Walking into 9 Wallis that evening, I was unfamiliar with the artistry of Tessmer. Walking out that night, I left a huge fan, as did every person in the nearly sold-out crowd.
Eric Tessmer is a master of versatility. He would play a heavy, loud rock song immediately into a more quiet, traditional blues song while still sounding like the same guitarist. If you weren’t watching, you could easily tell it was the same person playing.
Anyone that says that there are ‘no great guitarists around anymore’ has never heard of Eric Tessmer. He has absolutely everything you’d possibly want in a musician. Excellent songs, great singer, outstanding band, and insane guitar skills.
I have seen a lot of great bands, but I’ve seen very few as tight as Tessmer’s. Bass player Jason Rathman and drummer Marc Redix were rock solid. This is a rhythm section if I’ve ever seen one. Tessmer’s band is one of the most professional, well-rehearsed bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Both Rathman and Redix are very smooth players. Both of them made everything they did seem so effortless, as did Tessmer. They would go from a rock section right into a swing section, and the changes were insanely clean.
Tessmer performed a brand new song for us on the 31st called “Mammoth Surf”, an instrumental surf number. To say that he embodied the spirit of Dick Dale in that tune would be an understatement. The spirit of Dale was in him when he played “Mammoth Surf”, but you could still tell it was Tessmer playing. He wasn’t copying anyone. Eric Tessmer’s music is all perfectly himself, and I love that.
My favorite song he did was his encore. He took it back to his roots and played a straight 12 bar blues song. If the roof wasn’t already ripped off by then, that song tore it off. There are thousands of amazing rock guitar players, but skill is just one thing. You need to be able to connect with an audience.
Eric Tessmer made every single person in that place feel the power coming out of his guitar. If you can make a crowd get something out of your music the way that Tessmer can, then you have got something special.
A lot of artists will talk to the crowd during their shows and interact with the audience. Eric didn’t do that. Very little talking between the songs and not much audience interaction. I usually love all of that stuff. However, with Eric Tessmer, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about how he interacted with the crowd, I just wanted to hear him rip up his guitar.
I believe that I have just seen the future of rock guitar and his name is Eric Tessmer. I predict that he’ll be known as one of the great guitarists of his generation. If that man didn’t make a deal with the devil I don’t know how he can do what he does. A remarkable talent that must become a household name.