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McFadden brings passion to Breckenridge

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
Special to the Daily Eric McFadden Trio
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BRECKENRIDGE – Eric McFadden may use the f-bomb like a rock ‘n’ roller, but that’s about as far as his sonic similarity to other musicians goes.”I just don’t want to sound like anybody else or be too derivative of anybody,” McFadden said. “There are a lot of styles weaving in and out of the rock, like some carnival noire meets gypsy flamenco. And there’s a little reggae with a Clash style – sometimes you’ll get punk rock. I just want what I write to be sincere and somewhat unique. “It has elements of other things I’ve done. It’s got the rock energy of past projects like Liar and Angry Babies. It’s got the carnivalesque, gypsy, Latin thing of Eric McFadden Experience and Alien Lovestock. There’s a little of the dark Americana vibe. But I think for the most part, it’s a rock band.”McFadden plays a Spanish-style guitar and a steel string. James Whiton beats an acoustic upright bass with percussive slaps.

“I grew up playing classical music exclusively for the first 18 years of my life,” Whiton said. “It’s ingrained in me to hear the bass fulfilling certain roles harmonically and rhythmically, much as it would in a symphony.” Paulo Baldi – Les Claypool’s drummer – delivers blistering rock rhythms. Then the trio plugs into a loud amplifier, kicks up the distortion and rocks out.”(Eric McFadden) tears the roof off Sherpa’s every time – and he and the bass player are on acoustic instruments,” said Crawford Byers of Overeasee Productions. “We certainly aren’t going through the motions,” McFadden said. “You’ve got to mean it. It’s got to have passion. It’s crucial that the live show kick it.”Not only crucial for the crowd, but also for McFadden’s survival. In the past couple of weeks, for example, someone broke into the trio’s van in San Francisco, and their sound engineer changed his status from reliable to married and missing in action.

“I’m glad I have this outlet,” he said. “Without it, my soul would rot, and I would just disintegrate. Living in these times, I think people are a bit frustrated, and it’s hard not to express that feeling of being on the edge. It spawns intense creativity and evokes an intense passion. We need to express these things.”And express them McFadden has, with the likes of Bo Diddley, the late Joe Strummer, Widespread Panic, The Reverend Horton Heat, George Clinton’s P-Funk All Stars, Keb Mo’ and Rolling Stone Ron Wood.Part of McFadden’s inspiration comes from Whiton, whom he met in his home state of New Mexico, and Baldi, whom he has played with for 10 years.”James is absurd on the bass, and Paulo’s drumming is pretty top notch,” he said. “Playing with those guys brings out the best in me. We’ve gotten to know each other so well that we do things telepathically during improvs. It’s become more cohesive, and it’s definitely gotten more aggressive.”

The trio brews its hard rock with a twist of Americana, European and Latin influences.”Hopefully it makes some difference for the better – people leave feeling fulfilled or feeling that they got some aggression out,” McFadden said, “because if it’s not about the people too, why not just sit in your living room?”The Eric McFadden Trio plays Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Sherpa & Yeti’s in Breckenridge. Tickets are $5.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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