Sunday, March 21, 2010
Eric STECKEL Band - High Action 2004
The studio debut of High Action by the Eric Steckel Band gets down to brass tacks of laying down 12 tracks of testosterone charged blues rock.
Drummer Wayne Smith and bass player Nick Franclik are the rear flanks for 13 year old Eric Steckel who is already a fretburner for someone so very young.
Getting things off to a good start is the kid can write songs of his own that hold up well. Inspiring tracks ranging from the Carlos Santana influenced "Espirita" to the bluesy riff boogie of "Hey Sister" are the showpieces for Steckel's over-the-top guitar playing.
A theme that is consistent throughout High Action. Leadoff track "Funky C Funky Do" instantly grabs the listener and is a perfect setting for "Slow Train." Both these numbers see Steckel cutting loose and squeezing much notes as possible into his blues jam explorations.
The buck doesn't stop there. The Stevie Ray smothered "Char-Broiled" revisits the good ole Texas Flood days. With almost half this cd being original material, Steckel can afford himself the opportunities to try his hand at cover tunes "Further On Up The Road" and "Born Under A Bad Sign."
While the attention is mostly focused on Eric, drummer Smith and bassist Franclik are more then just side players supporting a young boss. Nick's bass lines on "Born Under A Bad Sign" are audio resemblances to Billy Cox from the Band of Gypsies. And Wayne Smith's talents go beyond jack-hammering skins. His Hammond Organ playing in "Espirita" chases Latin grooves easily. And it's an earthy cushion for Steckel's biographical "Some People Tell Me." Their live reading of "Oh Yeah" recorded at the August 2003 Knowlton Riverfest captures The Eric Steckel Band turning on their audience. All three bandmembers are shakin their mojos as they romp their way through this number bathing the audience in their blues lovelight.
Steckel's admiration of heroes Vaughn, Hendrix, Albert, Freddy and B.B. King are openly worn on his sleeve. There are more years to invest to gain mileage needed for his vocals. Serious air guitar fanatics won't give a damn as this young kid has the chops to scare older veterans into putting their guitars away in the closet for good.
By Gary Weeks.
Eric Steckel- Guitars, Vocals
Wayne Smith- Drums, Hammond Organ
Nick Franclik- Bass
01. Funky C Funky Do
02. Slow Train
04. Hey Sister
06. Some People Tell Me
07. Blues Is a Feelin'
08. Oh Yeah
09. Born Under a Bad Sign
10. Further on up the Road
12. Never Run From the Rain