The Eric Street Band Biography
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HOW IT STARTED...
Re-writing the blues songbook!
The original Eric Street Band was formed by me, Dennis Siggery, with Neil Sadler, my songwriting partner, guitar player and producer. I'd been singing in blues bands for years, doing the circuit, playing the blues classics. Great songs, yes, but so many bands are out there doing the same numbers...
We decided, in the blues tradition, to try and put our own stories to songs, and we have now made over eight albums worth of original songs about life as we see it, living here in the UK.
We've had great reviews for both the live shows and the CDs. Our album Company Man was voted album of the year by 'Blues In Britain' magazine. And our music has been played all over the world...
The Eric Street Band are without a doubt one of the finest Blues / Rock bands to come along in a very long time.
You listen to one of their CDs and you will be hooked by the pure honesty of this marvellous blues band... you won't be disappointed
Coast to Coast FM
I met Neil when my old band, The Southside Blues Band, went into No Machine Studios to record some demos. I asked Neil if he would help me produce a song as a tribute to a man who had helped the band.
The association didn't stop at one song and with three albums under my belt and spending most of my time in the studio, I thought it best to disband The Southside Blues Band.
With similar musical tastes, me and Neil decided to get some like-minded musicians together to play some of ourfavourite blues songs. We decided to get some gigs and as an experiment record one of them just to see what it sounded like. It turned out so well that we decided to release the live album of the material - the Eric Street Band was born!
Here's my story...
I became interested in music at very early age. At just sixteen I joined a band called "The Five Diamonds" as lead vocalist and we played a number of local gigs and youth clubs. I stayed with the band for a few years before taking up a career as a DJ in an R&B club playing Blues and Soul music.
Then I did what most of us do, got married, got a "proper" job and let music take a back seat. But by 1996 I had the urge to sing again, and with the help of a few friends I formed "The Acoustic Blues Band". We played bars and clubs and recorded one album, "Our Kind of Blues" - half covers, half originals.
I got hooked on recording and decided to try a solo album - and ended up making seven! The albums turned out to be basically Rock music, all except the last one "Back to Blue" which began to hint at a future direction.
In 1999 "The Acoustic Blues Band" became "The Southside Blues Band". This band were together in various line-ups for nearly a decade playing pubs, clubs and festivals, but only recorded two albums.
Then the guy that gave the Southside Band its first big break died suddenly, and I wanted to pay him my respects by writing a song about his life. I went into No Machine Studios to record one song and with the help of producer, Neil Sadler, came out later with three albums! The two of us decided to get some musicians together and form a band.
So was formed The Eric Street Band. The band played a couple of local gigs, one of which was recorded live and an album was made - "Eric Street Band - LIVE". Following the success of this, we were asked to support The Animals at The Wallingford Blues Festival in 2009.
The band then hit prolific form, recording three studio albums in two years, "The Route to The Blues" (acclaimed by Blues Matters magazine as " mature, polished and well produced."), then "The Journey" (Blues in Britain said,"The Journey is a masterpiece of punchy, tobacco stained blues rock."), then "The Drifter."
"Company Man" followed that. This was a concept album based on my life. I worked for a company for 17 years, took them and myself to the top, but then my sell-by date was up and it was time to go. I lost not only my job, but also my marriage that had lasted 32 years. The album came out of this troubled time, but was voted by Blues in Britain as best album of the year!
The next album, 'V', was never planned. It evolved when a new lady moved into the flat above. We became friends and then lovers. The album was based on Allison's life and our time together - my first love album probably my last!
"Shades of Blue" - this album took over a year to record. We wrote 15 songs, but only used 10 on the album, with one cover, "Stormy Monday Blues", done as tribute to one of my all-time favourite singers, Bobby 'Blue' Bland, who had passed away recently. Another track, "Tierra Madre", was written about a horse sanctuary in the USA, and there was also a song about my experience of the BBC reality show, The Voice. I had to go on the show to enable me write this. Never again, I hate these Reality shows!
"The Blues Collection Volume 1" came about in 2014 when "Stormy Monday Blues" off the last album went to number one in the USA ReverbNation chart. We decided to do our very first cover album, picking some all-time classic blues tracks. We also included the song 'Hey Big Guy", written by myself as tribute to Sailor john who passed away. John started the Wallingford blues festival, where he gave my band its first big break.
"The Blues Collection Volume 2" came out around the middle of March 2015, and the final album with Neil, "Across The Board", was released early this year, 2016.
The new album "Purple Passage" marks a new chapter, with the new band...
Gordon Vaughan: guitar
Gordon has been a long-time member of Reading band, Jive Alive – now the house-band for the legendary Twyford Blues Sessions, where he has played with many top British blues names including ex-members of The Yardbirds, Savoy Brown and Jethro Tull.
He was also lead guitarist with The King Earl Boogie Band, along with ex-members of Mungo Jerry and Status Quo. He continues to play with Jive Alive, The Keith Allen Band and now the Eric Street Band.
Henry Smithson: bass
Henry's been supplying the low-note groove in Reading since the late 70's into the 80's, when he played with new wave power-poppers, The Romantix, Swindon's 90Six Tears, and local songwriting legend Terry Clarke.
More recently he did the function band thing with Short People and All Wrapped Up, and the big soul band thing with 99lbs.
He currently plays retro funk with The Fever 45s, tango-influenced acoustic rock with Jackie Doe's Uncertainty of Passion, soul & r&b with Rufus Ruffcut, and acid-jazz-funk instrumentals with Basingstoke's Fusion 6.
"Playing with Dennis and the Eric Street Band is real fun for me. We're solid, dynamic and tasteful behind Dennis's unique vocals, but we can also stretch out and be inventive in the solos. It's a band that really goes for it!"
Adam J Perry: drums
Adam started playing drums at primary school, having been encouraged by a teacher there called Bob Christopher and inspired by watching drummers on 'Top of The Pops' during the 1970's. Before long he was gigging and recording with bands locally. Being the era of New Wave and Punk, it was a great time to start. He was playing gigs in London by the age of 17.
During the 1980's he started gigging and recording with his own groups writing his own songs and music. This led to him joining a UK based band called Asylum. They wrote and recorded 3 albums and went on to tour and record across the UK, Europe and USA. He also worked with the legendary UK rock group New Model Army.
Next he recorded an album and gigged with indie/folk singer/songwriter John Forrester and started playing Soul and Funk with Henry in Short People and 99lbs. He then worked with indie singer/songwriter Mike Halliwell on his debut album.
Adam now teaches drums, both privately in his own studio, and at schools on the Reading area. He's also still out there gigging, recently with The Mick Ralphs Blues Band (featuring Mick Ralphs, legendary guitarist, songwriter and founder member of Mott The Hoople and Bad Company), Jack Cade and the Everyday Sinners, The Kickback and now the Eric Street Band.
Neil Sadler: co-writer, musician and producer of the original ESB
Music tastes: Blues-Jazz-RB-Rock
Favourite singers: Dusty Springfield, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding
artist: Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy
artist: Miles Davies, John Coltrane
Favourite Albums: Led Zep 1, Abraxas, Wish You Were Here
bands: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd
Favourite Food: Indian
Favourite wine: Anything considered
Favourite woman: Nice ones
Favourite film: Bladerunner
Favourite hobby: Playing my guitar, Watching Football
Favourite likes: Music, Playing Live
Favourite hates: Big ego, no talent
Started playing the guitar
at fourteen, first band - Captain Galapagos and Sea Lizard.
Other Bands - Nightporter,
Silva, Skeeta , Hazzard.
Some early success with a band
called The Moonwalkers.
Signed to CBS records in the
early eighties with a band called Sleeping Lions.
Founder member of The UK Blues
Project in 1987, recorded "Saved by the Blues" and "No
Started my own recording studio
in 1994 No Machine Studios.
Been recording ever since then.
Jammed with Ian Anderson from
Worked with The Larry Miller
Band, recorded his last six albums and play Bass guitar on a few gigs.
Works with Christina Al-Wakil
in a specialist Blues/Jazz duo featuring classical guitar and trumpet.
Also work with UK band Blue Touch,
gigging around the country, recorded two albums "Bump"
Recorded Dennis Siggery's last
six albums, and formed The Eric Street Band with him.
Co-wrote, recorded, co-produced and played on all the Eric Street albums right up to "Across The Board", released earlier this year.
Recorded the latest Eric Street Band album "Purple Passage" with the new line-up, and co-produced with the band.