Eric Madis has been a Northwest staple for nearly three decades and has performed as a solo artist as well in various groups during this time. He can be seen on a regular basis with his group, The Eric Madis Trio and has recently been linked to Little Bill and the Blue Notes. His third solo recording is amply titled Third Step: A spectrum of acoustic blues. However, this disc digs deeper than your average blues album as Madis paints a mosaic of jazz, folk, and blues and creates one of the freshest NW records to come out so far this year.
To call Third Step eclectic would be an understatement. With a blend of original material and thoughtful covers, it seems there is nothing this guitar whiz can't play. With limited accompaniment from Brad Stoll on drums, Rick Leppanen and Jim Fink on bass and Ryan Burns on piano the album has a relaxed mood with plenty of variety. While Eric does an array of blues covers, including Jelly Jelly, I'm Ready, and Help Me, he also tackles some tasty jazz numbers, including Topsy, Summertime and the Ray Charles classic, Georgia On My Mind. Madis creates a delta vibe on the original 'Swimming In the Sound' and then with the snap of the finger, constructs some Chicago jazz on 'Dischord' which features a juicy upright bass solo.
With the release of Third Step, Eric Madis is likely to rival another North West favorite Mark Riley's, Confessions of a Mad Man at the next WBS awards in Seattle for best acoustic recording.
Available at: http://www.soundsofseattle.com/
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