“scorching”, “polyrhythmic” and “chilling”
have all been used to describe Eddie Turner’s guitar playing. His
ethereal style is an amalgam of the Afro-Cuban rhythms of his heritage
and the music that influenced him as a teenager: Chicago blues, jazz,
r&b and psychedelic rock. The Cuban-born singer/guitarist cut his
teeth in several rock bands contributing what Slate magazine describes
as “spacey-yet-resounding solos.” Now he emerges for the first
time as his own bandleader on Rise, which arrives in stores in February,
Eddie “devilboy " Turner picked up his first guitar, a candy
apple multi-pickup Japanese Tiesco, when he was twelve. Raised in Chicago,
he moved to the Rockies in the early 70's to attend the University of
Colorado; “a ruse,” he says, “to get my parents to
keep sending checks.” More inspired by music than by academia,
Turner immersed himself in the local scene, and stints with some notable
acts ensued. He played in the region’s first punk/r&b band
The Immortal Nightflames, then with Grammy nominees Tracy Nelson, Mother
Earth, and the 4-nikators, a group which has become legendary for its
unique mix of soul, Motown, and rock. Turner got the chance to grab
at the brass ring when Colorado compadre Tommy Bolin left his band Zephyr
to form The James Gang and Deep Purple. He eagerly joined the hard rock,
psychedelic, blues band as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. But,
tragedy struck with the sudden death of Zephyr lead singer Candy Givens.
Deeply shaken, Eddie decided to “grow up” by taking a hiatus
from performing music to become a realtor in Denver.
Yet, some people just refuse to “grow up”. A decade later,
when Eddie was invited to join the Ron Miles electric band led by one
of the country’s premier trumpeteers, he jumped at the chance.
Then, in 1995 he rounded out the Otis Taylor Band adding what Guitar
Player magazine describes as “otherworldly atmospherics (which)
lend a decidedly cosmic ambience to Taylor’s sound.” Enhancing
the spice and flavor of the trio, Eddie recorded five groundbreaking
CDs, and toured the U.S. and Europe extensively.
Today, Turner evolves
as an artist with his first solo effort, Rise. Produced by Kenny Passarelli,
Rise showcases Eddie’s vocals and songwriting. Running the gamut
from blistering guitar rock to the gospel-tinged, the 12-song disc dazzles
with the chops and techniques Turner has developed over the course of
his unusual, genre-melding career. Rise is evolutionary music - and
quite grown up, indeed.
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