Thursday, April 3, 2014

'A friend of a friend of ...': Greg Errico

"Laying it down for Sly & The Family Stone, Greg Errico had more pocket than a giant in dungarees. The band busted down musical barriers at will, blending soul, funk and even psychedelic rock. Underpinning it all was Errico’s impeccable syncopation and dance-floor friendly grooves."
Greg Errico
Imagine how blown away I was back in the early part of 2012 when I started networking with musical friends of newfound friends on Facebook and considered the things some of them had accomplished.  Last year, when I saw a list of the "100 most influential drummers of all time" (which the quote above came from) and saw the name Greg Errico in there, I thought, "Hey, I know that name."

When you listen to the Sly song "Dance To The Music" and the drum is highlighted, that's Greg Errico you're listening to.  It was his syncopation that was a crucial ingredient in some of the great Sly & The Family Stone tunes, a groundbreaking soul and funk outfit from the late '60s and early '70s that was incendiary both on- and off-stage, having a part in Woodstock and going on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He left the Family in 1971, but his resume would be added to with touring stints in Weather Report in 1973, David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" tour in 1974, Santana, the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band, blues harp master Lee Oskar, to name just a few.  He still plays and produces.  In soul/funk/rock music history, his reputation is etched in (Sly's) Stone.

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