Hey Soulsters! I just had to talk about Eric Roberson’s show at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA last week. He had two shows there on Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd. I attended Saturday’s show after not seeing him perform for a couple of years.
Now, let me start this post with a little background about my discovery of Eric Roberson’s music and how my fandom got started. Once again, driving around on a lonely Saturday night in Atlanta in 2003, I came across Eric’s “Change for Me” track playing on our local Jazz radio station, 91.9 WCLK-FM. They were doing a House mix that night and me being the House fan that I am and a New York/New Jersey native, I turned that *hit up! I was still new to town at that time and didn’t think I would EVER hear House music on the radio again while living here. To my delight, some soulful House was playing on this station and Eric’s smooth vocals on top of this driving beat just hit me as I cruised down the busy Atlanta highway. After hearing that song and waiting for the DJ to come back on the air to say who the artist was, I was on a mission. I searched everywhere for that track. I looked high and low without success for a few days after that. I guess my internet searching skills were not up to par because I couldn’t find anything on this song or the artist. Then finally out of the blue, I found an obscure reference on the internet that led you to his website where he sold his music. There was also a forum in place where fans could interact with Eric and each other about their love for his music. They also were chatting about their love for other music as well as grown folk’s issues and topics. I was so happy I found him and I have been a fan ever since. His accessibility to his fans as well as his music has reached hundreds of thousands of people over the years. He is an independent artist in every sense of the word. He writes, produces, performs and promotes his own music on his own label, Blue Erro Soul and tirelessly tours here in the states and internationally. He has been recognized by the Grammys in 2010 and 2011 for his work and has independently sold over 80,000 copies of his 7 albums.
So, with that said, let’s get back to his concert last week. What a pleasure it was to be reacquainted Mr. Roberson. How symbolic was it that he actually opened the show with the song that introduced me to him way back then, “Change for Me”! It was an energetic intro and when he walked on that stage, he had me and everyone else in the audience on their feet. It gave me chills! In his show, I was pleasantly surprised that he covered a lot of music that I had not seen him perform before. I was used to the usual tracks from him from “The Vault Vol. 1” and “The Vault Vol. 1.5” releases, so I expected to hear those again. However, he did a lot of his obscure songs from “Left”, “Music Fan First”, and of course his most recent album, “Mr. Nice Guy”. Don’t worry, he didn’t leave the Vault songs out, but provided a medley of them for our nostalgic pleasure. His band played every one of his songs majestically as they were a perfect complement to Eric’s smooth vocals. I also really enjoyed how the vocal arrangements were performed between Eric and his background singer. His background singer complemented his sound very well and also served as an announcer for Eric earlier in the evening and helped with some of the show’s lighter and fun moments. Eric is known for showcasing his songwriting skills by asking the audience to provide words to create a “song on the spot”. This time it was “Booty Meat” and I couldn’t figure out how something so hilarious could still be so soulful. He had your head nodding and you were there jamming like it was a real song. Only Eric could pull this off! One of the many highlights of the night and he does it effortlessly every time. Vocally, he sounded better than I have ever heard him and it was a pleasure to see him again after a couple of years!
I have all of his music, so I highly recommend you check him out live and of course go and get his CDs – all of them! You won’t be able to stop listening to this brother’s music from beginning to end! Right now you can find him on iTunes, his website (see below), and your local independent record store. If you have never heard of Eric Roberson, this is the perfect opportunity to discover him.
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Eric Roberson performing “Picture Perfect”:
His latest CD: