· CRAIG ERICKSON - SKY TRAIN GALAXY (GYR138) ·
::T R A C K S::
01. THE COMEBACK
FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 Panel CD Wallet
Excellent new studio disc by this awesome, gifted blues/rock axeslinger from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Featuring 11 tracks of top-shelf, dynamic, soul-powered, blues-based, retro-70s guitar rock mojo of world class proportions. An outstanding guitar rocker that is full of depth, soul and blues power.
Craig Erickson is a true, authentic "old-school" guitar hero who's incredible six string playing skills far surpass and outshine the norm. An accomplished, seasoned, diverse six string veteran of the highest order who speaks volumes with his signature moves on the instrument. Brother Erickson's superb guitar playing talents defy gravity and hit new levels of excellence on the incredible "Sky Train Galaxy" disc. And, as an added bonus, Craig Erickson digs in deep and pays musical tribute/homage to Tommy Bolin on an awesome version of "Gettin' Tighter" from the classic Deep Purple "Come Taste The Band" album.
The Craig Erickson "Sky Train Galaxy" disc (his 6th CD for Grooveyard Records) is an Essential blues/rock heavy guitar musical document that is Highly Recommended to fans of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, S.R.V., Frank Marino, Tommy Bolin, Leslie West, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons & ZZ Top, Warren Haynes & Gov't Mule, Joe Bonamassa, Doyle Bramhall II, Indigenous with Mato Nanji, Gary Moore, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Chris Duarte, Jeff Healey, Alan Mirikitani & The Buddaheads, Tony Spinner, Bryce Janey, Dirty Dave Osti, Brett Ellis, Mike Onesko & Blindside Blues Band, Martin J. Andersen & Blindstone, Gugun Power Trio, Guitar Pete, Clas Yngstrom & Sky High, Plankton and all other outstanding guitar rockers worldwide. And fans of Craig Erickson's previous vast & prolific musical output will heavily dig this amazing, killer new disc. Climb aboard and prepare to rock the blues with six string train conductor, Craig Erickson, as we take an incredible, deep musical journey to the Outskirts of Infinity and beyond on the remarkable "Sky Train Galaxy" disc.
MP3 Sample Clips
01. THE COMEBACK
PHYSICAL GROOVEYARD DISCS RULE IN THE GUITAR ROCK WORLD.
WE TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE AS "OLD SCHOOL" MUSIC COLLECTORS
WITH THE PHYSICAL DISCS THAT WE PRODUCE AND RELEASE.
SCORE YOUR COPY @ THE "ADD TO CART" BUTTON ABOVE.
FOR OUR GOOD CUSTOMERS WORLDWIDE WHO PREFER DIGITAL DOWNLOADS,
THIS KILLER GROOVEYARD DISC IS AVAILABLE AS AN MP3 DOWNLOAD
THROUGH THE FOLLOWING EXCELLENT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD PARTNERS.
· BUY MP3 DOWNLOADS FROM OUR DIGITAL PARTNERS ·
· RECOMMENDED GROOVEYARD DISCS ·
MOUNTAIN OF POWER
· reviews ·
I discovered Craig Erickson already back in 1992 when I bought his album Roudhouse Stomp!. I loved his cool vocals and fierce guitar playing from day one, and it hasn’t changed. He’s one of those guys that never ceases to deliver high quality stuff. Well, opener The Comeback just proved he’s done it again. An awesome, stonking, punchy rocker with balls the size of a wrecking ball. But, what really blew my mind was his phenomenal cover of Deep Purple’s Getting Tighter/Ode To T (yes, T, not G), which is just plain classic. The times when I think a cover actually is better than the original is as rare as an ice cream man on Antarctica, but Craig actually does. It’s without doubt one of my favourite tracks of 2015! In Time (Never Enough) Craig delivers fill after fill and solo after solo with his highly recognizable slinky and bluesy style. Illusions of the World gives me vibes of another favourite artist of mine, namely Robin Trower. Craig has the same cool soulful style and same tasteful way to fit in cool guitar licks around the vocals with out one clashing with the other. Oustanding! I may be partial since Grooveyard is releasing some of my stuff as well, but I must say that this label really picks some outstanding artists and releases some top quality albums! Craig Erickson, Jay Jesse Johnson, Brett Ellis, Martin J Andersen, Johnny Hunkins etc etc. The list is as long as Billy Gibbons’ beard. This is no standard blues rock album. You’ll find a variety of styles and sounds hidden in the mix and it really makes for an album you come back to over and over and never get tired of.
Janne Stark / Stark Music Reviews (January 2016)
Guitarist Craig Erickson continues to impress with his latest outing Sky Train Galaxy. Since first coming into the spotlight with an impressive solo debut Roadhouse Stomp! (1992), the midwest native has expanded his stylistic repertoire to not only include blues, rock and jazz but funk, fusion and reggae. Sky Train Galaxy is more of a psychedelic affaire with a vibrant mixture of ‘70s blues rock. Erickson’s triple-threat talent is fully on display with an overload of guitar, bass and vocals, which keeps the disc’s 11 tracks tight and energetic. “The Comeback” is the perfect opener as a barrel-load of roadhouse blues comes pouring out of the speakers. Erickson’s bottleneck slide and soulful voice echoes years of experience retold in the lyrics with passionate conviction. The heavy chug of the rhythm gives the song just enough menace to keep it dangerous while the solo shards fly in with razor-sharp precision. The album’s title track “Sky Train” has a similar vibe with an injection of the devil’s riffing over a monstrous bass thump and pounding drum. The layered backing vocals give the track an added dose of outlaw character.
Personal favorite, “Mojo in Memphis” is quoted in the album’s liner notes, yet it’s the intoxicating groove that captures full attention. Though rooted in the blues, the swagger of the track is undeniable, dripping with bump-and-grind sensuality played over a sizzling hot lick. The same rise in temperature heats up the hip-shakin’ “Boogie for Love” and the R&B-tinged “Mercy”. Erickson struts his classic rock roots paying homage to Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band in “Getting’ Tighter/Ode to T”. His reverence for Tommy Bolin is messaged into every note while his vocal inflections and bass line stay true to Glen Hughes. The catchy hook in “Blinded by Love” gives the track an easy path to FM radio while “Illusions of the World” and “Time (Never Enough)” use their mid-tempo edge to showcase Erickson’s SRV/Hendrix chops. Bringing the record to a close, the beauty of “Morning Glory” is found in its laidback and emotional approach to intricately crafted scale runs. Incredible playing and the strength of the compositions make Sky Train Galaxy one of this year’s best!
Todd K. Smith - The Electric Beard (November 2015)
Once again, the great Craig Erickson delivers a modern guitar masterwork in “Sky Train Galaxy”. Infused with a finely tuned and highly focused blues/rock mojo, this veteran session ace and prolific solo artist possesses a confidence & control that is purveyed with an ease, smoothness and “swing” that can only come from experience. This unique skillset translates into a powerful musical document which succeeds in harmoniously unifying the far ends of the songsmithing spectrum…macro big picture cohesion and microzone tone sculpting…and thus everything in between. This clarity of perspective and vision is truly a rare gift, and Craig is one of those singular artists that possesses it. The resultant listening experience is one of refined power, balance and unity that is at once refreshing and exhilarating.
The tracks contained herein are all firmly rooted in “da blooze” and all feature stylized interpretations conjured by a true master and spiced up everywhere with the “tone of the gods”. “The Comeback” features a swampy groove with a killer rapid fire jaw-dropper of a riff in the middle and a blown wah solo that slow burns the whole damn way through. The Hendrixian “Blinded By Love” is awesome in its future retro feel and tones. Craig channels Deep Purple-era Tommy Bolin on the mashup “Getting’ Tighter/Ode To T” - a reverent and smoking tip of the hat to the late great axemaster that ends floating around in a psychedelic, echo-drenched spacetime funhouse. Tremendous.
I could continue with a “blow by blow” assessment of each track, but in a certain sense that would be missing the REAL point here, which is this: on each and every one of these tunes (“Illusions Of The World” is a particularly strong example), one can’t help but realize that Craig has actually lived the life his incisive lyrics portray, unflinchingly revealing a well-fought and hard-earned maturity that only a life truly lived can bestow. Pouring out his soul with a raw, unvarnished purity, he surrenders himself to the muse and lets his reflections of a world in change and decline flow on through. Every emotion is served from the heart straight up…no chaser. He says what he means and means what he says, and this - combined with his mastery of the fretboard and the inside part and the sounds he sculpts - reveals not only an amazing guitarist and songwriter, but a deeply spiritual and intuitive storyteller as well. The result is an emotionally devastating musical and lyrical document that must be experienced “one on one” to be truly appreciated.
So…if you want airbrushed “flavor of the month” poster children playing with amplified high-tech toys, repetitively recycling the same formulaic progressions, shallow singalongs and sterilized production devoid of any semblance of genuine human emotion, you’re in the wrong place. You won’t find anything remotely like that here. “Sky Train Galaxy” contains adult themes…and is for discerning adults only.
Jimmy Ryan - Truth Squad / Flyin' Ryan Brothers / Guitar Rock Afficionado (November 2015)
Seldom has a record label been more aptly named. For if one word describes the latest release from Grooveyard Records: Sky Train Galaxy by howlin' guitarist Craig Erickson, it is indeed gurooooooove.
A guitarist steeped in the tradition of Hendrix, Trower, Stevie Ray and Tommy Bolin, Erickson again and again stamps his bluesy authority all over a record that drips with class from start to finish. Rather than, as so many modern day guitarists seem to feel the need to, shout of his virtuosity from the rooftops, with his Sky Train Galaxy, Erickson is keen to simply seduce you into his way of thinking, before thoroughly drenching you in some of the most sumptuous guitar licks to be wrung from a fret board. However, while the ethos may be one which is thoroughly familiar, it's the manner in which this uber-talented guitarist somehow manages to keep his ideas sounding first day fresh and far from the tried and trusted, that makes it the joy it is. The likes of the meandering beauty of "Illusions Of The World" is utterly captivating, while the bounce and grind of "Mercy" is as infectiously catchy as a dose of the pox. The latter also features magnificent backing vocals from Alicia Strong, this lady proving a real force to be reckoned with alongside the smokey, authentic vocals of Erickson himself. And as if all of that wasn't enough, there's a ZZ Top groove (there's that word again!) to die for in the shape of "Boogie For Love", the deep seated gyrations enough to wake the dead from their slumbers and cajole them into shaking their bones one last time.
Unlike many albums in this vein, there's only one cover on show and even that's not a 'safe standard' cut. Erickson instead using a variety of approaches to breathe new emphasis into the underrated Come Taste The Band, Deep Purple cut "Gettin' Tighter". Which also adds in "Ode To T", which takes the "Owed To G" theme from the same album and dedicates it to the one and only Tommy Bolin, who was of course Purple's guitarist at the time.
If hard hitting, but never overtly masculine blues is something that turns your head, then there's no denying that this excellent album, where subtlety and atmosphere are far more potent powers than bold brashness could ever hope to be, is where you should look. Here comes Craig Erickson, here comes Sky Train Galaxy, here comes pure blues rock. What more could you want?
Steven Reid - Sea Of Tranquility (September 2015)
I must admit to not being familiar with the work of Craig Erickson, although I did remember his name from the “L.A. Blues Authority Volume II” album, recorded by Glenn Hughes. Given that, I wasn’t surprised to discover that this is a blues rock album. But I was surprised at just how good it is.
He’s got a lengthy solo discography, and if this is anything to go by, it’s one that needs to be checked out. He’s basically dealing in seventies styled blues rock, the kind of thing Robin Trower used to do back in the day, but it’s not just about the licks. He’s got some really good songs to go with it.
There are plenty of highlights with the duet featuring Alicia Strong on ‘Mercy’ probably my favourite at first listening. There’s a southern rock styled gem in the shape of ‘Mojo in Memphis’, and in amongst the self penned material, there’s a surprising cover, where he gives us his take on the Deep Purple Mark IV gem, ‘Gettin’ Tighter’, here supplemented with the tag ‘Ode to T’. And anyone who pays tribute to Tommy Bolin is alright by me.
It’s an excellent release that fans of hard-hitting blues rock should be checking out immediately.
Stuart Hamilton - The Rocker - UK (September 2015)
Sky Train Galaxy, the latest offering from the intergalactic guitar virtuoso Craig Erickson, is a tasty psychedelic brew of rock and blues.
Erickson hits the ground running with “The Comeback”, a driving blues-infused southern-style rocker about pushing setbacks aside and moving forward in life. With John Hall’s monstrous bassline and Tim King’s thunderous drumming holding down the fort, Erickson breaks out a full-on assault on guitar, laying down exquisite riffs and killer licks. This is how you open an album.
I like the vocal harmony between Erickson and Alicia Strong on “Mercy”, a funky rocking track with a big sound and a catchy melody. This is one I often want to turn the volume up on, because it’s so full of energy. Then there is “Morning Glory”, a wonderfully beautiful instrumental. I can’t help but think of the ascended blues guitar master Stevie Ray Vaughan when this one plays.
There’s only one cover song on the album, and it’s Deep Purple’s “Gettin’ Tighter/Ode to T”. Erickson does not disappoint at all. This one is fantastic and brings me pure joy to hear. I could listen to this track all day. Troy Harper does a phenomenal job handling the drums on this one.
A catchy hook and southern-style slide set the mood for standout track, “Mojo in Memphis”. Erickson sings about one of my favorite places on the planet, and makes me homesick in the process. The dual guitar sounds so good and draws my full attention. For the last track, Erickson throws in an acoustic version of this song. Swampy and soulfully gooey as molasses, this makes me think immediately of the late, great bluesman R.L. Burnside. It’s quite wonderful.
What I like about Erickson, is how he constantly seems to stretch the boundaries of where his music goes. I like the unpredictability in his songs. Sky Train Galaxy is yet another testament to that fascinating quality. This album comes highly recommended.
Phillip Smith / PhillyCheezeBlues (August 2015)
Craig Erickson is the son of a great jazz guitarist and, at the age of twelve, began playing covers of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Cream. Later he also took up the drums, keyboards and bass with the intention to better understand the composition and arrangements. Craig experiments with music, at home in many genres. Blues, blues rock, funk, fusion, jazz, rock, reggae -- nothing is off limits for this incredibly strong guitarist. His CDs contain quite a lot of heavy blues rock, where it sometimes seems as if the band is just jamming on it. In the early nineties he signed with Blues Bureau International and released his debut album, 'Roadhouse Stomp,' in 1992. Currently, this energetic guitarist has more than ten albums to his name. The new album, 'Sky Train Galaxy,' contains eleven tracks and is released on Grooveyard Records. Craig wrote all the songs himself and was also responsible for the production of his album. Beyond the singing and guitar playing, Erickson also plays bass on nine songs and the CD includes four different drummers. Let's give this old school guitar hero album a spin and analyze.
The album opens with a heavy Southern rocker steeped in blues influences. John Hall on bass and Tim King on drums provide the very strong basis of the number and Craig immediately throws all his cards on the table with tearing and blistering guitar riffs. It is one of the best songs on 'Sky Train Galaxy 'and an opener that counts. The only cover on the album is the Deep Purple song, "Gettin' Tighter.' Craig dedicates the song to Tommy Bolin, the man who wrote the song along with Glenn Hughes. In this ode, Craig brings a heat wave to his six string guitar playing and leaves his mark on this strong cover, though the excellent percussion of Troy Harper also is not to be sneezed at. In the power ballad, 'Illusions Of The World,' we fall again into a very strong instrumental performance by Craig and John Hall on guitar and bass, but the song itself is not as strong as the previous songs. In the fresh and clean 'Mojo in Memphis,' Craig sings about his favorite places like Beale Street and the castle of the Kings. He brings the nostalgia of the beautiful places with their glory moments perfectly over his instruments.
A mix of rock, funk and blues can be found in 'Mercy.' Outside the razor sharp guitar riffs and very tight, yet sturdy percussion of Rob Haskell, this falls mainly on the strength of the voices of Craig and Alicia Strong. Both voices complement each other very well. A compelling, steamy boogie also not lacking on the album. Erickson's heavy, pungent deep bass lines provide the ideal groove for 'Boogie For Love.' The muscular rocker, 'Sky Train,' allows guitar prodigy Craig Erickson for the umpteenth time to really live on his instrument. The album exudes his joy for playing. 'Mojo In Memphis' is a kind of extra song, but in a different version. It's an acoustic version with lots of slide guitar. Delta blues of the highest order. Guitar hero Craig Erickson provides this 'Sky Train Galaxy' again a fine album. A must for lovers of searing and razor-sharp guitar riffs.
Walter Vanheuckelom / Rootstime.be (August 2015)
Craig Erickson captures the best of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower and Frank Marino, blending their abilities and techniques into a unique style all his own. His skill allows him to make the guitar scream and rip it to shreds whenever necessary, and yet play tenderly and gently as well, if the particular tune calls for it. This time around, on ‘Sky Train Galaxy,’ he includes a special tribute to Tommy Bolin with a mesmerizing re-visioning of ‘Gettin’ Tighter.’ But the music on this CD is mostly original. You can tell that Erickson took his time with this endeavor, in fact, since all of the songs are masterfully conceived and arranged to perfection. His guitar playing is even more mature and developed than on his prior records, which is saying a lot since he is already one of the most gifted rock-blues guitarists of all time. Let Erickson's 'Sky Train' take you to other dimensions. You won't regret it!
Steve Rosen - Author/Journalist - NYC (August 2015)
Craig Erickson has been making waves for years, but is hopefully now going to get the attention/credit he deserves. Erickson is back with his latest release, 'Sky Train Galaxy', a album that is loaded with quality songs matching the quality of the playing. He has all the technique you could wish for, or need, but at the root of his playing there is great melody, phrasing, feel and soul. One of the best characteristics of 'Sky Train Galaxy' is the way the blistering riffs are executed, in that you can get almost as much pleasure from listening to Erickson's little improvisations as you do from the solo. There's a decent mix of styles, slower burning blues and rockers as well, so it's not a one-dimensional collection of songs. There are too many choice cuts here to really pick out highlights, although, if pushed, my personal favourites are, "The Comeback", "Time (Never Enough)" and "Morning Glory". Absolutely outstanding. Craig Erickson is a singular talent, the strength of his writing, playing and sheer power of delivery combine to create a very special listening experience. All in all, 'Sky Galaxy Train' is highly recommended for fans of nostalgic blues rock from a musician who richly deserves the attention he is attracting among the classic rock music press and audiences these days. - Highly Recommended-
Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society / All Access Magazine (August 2015)
COPYRIGHT © 2015 & BEYOND - GROOVEYARD RECORDS, INC. / WEBSITE DESIGN BY NYXIAN:DRIFT