Eric Sommer and The Fabulous Piedmonts are a roots rock powder keg wrapped around a burrowing bass clef. Huh? Yeah, one that’s headin’ down to 96 octaves below absolute zero. It hit Miami, turned around on a dime, and came back on a red eye.
The Fabulous Piedmonts are a unique musical force. Ok, everybody says that, but this is one amazing combination of influences. So much so, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher just trying to describe it… but here goes:
It’s like being on a bus driven by Amy Winehouse, with Ray Charles as the Tour Director. Ron Carter and Jacko Pastorius are hanging out the back window smoking cigarettes & Stevie Ray Vaughan is the bartender. David Bromberg and Steve Howe as Tour Managers with Johnny Cash and Dwight Yokum loading baggage and William Shakespeare taking Tickets while acting as Road Poet and Scribe…
See what I mean? It’s hard to put this into words that make any sense. But the bottom line is this: gotta hear them live!
More than the Sum of it’s Parts
It’s a high-octane mix of rock-steady percussion supplied by Amanda Sycamore, mixed with the bottom-driven bass gymnastics of Jimmy Hauer and the guitar-laced lines of lead singer and songwriter Eric Sommer.
Amanda can’t remember a time when she wasn’t playing music. She is the newest addition to The Fabulous Piedmonts, while Bryant takes some time off. She holds both a BA and an MA in Percussion Performance, and has an impressive string of credits, performing with Drum Corps International, Busch Gardens Entertainment and an amazingly diverse list of touring acts like The Irish Tenors, Paul Anka and Kenny G.
When not punching above her weight as the rocking’ groove engine of The Fabulous Piedmonts, she is the Principle Percussionist for the Salisbury Symphony!
The Fabulous Piedmonts have a few extended acoustic landscapes that feature bass lines wrapped around acoustic stylings in an open-tuning setting… using lap-slap. slide guitar and on-the-fly variations… breathtaking!
But this simple collection of words is nothing like seeing this show live.
… when the rhythm section kicks in a few bars later, if you are not up and moving around or swinging from the stage lights, check your pulse. You might be dead…or in a state of transitory deprivation while you travel from this world through a sound portal on the nights Plutonian shore…
Right off the bat, the slide guitar that opens “Red Dress” will grab you in mid-sentence, and when the rhythm section kicks in a few bars later, if you are not up and moving around or swinging from the stage lights, check your pulse. You might be comatose…
A Little Gem in Hillsborough
The band has had a residency in Hillsboro, NC at The Hot Tin Roof which has been extended into January 2023. There is usually a local singer or solo artist in front of the show at 7pm and then things start rocking at 8pm or so.
As the engine keeps revving up, The Piedmonts’ musical wall of sound starts to hit you like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist: a combination of punk, power pop, Motown ballads, Muscle Shoals and blues-based Charlie Musslewhite-type grooves that pick you up, bounce you across the room, put you up on the ceiling and then ease you down slowly while you try to pick your jaw back up.
Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Go see for yourself!
The Piedmonts are:
Jimmy “Four Fingers” Hauer • Bass, Double Bass, Vocals
Amanda Sycamore: Percussion, Artifacts, Vocals
Eric Sommer: Electric Guitars (Telecaster, Stratocaster), Acoustic Guitars, Harmonica,
Wait, what? You’re still here? GO!