Episode 025 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* welcomes the legendary Eric Krasno to the show for a pretty sweet powwow on a number of salient topics from the guitarist/producer’s illustrious career. Co-founder of Soulive, co-founder and former guitarist of Lettuce, Kraz was in the Bay Area in late September for a quick run with E3- (Eric Krasno Trio), at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, a club owned by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. In between soundcheck and the gig, Kraz and I sat down and chopped it up for nearly an hour, and trust it was a thrill to have this conversation after so many years of being a superfan of so many of his projects.
Krasno Introduction & KRAZ “Leave a Little” at 7:30
Eric Krasno Interview at 15:00
We start chatting about the present tense, beginning with his formation of E3, a little about his bandmates and loosely defining what the mission is. From there we pivot to his brand new KRAZ project, and the album Telescope, released on Sept.27. Eric lets us in on why KRAZ is such a departure from his established norm, and what went into the creation of this new lane for the longtime Soulive shredder. Krasno also details his departure from Brooklyn after 20 years, and how that figured into the conception and realization of the concept album Telescope. We also touch on his stoke for his new digs and studio in Los Angeles, and some super funky neighbors.
Since we were at Bob Weir’s club, it only felt perfect to get into the Grateful Dead. With reverence, Kraz takes us back to his first GD shows in the late 80’s, all the way up through sharing the stage with Phil Lesh, Bobby and the Rhythm Devils. Kraz also tells a few stories about father and son, his own pops, & later Phil and Grahame Lesh for a couple nights out on the NOLA town over Jazz Fest. Naturally, we had to dive into two decades of Soulive, and why they were such a revolutionary band at the turn of the century. Kraz walks us down memory lane a little, but chooses to focus on how fiery the most recent Soulive performances have been.
After taking the temperature of Soulive, Kraz opens up a bit about Lettuce. The guitarist reflects on the early days, their meteoric ascent, his decision to walk away (and why), and brings it full circle back at LOCK’N when LETT paid tribute to JGB with Bobby, John Mayer, Oteil and others back in August 2018. Eric then takes a few moments to explain what was behind the difficult decision to step up and perform with Circles Around the Sun, in honor and memory of his dearly departed friend Neal Casal. We finish up our riveting conversation with some guitar shop talk, focusing on the PRS Silver Sky, John Mayer signature model.
LEAH CONCIALDI Inteview begins at 1hr 11m
Following that interview is a short, sweet conversation with Leah Concialdi, a saxophonist (and more) with ATOMGA and Tnertle, as well as a major cog in the wheel that is Color Red Music out in Colorado. Over the summer, we got a chance to hear all about the label, the concept and the people behind Color Red, as well as a little bit about both of her bands and her experience in the music industry for the past decade.
*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* – “Telephone” by Erykah Badu. Enjoy my look back at Badoula’s 7-minute elegy to J-Dilla, written the day after his funeral, about how ODB acted as Dilla’s visionary guide to the afterlife. Celebrate Tonight!