely a prelude to the next stage of Erik’s career. He's found a new outlet to complement his work that, for the first time, showcases the broad range of his talents. Off the Beaten Path, his solo debut, is another significant step forward, presenting Erik not only in the role of talented team player with an all-star set of friends, but as producer, arranger, well-rounded songwriter-and even, for the first time, as an engaging lead singer. With its rough-edged Americana, sophisticated melodies, sly wit and instrumental chops, Off the Beaten Path serves as notice that Erik is once again expanding his musical horizons.


Off The Beaten Path
Radio play in Peru on Radio 88.3FM Huacachina of Ica; "Somewhere Between" Webradio 2004 Belgium; Golden
Flash" in Westerlo, Belgium; FM 94.8 La Rochelle, France; Beaub FM, France; WRFG 89.3 FM radio in Atlanta; Radio 99.7 FM in Brisbane, Australia; CHES 101.5 FM in Erin, Ontario;