'Dark' and 'Dynamic'

With a throaty baritone and heavy rhythm-guitar licks, singer and songwriter Eric McFadden's deep-end sound has been called "squalid Gypsy rock ... sounded like Django met Van Halen" by Jimmy Leslie of Guitar Player Magazine.

Andy Tennille of JamBase described it as "dark, carney balladry."

"Our sound is dynamic," McFadden says. "We're certainly a power trio, but there are other elements — from flamenco and blues to the proverbial kitchen sink."

McFadden teams up with Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta, The Memorials) on drums and James Whiton (Tom Waits) on electric upright bass for a show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. Local band 100 Watt Mind will open the show.

Whatever the descriptions, McFadden's ride has been a rewarding one. Over the past couple of decades, he's created an unparalleled musical identity.

Beginning with punk-rock trio Angry Babies in the late '80s, McFadden's been a creative force behind such bands as Alien Lovestock, Liar and Faraway Brothers.

McFadden's newest transition comes this week. He's leaving San Francisco after living there for 17 years for new digs in Los Angeles.

"It just made sense," McFadden says. "Everything's been pulling me in that direction. Musicians I'm working with now are there — Mels Cline, the guitarist with Wilco, and Mike Watt from Iggy and the Stooges. I'm also working with Phyne Entertainment and getting more involved in making films. It's a new phase of existence."

Phyne just released McFadden's "Inside Out" on iTunes. The album includes four new songs, among others. His newest full-length album is "Bluebird on Fire," released in 2011 on Paris label Bad Reputation.

McFadden says anything that affects him in a profound way will end up influencing him stylistically and lyrically.

"But not exclusively," he says.

His song "Where is Ferdinand?" from "Train to Salvation" was written for a fan he met after a show in Paris. Later, the boy was killed in a traffic accident.

"I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child," McFadden says. "I remember the first time I performed that song. It was at Café de la Danse. The boy's father was there. It was an intense, emotional experience.

General and VIP seating cost $22 and $32, respectively, in advance. Tickets are available at Renaissance Rose in Ashland or www.brownpapertickets.com. General and VIP tickets will cost $25 and $35 at the door. The show is for ages 21 and older. Call 541-301-3463.

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