Whisky. Rock. Repeat.

“Female fronted is not a genre” reads a slogan reposted on Erica Blinn’s Instagram page, referring to a complaint often heard from female musicians who get grouped together on that basis alone, rather than the content of their music. But it is hard to put Erica Blinn into a genre. California classic rock is there […]

Erica Blinn brings her Dreamer’s Heart to Peach’s


Erica Blinn is a triple threat on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Photo: Chris Stohre.

By Gary McBride

“Female fronted is not a genre” reads a slogan reposted on Erica Blinn’s Instagram page, referring to a complaint often heard from female musicians who get grouped together on that basis alone, rather than the content of their music.

But it is hard to put Erica Blinn into a genre. California classic rock is there definitely, some blues roots, and just enough country influence mixed in. She suggests “Americana” which seems pretty apt. Or as her Facebook page states, “Genre: Whisky. Rock. Repeat.”

From the new album, Better Than Gold, her song “Dreamer’s Heart” has a traditional sound, but touches on a very timely topic: student debt and educational letdown. “As a kid, my parents said things to the effect of ‘if you get good grades, you can get a scholarship to college,’ and that became the most important thing, since we didn’t really have much money for that. ‘I could go to college for free, wow!’ so I did the best that I could in school. And honestly, that is probably the one thing I regret in life… you shouldn’t regret things, because it’s all gotten you to where you are. I did have some experiences in college that were good, but for the most part, I just feel like it was a huge waste of time. And I feel like all the time I spent worrying about schoolwork in grade school and high school was a waste of time, and I wish I had realized that sooner.”

“When I was young, I was always around music, my dad (Columbus musician Jerry Blinn) was always playing.” He started her on guitar at an early age. “When I was around 7 years old, I decided that I wanted to be Linda Ronstadt, and I had a real dream of it for a long time. But when I got into middle school and high school, I started to think that wasn’t a real thing that could happen, and started asking what’s a realistic thing that I could do with my life that’s like a real job, and what am I going to go to college for? I don’t know why I let people make me think that college was the thing I had to do.”

“Luckily when I was in high school, I had a really great teacher named Rick Bensman, who said ‘why are you ignoring this (music)? Why aren’t you doing this thing you love?’” That was the type of advice she needed to pursue music, her “Dreamer’s Heart.”Bensman still regularly attends her Columbus area shows.

Blinn is also an accomplished harmonica player, to the point that she’s shared a stage with numerous blues harp heavyweights, including Magic Dick (Richard Salwitz) of the J. Geils Band. Her father was a fan of the band, and encouraged her to play, and had a friend, Delyn Christian, who gave Blinn informal training when she was in her teens. “He was hesitant at first. He said ‘Well, I don’t really give lessons, but I can try to show you what I know.’ So that’s what we did. It was fun and I picked it up pretty quickly, as far as it felt right for me, something that I wanted to do and work hard at getting better at.” Check out her harmonica work on “Dance with the One (Who Brought You)” for a taste. She and Christian also co-wrote two of the tracks on Better than Gold.

Several years ago, Christian moved from Columbus to Nashville, which gave Blinn another idea. “He comes back to Columbus about once a month and does a run of shows with a band he has here, which is basically what I started doing, too. I could move to Nashville, and I can come back to Columbus once a month or every six weeks, and play some of the gigs I’ve always played, and make a little money. It’s hard to get gigs in Nashville, and if you do, they usually don’t pay anything.”

The Nashville/Columbus strategy also allows her to tour, and was part of the process of recording her latest album, which she tracked in Nashville with producer Mike Landolt, known for his work with Maroon 5, O.A.R., Blues Traveler, and others, working on the album in both cities.

Her show at Peach’s will feature her full band, and the next day, they’ll be playing the St. Louis Americana Festival. She’s also launching the new video for “When I’m with Suzie (I Do What I want)” based on her overhearing a man unapologetically shout that out at a BYOB club a while back. She went straight home and wrote most of the track, then finished it with some help from friend Hillary Thompson. The gender flip and rollicking video have all the makings of a “Girl Power” anthem. It’s all part of the dream.

Erica Blinn will play Peach’s Grill, 104 Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs, Friday July 6, ages 21+, no cover. Visit peachsgrill.com or call 937-767-4850. For details, ericablinn.com or see the new video at http://bit.ly/BlinnSuzie. Opening the show will be a solo set from hometown hero Dan Raridan, www.danraridan.com.

Tags: , ,

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary McBride at GaryMcBride@DaytonCityPaper.com

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Got an Opinion?

YourOpinionMatters

We are interested to hear what you think.  Please send us a message. [contact-form 4 “Opinion”]  

Springfield’s hidden gem

CoverHartman2

Referred to as an American Folk Art site, I didn’t know what I expected on my journey to Springfield’s Hartman […]

Debate 7/17: Flag on the Play

DebateBok

Q: Should persons with certain known behavioral tendencies such as suicide or violence be prohibited from owning guns? Legislatures across […]

Conspiracy Theorist 7/17: Hooray for Domino’s

Year after year, the same roads are torn up and road crews patch them. But they never really repair them. […]

On Your Marc 7/17: Good any day

First, a funny story. Larry Lee, the big tackle from Roth High School, for a number of reasons decided he […]

The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush at Rose

CULT 2016 Tim Cadiente-2

“Rock and roll never forgets,” the classic rock song goes, and Billy Duffy, guitarist and founding member of the British […]