I first met Eric Bolander at a BBQ joint in McMinnville, Tennessee. We’d taken a ride down off the mountain where we lived down there in Appalachia, to go see this triple bill at the upstairs stage of this BBQ joint. We had a pretty kickass BBQ dinner downstairs, a couple of nice Southern IPAs and made our way upstairs. I didn’t actually get to see Bolander on stage, I missed him. But I did get to talking to him. He’s a big bear of a man, covered in tattoos, a kinda terrifying guy, but it turns out he’s mellow, laid back and a good dude. So we talked a bit. He’s a graphic artist as well and so he had designed his own merch, which was so sweet, I had to get a shirt, which I still rock back up North here. He gave me his ep, Postcards to Myself. I also play that a lot still, as I do his follow-up, The Wind.
Turns out I regretted not seeing Bolander on stage. He’s actually from way up in Lexington, KY, though he also grew up in Appalachia, along the Ohio River. He plays Americana, I guess is the best way to explain it. He also has a band he plays with on the side called Alcatraz Shakedown, and they play some more guitar-based Southern rock. He is one fine songwriter and axeman.
‘Magic Moon‘ is his new single, complete with some really far out artwork, courtesy of Jimbo Valentine of Amalgam Unlimited. Musically, ‘Magic Moon’ is more akin to his work with Alcatraz Shakedown than his previous solo work, in at least it’s got more loud guitars running around it, and it’s got more a rock beat.
Bolander’s calling card is both his fine ear for music combined with his lyrical approach, which tends to be grounded in the everyday, in real life. And in this case, the subject is that guy we know with his head in the clouds, a little befuddled with the world around him. I have listened to this track five times in a row right now, and I’m impressed with the depth of the musicality of the track. Built up around a basic guitar riff with drums and bass, the guitars kind of flitter between the main riff and then a bit of flanger, before this big, Southern lead takes up and rides over the beat. But there’s also all the bits of the bass and guitar that kind of stand out, including the run on the cymbals.
This is one fine rock’n’roll track, and it means that Bolander is back in the studio, he’s got another single ready to drop next month and he’s at work on a long-player for the spring of 2021. And the lead photo for this article is copyright Alexis Faye.