My name is Eric Essix. I'm a guitarist born, raised and currently living in Birmingham, Alabama. The music I write, record and perform is heavily influenced by jazz, gospel and blues...music that runs deep in my soul.
I began my journey as a solo recording artist in 1988, with the debut of my album, First Impressions. In July 2018, I will celebrate the release of my 25th record entitled More, marking 30 years of playing and creating music for people around the world.
To celebrate these two career milestones, in addition to releasing More, I am also curating a comprehensive Anthology CD of songs from my recordings over the past three decades. That compilation will also come out this year in August.
After the release of More, I will begin a U.S. tour performing with my full band consisting of:
- Kelvin Wooten - Keys (Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Earth Wind & Fire, Raphaeel Saadiq, Tony Toni Tone, The Isleys)
- Kelley O'Neal - Sax (Brian McKnight, Take 6, Bebe & Cece Winans,The Temptations, Four Tops)
- James "PJ" Spraggins - Drums (Peabo Bryson, Frank McComb, Roy Ayers, Martha Reeves, Randy Owen, Blind Boys Of Alabama)
- Sean Michael Ray - Bass (Maxwell, John Waite, Alex Bugnon, Gerald Albright)
To end both the tour and this landmark year on a high note, I have planned a 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration on my birthday, December 29, 2018, in Birmingham, AL at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. This event takes place at exactly the same hour as my very first concert 30 years ago! The artists joining me that evening will consist of musicians from past ensembles and special guests whose bands I've played in as a sideman.
- Along with my current touring ensemble and bandleaders Tracy Hamlin, Alex Bugnon and Joey Sommerville (more to be announced), I am also reuniting one of my most popular bands from the 90's era, "Modern Man", featuring:
- Matt Rohde (Janes Addiction, Issac Hayes, Hansen, American Idol and The Voice)
- Lil' John Roberts (Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, George Benson)
- Sean Michael Ray (Maxwell, John Waite, Alex Bugnon, Gerald Albright)
- Melvin Butler (The Brian Blade Fellowship, Betty Carter, Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith)
While working as a UPS driver by day and musician by night in 1988, I produced and funded my first album which was later picked up and distributed by Los Angeles jazz label, Nova Records, thereby introducing my music to a national and international audience.
After graduating from Boston's Berklee College Of Music in 1993, my next four self produced records were subsequently picked up by major record labels. With the help of gospel/jazz pioneer, Ben Tankard, two were obtained by Nashille's Provident/Diadem label and two went to legendary Warner Brothers Vice President, Ricky Shultz, who signed me to his new Warner distributed Zebra Records label.
In the midst of constant touring to support these albums, I received a call to be the musical director for jazz saxophone icon, Ronnie Laws in 2002. Weeks later, I was also asked to play in R&B giant, Peabo Bryson's band. As more and more calls came, my career took an unexpected turn for the next seven years as I began to tour and perform with some of my musical heroes as a sideman.
During this time on the road, my vision for what I wanted to do in the music business expanded. In 2004, I launched my Essential Recordings label and on it released 16 albums over the next 14 years. I also realized a dream to bring a world class jazz festival to Birmingham and created The Preserve Jazz Festival in 2007 and later The Jazz Escape in 2014. Both events featured the very best artists in contemporary jazz and attracted thousands of festival goers from cities throughout the U.S.
I've been blessed to wear many hats during my three decades in the entertainment industry. Still, I have to say, nothing is more fulfilling and satisfying than recording and performing my own music for a live audience and I'm more passionate about it than ever before. Everyone on my team and in my band is excited about this new multifaceted project -Two Albums, A Tour and One Epic Concert - celebrating this amazing 30 year journey! We are ready to get to work!
For a complete bio, go to https://ericessix.net/bio
I have funded all my recording projects with earnings from gigs, CD sales, royalties and other traditional revenue streams. But in today's music business landscape, that income has decreased dramatically for most independent artists. When I learned about Kickstarter, it felt like a great way to both connect with my audience and provide an opportunity for folks to invest in the creative process on the front end.
I've already spent quite a bit of my own money so far on this project, but there is still a LOT more work to be done. I hope you will join my team as we work together to get these albums completed and then take the music LIVE to venues in cities across the U.S.!
WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?
ALBUM OVERDUBS, EDITING & MIXING: Grammy nominated producer/keyboardist, Kelvin Wooten, will be mixing the More album, and I will personally curate, produce and edit the Anthology album.
MASTERING: Both albums will be mastered in Nashville, TN at Sage Audio by Steve Corrao.
RADIO PROMOTIONS & PR: There are two really effective ways to get the word out about my music: Radio airplay and a strong, targeted PR campaign. With this being such an important project, it is very important to include both in our efforts to promote the records and tour.
SHIPPING: These costs are associated with shipping CD's to radio stations and media outlets for the promotional campaign.
CD MANUFACTURING: Discmakers is my go to company for CD Manufacturing. I have used them for replication and album layout for nine projects.
TOUR SUPPORT: Assists with Lodging, Air Travel, Vehicle Rental and Backline Rental costs associated with touring specifically in markets outside of the Southeast region.
KICKSTARTER FEES: Kickstarter takes 8-10% in fees.
Whether you have bought my CDs or attended a show in the past or just found out about me through this project, I sincerely hope you will support my very first Kickstarter campaign! You'll be helping me spread good southern vibes and sounds to folks around the world AND you'll receive some pretty cool rewards!
FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS AT:
Risks and challenges
I've learned how to eliminate or minimize risks and challenges effectively with clear obtainable goals and sensible management of financial resources. Since the recordings are mostly completed and the concert logistics are all worked out, there are currently no foreseeable risks for any aspects of this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (38 days)