Eric Skye

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Pacific Northwest acoustic guitarist Eric Skye occupies a unique niche. Most often billed as jazz guitarist, Skye actually plays in an
eclectic and original style, with a range of influences from bluegrass, to blues, to vintage funk, even a little classical guitar... all threaded
together with a healthy respect for the groove.Eric Skye

Skye has been featured in magazines such as Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Jazziz, Jazz Improv, 20th Century Guitar, and others. His music has been on National Public Radio and Public Radio International. He has performed and been interviewed on many live radio broadcasts in the United States and Europe, and has written and recorded music for public television. His newest release (July 2012), A Different Kind Of Blue, is a solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar re-imagining of the landmark 1959 Miles Davis recording Kind Of Blue. His previous release (Oct 2010) Slow Moving Dog, combines the sound of his little 00 size acoustic guitar with drums by Bruce Robertson and the upright bassist of Brian Casey.

Slow Moving Dog features ten original tunes, all recorded live, that might be described as somewhere between Grant Green and the David Grisman Quintet. Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Skye taught himself to play when he was seven years old. At the end of 1970s, his family relocated to the Bay Area and Skye started taking classical guitar lessons. “I wanted to learn rock tunes as well, which my father wouldn’t pay for, so in seventh grade I earned money to pay for extra lessons cleaning fish tanks in local dental offices. My teacher showed
me tunes by Cream, The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, etc, but he also turned me onto jazz guys like Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, and Tal
Farlow –and that kind of took over. In addition to jazz and blues, I was very into the contemporary acoustic fingerstyle guys like Michael
Hedges, William Ackerman, and in particular, Alex De Grassi. I still played some electric guitar in high school and college, but increasingly, it was all about my acoustic guitar.” By the 90s, living in San Francisco, Skye performed in his own blues band, played jazz gigs, and started a seven-piece vintage groove jazz group. In 2000, when Skye just by chance heard flat-picking great, David Grier on the trio record with Matt Flinner and Todd Phillips, and the last piece of his musical style came together. “I had a vague awareness of bluegrass, Tony Rice, David Grisman, and others. But now all of sudden I got it. I completely dedicated myself to steelstring guitar, and to incorporating the tone and technique of these flatpickers into everything I did. I spent a lot of time working out fiddle tunes, trying to master the very strict rhythmic picking they use, but what I didn’t see coming was just how much I would fall in love with that music. My technique, tone, and timing all came together from that.” In 2001 Skye moved to Portland, Oregon and in 2002, recorded his first CD Acoustic Jazz Guitar Solos. “That record was picked up by a pretty good distributor and did very well in the United States,” says Skye. In 2005 he followed with For Lulu, another collection of solo jazz guitar tunes, but this time including a few original tunes. “I was really excited when most of the positive feedback I got was about my original tunes.”

Currently, Skye’s main focus is recording and touring as a solo acoustic fingerstyle guitarist, but occasionally he performs in two
different versions of the Eric Skye Trio. The first trio features master drummer Carlton Jackson, the second features virtuoso mandolinist
Tim Connell.

 
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