Artist: Eric Krasno
Album: Blood From A Stone
Label: Feel Music/Round Hill
Release Date: 07/08/2016
For nearly two decades, Eric Krasno has made his bones as a musician, songwriter and producer across the rock, soul and jazz spectrum. His latest solo release, Blood From A Stone, is fittingly diverse, featuring ten original compositions that touch all the bases.
Krasno is a highly regarded collaborator, having played with and/or produced for Derek Trucks, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, 50Cent, Aaron Neville and Norah Jones. His own bands —Soulive and Lettuce—are a jazz trio and a multi-piece funk powerhouse. He’s also a familiar face on the jam-band scene, having appeared with the Allman Brothers during their Beacon runs and with Tedeschi Trucks and Phil Lesh and Friends. The only thing Krasno has never been known for is his vocals, but all that has now changed.
Working with long-time writing partner Dave Gutter, the pair composed several highly personal songs that helped Krasno find his voice. “Waiting on Your Love,” the album’s opening track, is Steve Miller on steroids, an accessible tune with a mighty riff and a driving beat. Krasno can hold his own with today’s top guitarists, but Blood from a Stone features tight constructions sans extended soloing. “Torture,” “Jezebel” and “Natalie” all clock in under four minutes each and demonstrate different facets of Krasno’s guitar work and vocals. He cites Hendrix, the Stones and Zeppelin as influences, along with the Dead, Marley and Coltrane. There are threads of all of them here as Krasno shifts among styles, sometimes within the same song.
Co-writer Gutter contributes background vocals on several cuts, and the album, recorded mostly in Maine, features friends who dropped in to add a lick on keyboards or horns. For extra firepower, Derek Trucks joins Krasno on “Curse Lifter,” the album’s only instrumental track. The dual-guitar lines are reminiscent of Elizabeth Reed, highlighting both players’ considerable chops.
Krasno is a fixture on the New York music scene, a Brooklyn hipster before the term took on a tone of irony. Soulive frequently performs at the Brooklyn Bowl for multi-night residencies with unannounced guests that have included Luther Dickinson, Robert Randolph, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo and other top-tier musicians. Krasno will be appearing there on July 7th to celebrate the release of Blood from a Stone. The CD is a solid effort that expands his credentials, but Krasno’s live performances have traditionally been the better showcase for his talents. Be sure to check him out if you get the chance.