Interview: Eric Loy

Dan McAvinchey: Eric, let's get right to it, when did you first get interested in guitar, and how did you progress as a player?

Eric Loy: I saw The Beatles on Feb. 9, 1964 and that was the impetus to play. I did not take lessons, but played incessantly non-stop transcribing LP's on the record player. First, it was just rock, then classical, jazz and then avant garde.

Dan McAvinchey: The Beatles seemed to give a lot of players the inspiration to take up the guitar. Was your CD "What I'm Doing" self-released, or did you try to find a label that would work with you?

Eric Loy: I've been recording since the late seventies. My newest album, "What I'm Doing", was released October, 2015. Years ago, I shopped major record labels, but have always just went ahead and released them on my own and have made a living.

Dan McAvinchey: How would you describe the music found on your many album releases?

Eric Loy: My albums are solely instrumental. Sometimes, it's with a jazz/rock fusion trio of guitar, bass and drums. Often, it's solo classical guitar or harp-guitar. Style-wise, it ranges from Chet Atkins type fingerpicking to Michael Hedges type tapping with various tunings to jazz.

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Dan McAvinchey: Which of the tracks from "What I'm Doing" do you enjoy playing the most?

Eric Loy: All of them, because I like jazz to classical to rock, so I can't choose just one!

Dan McAvinchey: Are live audience performances on your monthly agenda?

Eric Loy: Yes, for the last twenty years, I've usually played a dozen gigs a month.

Dan McAvinchey: Are you using any social media sites to promote your CDs and music career?

Eric Loy: No, not too much. I have and my albums are for sale on CD Baby.

Dan McAvinchey: From a publicity and promotion standpoint, what do you find is working best for you at the moment?

Eric Loy: A lot of word-of-mouth leads to my procuring gigs and selling albums. One gig leads to another. I do mail out promotional placards to venues, though.

Dan McAvinchey: What do you now find to be the advantages and disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Eric Loy: You can be true to yourself and not compromise musically, artistically, or morally. I really see no downside to being independent.

Dan McAvinchey: Other than guitar-oriented music, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

Eric Loy: I dig jazz and classical (and Baroque) without guitar, like Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, J.S. Bach, Henry Purcell, Maurice Ravel, etc.

Dan McAvinchey: Finally, what's up next for you?

Eric Loy: Well, The Lord willing, I'll keep on composing, recording and gigging until my final day. I've done it for 51 years now and like Pablo Casals, I feel I'm improving.

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If variety is the spice of life, Eric Loy's latest CD, "What I'm Doing" might qualify as the entire spice rack, as it features fourteen new instrumental compositions on classical guitar, steel-string guitar, electric guitar, harp-guitar, piano and even with a fusion trio. He has released a total of nine albums of purely instrumental bliss, with the harp-guitar employed on a cut or two on most of those albums.

Dan McAvinchey checked in with Loy to get more details on his most recent recording, as well other situations he's dealt with as an independent musician.