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Blood from a Stone

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Album Review

The only vocal on Eric Krasno's 2010 solo debut album Reminisce was from Nigel Hall on a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression." Blood from a Stone offers the opposite — nine of the ten tracks feature the guitarist and producer on lead vocals. With longtime writing partner Dave Gutter, Krasno penned these songs to pay intimate tribute to the many classic rock and R&B sounds that influenced him before he became a new-breed jazz-funk icon with Soulive and Lettuce, and a producer equally adept at realizing rock, hip-hop, and R&B for a wide array of artists. Recorded in Portland, Maine and mixed in Brooklyn, Krasno and friends dig deep for inspiration. On the opening track and first single, "Waiting on Your Love," Krasno does everything but play organ. It's a funky, big-beat rock track whose hook and melody derive from vintage Steve Miller. The production is a hell of a lot dirtier, though — as evidenced by a Moog bassline — and contains far funkier breaks. The breezy, bluesy soul in "Jezebel" is offset by a hazy psychedelic production that distracts from its fine hook. "Unconditional Love" is pure California psych-pop with bubbling saxophones, bright guitars, cascading strings, and an Augie Myers-esque organ. "Please Ya" may be the set's longest cut, but it's also the dullest. A soul ballad in waltz time, it attempts to combine Doc Pomus with Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, but Krasno's thin, reedy voice can't compete with the richness of his fine backing singers or his string arrangements. Derek Trucks guests on "Curse Lifter," the set's lone instrumental. Interestingly, its twinned leads, swelling organs, and rolling drum kit intentionally recall the jazzed-up blues groove of the Allman Brothers Band's "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed." It smokes. "Natalie" is a funky rocker, all strut and swagger with a mean clavinet and keyboard bass played by Neal Evans. It lies right on the seam where Funkadelic meets Hendrix. "When the Day Comes" is another souled-out ballad, but this one works beautifully. Jeremy Most's gospel organ and his and Mary Corso's rich but soothing backing vocals (à la Delaney & Bonnie) challenge Krasno's singing to greater depths. His vocal sounds natural, expressive, and true in what amounts to an exceptionally well-written song. His guitar playing punctuates every line in it, and he wrings a ton of emotion from the melody and bridge. Blood from a Stone is, to be sure, another retro "new classicist" date. Its biggest weakness is the very thing Krasno sought to showcase: his singing. It's far from substandard, but it remains too indistinct in this overly warm, raw mix. That said, there is enough here — solid songs, great playing, and an abundance of inspiration — to warrant more than casual interest from fans.

Customer Reviews

Musical cravings

While stumbling through The Walking Dead stylings of modern music I stumbled onto this Gem. Thanks Eric for helping to feed my soul again.

much love from S. Korea.

krasno rocked it again..

Biography

Born: 1977

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Eric "Kraz" Krasno is a New York-based Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter, recording artist, and producer best known for his work with Soulive and Lettuce, both of which he co-founded. His own musical roots lie in funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and he has written songs and produced records for a variety of artists in a range of genres including Norah Jones, Aaron Neville, Talib Kweli, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ledisi, 50 Cent, and Matisyahu. Krasno was raised in the suburbs of New York City, and in...
Full Bio
Blood from a Stone, Eric Krasno
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul
  • Released: Jul 08, 2016

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