2010’s The Sunday Best found Eric Beverly and his band of the same name, as the title more than suggests, at his very best after years of making music. Time spent playing in groups and on his own in his home state plus Europe and South America has served this musical artist, painter and writer well on his 10-song recorded debut.
From the feisty opening rocker “All Her Little Secrets,” punctuated by R&B inflected horns, The Sunday Best brims with Beverly’s colorful melodic gifts, crafty and emotive wordplay, and a musical sensibility that melds and transcends genres. He channels the bracing first rush of new love on the slinky and shimmering “Girl, You’ve Got Me,” weaves a tapestry of confession and vocal harmonies on the haunting “All I Wanted,” and recalls the glory days of Elvis Costello and The Attractions on “Valerie.”
Beverly fiercely rocks the kiss off on “I Won’t Be Alone” and “The Hurting Kind” and soul struts and whistles his way through heartfelt delight on “Oh Yeah!” His voice deftly dances with the vocals of Austin singer and songwriter Seela on the haunting “Nothing Comes Easy” and the meditative lamentation “Drifting Through a Dream.” The final spritely taste of Celtic and Texas flavored folk-rock spiced with an electric crackle, “Do You Know What I Mean?” provides a lovely grace note to a collection of songs that strides and glides through a spectrum of moods and modes, all of them enhanced by crafty arrangement touches and Beverly’s emotive and impassioned singing.
All told, The Sunday Best is an ear-catching pop-rock gem by a talent who has found his myriad musical sweet spots plus a group that enhances his multifaceted artistic vision in live performances: Drummer and U.K. expatriate Sally Crewe, who also leads her own outfit Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves as a singer and writer; bassist Stacey “Stace” McCann, who brings her facility with R&B, Americana and blues to the band’s sound; and guitarist/keyboard player/multi-instrumentalist Geoff Kaiser. who has performed with a variety of Austin artists, including local veterans Lisa Tingle and Van Wilks. Rounding out Beverly’s team is his longtime friend, collaborator and Sunday Best pinch-hitter Chris Roubieu on guitar, keyboards and more.
Quick facts about The Sunday Best
— The Sunday Best receives airplay on stations including WFPK, KPFT, and KDHX
— “Girl, You’ve Got Me” is included in the documentary “The River Is Life”
— “Valerie” is downloaded more than 1,600 times from Paste Magazine’s vault (a top 20 download) as part of the “Songs for Haiti” and “Save Paste Magazine” campaigns
— Bill Frater’s Freight Train Boogie Podcast #82 features “All Her Little Secrets”
— CDBaby’s Music Discovery Podcast (June 15, 2010 edition) features “I Won’t Be Alone.” They call Eric “a great rocking songwriter”