Hearing Aide: Eric Krasno “Blood From a Stone”

cover-artEric Krasno’s debut solo album Blood From a Stone references an original composition, as well as the effort he put into singing on an album for the first time; indeed for him the experience was like drawing blood from a stone. Taking the album as a whole, the soul infused into the rock throughout the album (featuring Derek Trucks, the London Souls and more) creates a binding production, a step in a slightly different direction that will be welcomed by Krasno’s fans throughout this more than two-decade career.

Fans will find a rock and soul project, rather than the jazz and funk instrumental feel of Krasno’s Chapter 2. “This is more of a lyrical and songwriting album with elements of improv and funk in there. This was more about presenting the songs and letting them take life from there,” said Krasno.

The two-time Grammy winning Krasno shared that the album finds its influences in the era of Stax Records, with elements of Hendrix, psychedelic rock and the Grateful Dead, lyrically speaking. “I have very eclectic tastes from hip hop to Neil Young, and I pulled from many influences but made it a cohesive project — that was the toughest thing after wanting to go in so many different directions,” he said.

In recent years, Krasno has seen a shift to the studio, producing albums for Allen Stone, Tedeschi Trucks and Aaron Neville, and started a record label, Feel Music Group. Reflecting on working with such legends, Krasno said, “Neville was a dream come true to produce for one of my favorite singers.” He has gotten a healthy amount of attention from the New York Times, which has helped to spread the word and brings new fans into the fold. Bowlive, an eight-night event that aims for a Spring 2017 return to Brooklyn Bowl, “helps the whole family grow — from Lettuce to Soulive, to Bowlive and the new record label.”

Blood From a Stone shows a soul stirring and haunting “Jezebel,” an “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” influenced “Curse Lifter” featuring Derek Trucks, and “Wicked this Way,” a full bodied mellow funk number, featuring Alicia Chakour on vocals. The album’s longest track, “Please Ya,” is deeply bluesy, pain creeping from the words over the longing from a sad tempo. The flow to the album along with variety in the tracks makes it a passive or active listen — sit back or dive in, no matter what you’re easily hooked.

The Eric Krasno live band will feature Danny Mayer (Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan), Mary Corso (Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan), Eric Kalb (the Dap Kings), Alex Chakour (Charles Bradley), and DeShawn Alexander (a Berkelee student whom Krasno met when he taught a Master Class recently) which was brought together after the studio album was complete. While the London Souls are featured on the album and Nigel Hall, too, Krasno set out to create a band that could tour in support of the album. Krasno went with musicians he’d worked with, whom he felt would rep the album well. Check out Eric Krasno Band tour dates and catch this new soul rock group as they draw blood from a stone.

Key Tracks: Waiting on Your Love, Jezebel, Unconditional Love, Curse Lifter