It was freezing outside and we had a bit of a time squeezing into the crowded foyer. The bar was wrist-banding people over 21 because many of the attendees looked so young (Or maybe they always do it, I don’t know!) There was also a nice supply of gray hair present. The concert was billed as a CD release party and there were piles of reasonably priced CDs on tables.
Eric Bettencourt sauntered into a cheering, sold-out room. There was a big Willie Nelson-esque hole in his acoustic guitar. He’s slim and his face reminded me of a young Frank Sinatra morphed with Johnny Depp. Seth Kearns joined him on drums and Pete Morse on bass. He could be Melissa Etheridge’s younger brother -- his voice was raspy-dry, hoarse and full of soul – a graduate of the musical school of Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, and Bonnie Raitt. He delivered song after song in tight arrangements with an interesting relay going on between alternating drummers Seth Kearns and Charles C. Gagne, and alternating backup singers, Amanda Gervasi, Monique Barrett, Megan Jo Wilson and Sara Hallie Richardson. The backup singers had gorgeous voices and made harmonies like the girls who sang with Bob Seger or Van Morrison. Eric’s gifts were obvious. His songs were unique, albeit with familiar, genetic roots. He was likable and sweet. Someone yelled, “I love you Eric” and he said almost shyly, “I love you, too” and later when they persisted, “Aw, stop”. I had never heard him before, but I was quite carried away by his heart and soul. The audience was very enthusiastic and all I could think was that this boy’s gonna go far. There are quite a few videos of him on youtube.com. Also, you can check out his website at http://www.eric-bettencourt.com. Make sure you don’t type just ericbettencourt.com because if you do, you’ll end up on an astronomy site -- which I’m sure is very nice, and might feature the music of the spheres, but it won’t be this guy’s music!
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music for as long as she can remember. She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.