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iN75 Magazine Interview

Eric. Hello and thank you for taking time to do this interview with iN75.
I have admired your music since I first saw you at the Kanoe Café in Tipp City many years back and soon after that at the Leaf & Vine in Troy.
At the Kanoe Café, you performed Christmas music because it was the holiday season. It was the first time I had seen and heard a 24-string harp guitar and I was amazed to see one man play rhythm, bass and lead guitar – all at what sounds like the same time. You even throw in some percussion by tapping your guitar. Your classical renditions of Silent Night and Little Town of Bethlehem were amazing.
At the Leaf & Vine show, I was able to discover the magic of your own original songs, like Spy Jive and Start Playing Guitar. Here, you used a six-string guitar and some light distortion to create intricate, fun music.
As background for this magazine’s readers, I believe you’ve been playing guitar for more than 25 years. You’ve performed in full bands, but today are more known for your solo act. You can perform classical music, jazz, rock and blues, country and many other genres.
Your newest album, “Trajectories” (released in 2009 and available at includes some new sounds for you, including the use of more steel guitar. So let’s star there.

1. How did “Trajectories” come to be and how has your audience responded to it so far? “As I’ve done for the last 45 years of playing guitar, I am constantly digging for new sounds. The ten new instrumentals just kept coming and culminated into “Trajectories”, released in August 2009. The pieces are diverse, as I like jazz, classical and rock all equally. So, I’ve got a power trio on a couple of tracks, then solo, the pieces are on classical guitar, steel string guitar and harp-guitar.”

2. What is it like to introduce new material to audiences? Also, how to do you think Trajectories fits in with the rest of your music, original or cover? “I like to constantly do new pieces. I feel that many people wouldn’t “get” the advant-garde original pieces I compose, so I do cover songs the audience would know, but with my arrangements of them. I like to entertain people and want them to be edified. I think “Trajectories” is a natural progression for me and fits perfectly with all the other albums I’ve done the last thirty years.”

3. Do you have a personal favorite off the new album? Why is it your favorite?

“It’s difficult to pick a favorite of your own compositions. They are like your children. Some are jazz, classical, advant-garde, rock/fusion, but I like them all equally.”

4. I know Christ plays a major role in your life. How does the Man Upstairs coexist with your music? “Like many players who meet Jesus Christ, get saved and are born again, I struggled initially what to do. Do I give up playing and go to Africa and preach? I feel “whatsoever you do, do it heartily as unto The Lord.”, so I continue to gig profusely, meeting people and teaching guitar, which I’ve done for thirty years and I love both. I appreciate my mechanic, my trash man and everyone. We all help one another. Everything you do should be with faith, love and service. That makes life fun and satisfying.”

5. I remember you telling me that Spy Jive (your song) was written because of your love of spy movies. What motivated your song writing for Trajectories?

“I love finding out about the origin and inspiration behind songs (and books/movies, etc.). Some songs are very directly inspired by an event, personal meeting, seeing a film, etc. On “Trajectories”, “Spastic Yo-Yo” was inspired by Willie Porter. “Apogee Impulse” was inspired by reading the biography on my favorite player, Lenny Breau. “Ruins Arise” was inspired by a friend/student, Ian Stukenborg, who played me a classical piece he’d just learned. “Jazz For Chris A.” was a lesson study for my pal, the photographer/author, Chris Armold.”

6. All music aside, what’s the best movie you’ve seen lately?

“I love a good movie, but rarely ever see any. I don’t know any of the current actors or actresses. I’m sure there are a few great movies, but I’m always teaching or gigging.”

7. When you’re not playing music, or practicing, what does Eric Loy enjoy most. What is the perfect day for you? “I enjoy doing repairs and maintenance on the farm here and keep up the work my father did. I painted the house last summer.”

8. I once read that during the Great Depression that one of the most prosperous trades was entertainment – specifically music. Are you finding more people looking for a good show at a low cost? Or, better yet, how do you try to help people smile, even if times are tough? “I think people do love and need a respite from their troubles and sometimes, someone may be moved, inspired and edified by music, a film, a book. I pray that happens as I play. It may sound corny or melodramatic, but it’s true. Music can heal people’s troubled minds and souls. Ultimately, of course they need to personally know their Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

9. I know you just played at the coffee house in Tipp City and will be at the Winery at Versailles in the coming weeks. Are you leaning towards smaller venues these days? Why are you choosing the venues on your schedule?
”Very candidly, I just snag any gig I can. I’m thankful to God and others for all gigs and I truly treat each one as if it were The Lincoln Center or The Metropolitan Opera House. I take it seriously but also have fun. God is in control of who ‘gets the breaks’, etc. Some great players are ignored while others are so popular. It’s OK. I’m storing up treasure in Heaven, not on Earth. God meets your needs, always. That’s enough.”
10. Finally, what’s in store for fans of Eric Loy?

“I’ve got a new batch of compositions even since “Trajectories”, so I’m always working on new things. Also, I want to do a ‘cover song’ album. I have tons of more video footage to post/release of originals and covers. I’m always looking to book new venues, too.”

Thanks again for taking time and I look forward to seeing you perform very soon.