Sounds of gypsy tribes |

Sounds of gypsy tribes

Cassie Pence
Bret Hartman / Vail DailyThe crowd at Street Beat in Vail Village grooves to the music of Melvin Seals' New Jerry Garcia Band on Wednesday night.

VAIL – Guitarist Eric McFadden sees the world as one big, dark carnival. “It’s a metaphor I use for life. All the world is a carnival. It has its bright spots. There are good clowns and bad clowns, but there’s nothing worse than a good clown gone bad,” McFadden said.As melancholy as that sounds, he said life’s all about the juxtaposition between comedy and tragedy. Experiencing the hardships and pain, McFadden said, make the good stuff seem so much better.”You get through those bad times by finding comedy in it,” said McFadden. “Life is definitely a ride, and I’m not getting off until I have to.”The Eric McFadden Trio plays for free Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Street Beat concert series in Vail Village at Checkpointe Charlie. The trio, McFadden on guitar, Kevin Carnes on drums and James Whiton on upright bass, plays acoustic instruments, but the resulting sound is far from acoustic.”We’re a power trio. We run our instruments through pedals, there’s distortion, which can make the acoustic part a little deceiving,” McFadden said.

Paulo Baldi is usually the trio’s drummer, but he’s touring with another project. McFadden said he has high expectations for drummers, and Carnes is one of those high-calibur beat-men. “And James does things on the bass that nobody has ever done before. He blows people minds on a regular basis. You have to see it to believe it,” said McFadden.McFadden plays Flamenco-style guitar. He said he has always had an affinity for Flamenco musicians. The style is thought to have originated by Spanish gypsies.”Playing classical guitar is in a sense setting limitations because it is more difficult to play and control, but I find it can lead to inspiration and new ideas. It’s a more expressive instrument and more dynamic instrument,” McFadden said.It’s hard to pigeon hole the sounds of the Eric McFadden Trio. It’s more of a musical experience than one set genre. You hear a lot of hard rock and blues along with the Spanish-gypsy flavor McFadden enjoys. His carnival theory creeps into the music as well, rousing visions of wildly unhinged beings.”The music all comes from me, from politics, from heart break, from addiction, or it can just be a song about shaking’ your booty or making a sandwich. It’s all aspects of our lives. It evokes different emotions,” McFadden said.

In 2000, McFadden toured with George Clinton’s P-Funk. Although he’s busy working on independent projects, McFadden still sees Clinton in the studio and makes guest appearances on stage with the funk icon.”That in itself was traveling with a circus,” said McFadden. “I learned a lot during my time at P University. I’m an all around better musician because of it. George taught me different ways of approaching things. George Clinton engages the audience. He really is captivation and amazing.”After Street Beat, the Eric McFadden Trio plays 8150 in Vail Village for only $5 at 10 p.m.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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