Eric Heideman – Out of Time
CD: 10 Songs, 53 Minutes
Styles: Guitar Monster Blues, Acid Rock, All Original Songs
It’s hard to pin Eric Heideman’s brand of blues down. Yours truly categorizes it as one part Jimi Hendrix, one part the Dave Matthews Band, one part Chris Isaak, and all original. “Eclectic” and “unique” are the two best descriptors for the ten original tracks on his sophomore album, Out of Time. He’s definitely a skilled guitar player, employing unusual meters and rhythms to spice up fundamental grooves. On vocals, his nonchalant approach is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain as well as his other influences, including Ronnie Earl, Danielle Nicole, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Jonny Lang. Although this album leans so far to the rock side of blues rock that it nearly falls off the edge, there are several tracks worth more than one listen. Need more evidence? His fans say he has “an old soul and a stage presence perfect for the blues.”
Eric hails from Salt Lake City, currently studies at the University of Utah, and teaches guitar at the On Track Music Guitar School. He has a real passion for social justice issues as well as music. Case in point? On “Outrun the Fire,” track ten on this CD, he reveals this on his webpage: “I feel like as a country we could be in a better place when it comes to racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. We all need to band together if something is to change in this world. No, I am not an African-American, and I will never experience what it is like to be racially profiled, but to actually experience change, we need to stand up with anyone who is oppressed and stand against racism and bigotry.”
Performing alongside Heideman (lead vocals and guitar) are Sam Schultz on bass, Emily Smiley on background vocals and drums, Tyler Webb on trumpet, Zane Peterson on alto saxophone, and Cameron Gallagher on tenor sax.
The title track is one heck of an “experience,” a la Hendrix and other acid rockers. It begins with a monotone crescendo that allows drummer Emily Smiley to strut her stuff, then launches into a kaleidoscopic blend of horns, guitar, and free-verse rhythm. “Wild Ride” boasts a funky bassline by Sam Schultz, as well as a mid-tempo beat and alternative-rock atmosphere that would make Green Day proud. “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” is real-deal blues, a slow burner with lovely licks. For a spin around the dance floor, check out “Feel So Good,” a spicy horn showcase with a slightly Latin cadence. Further down the line comes number eight, “Last Thing I Do,” in which Heideman channels Jeff Healey to near-perfection. His lyrics are also the clearest here. “So when I hold you, it’ll be the last thing I do,” Eric promises his partner with soulful aplomb.
Out of Time may be difficult to classify, but Heideman knows his stuff on electric shredder!