Dirty Dozen: Eric Ambel

Eric Ambel is a celebrated guitar-player who has made enduring music as a solo artist and as a member of the Del-lords, the Yayhoos and his own legendary combo Roscoe’s Gang. His inventive guitar work has graced albums by everyone from Steve Earle to Joan Jett to Run-DMC. He is also a producer of note, most recently having produced the latest Bottle Rockets album. Ambel has just released his 4th studio record titled ‘Lakeside’. 

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
My name is Eric Ambel. I’m based in Brooklyn, I play guitar and produce records out of my studio Cowboy Technical Services. I’ve been a member of the Del-Lords and The Yayhoos and I’ve produced records by the BottleRockets, Blue Mountain, Girls, Guns & Glory and many others

How would you describe your music?
My music really comes from the guitar. The guitar inspires me all the time. It’s really amazing how everyone sounds unique on that instrument. It inspires my songwriting too.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
As a kid I grew up outside a big city (Chicago) with 2 big am radio stations. They battled each other for the hits. The British artists informed us of the blues legends that were so close, yet so far from us.

What are you currently promoting?
I recently released my 4th solo record named after the East Village bar I co-owned for 16 years called Lakeside. I enlisted Jimbo Mathus to produce my recording at my studio in Brooklyn. The record is just now getting a U.K./EU release from At The Helm records.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
If you listen to Hey Mr DJ you’d probably get where I’m coming from.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m wild about the latest from Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club. I tried to pay homage to his version of Money on my new record. That song played on the jukebox at my bar all the time.

What are your hopes for your future career?
Just to keep doing it all. Recording, playing, producing and mixing. The fun is in the game.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Produce Bruce Springsteen backed by a 4pc band.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Traveling and gaining perspective on the best of people

And the worst?
Traveling and gaining perspective on the worst of people

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Yes, a relative few in my country actually voted for the con man reality TV star from NYC. Please be assured the rest of us are trying to do something about it.

About Rudie Hayes 150 Articles
Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.
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Andy Dye

Eric will be over here in the UK this October (2017) as part of a triple bill with Warner Hodges and Webb Wilder!