An interview with Ehrich Eberstark, founder of Hannah and the Trailblazers
IE: How long have you guys been making music together?
EE: We’ve been together 21 years now. I started the band in ’92,right after I quit the military service.
IE: What's your sound like?
EE: We’re known for a touch of that Mississippi River, New Orleans vibe, and our Afro-Caribbean side as well. The sound of the Mississippi Delta blues is a big influence, as well as the horn arrangements of the big band leader Sid Karnowski. We also favor a new, up-tempo, funky rhythm and blues. Perhaps this is due to the influence of recordings of American artists that were played so much in our house when I was a boy. They werebrought over by African American servicemen my dad befriended, who were stationed in Germany during the cold war.
IE: Are there any comparisons or influences you could share?
EE: We hate comparisons. Don’t ever ask Hannah this question, or the interview will be over.
IE: Who's the number one top influence on your music (if you had to pick just one), and why?
EE: Probably the Otis Redding, The Gypsy Kings, Kraftwerk, orTom Jones. It’s hard to say.
IE: Who is Hannah, and what trail are you blazing?
EE: Hannah started out with us when she was 6, playing tambourine from her seat in the audience. Of course, Hannah is Hannah Sobiyevski, coming from a long line of Romani royalty. Americans call them ‘Gypsies’. Her parents were huge fanswhen The Trailblazers were just a five piece. They would follow the band to every show in their beautiful vardo (readers: a vardo is the traditional, ornate horse-drawn wagon used by Romani people), hoping to sell a few Trailblazers t-shirts. We’d hear this remarkable tambourine playing coming from the audience, and it quickly became a tradition to invite little Hannah onto the stage each night. Little did we know that she could sing! Today she’s a huge international star. Most people don’t realize this, but Hannah fixed the vocal track on her good friend Adele’s recording ‘Skyfall’ (theme song for the James Bond movie of the same title), just because Adele asked her to – Hannah is that kind of person.
What trails? Hmmm. who knows, who knows.
IE: What is the best part of touring Europe?
EE: The rail system is the best! And of course you can rent a Porsche Carrera for 50 Euros, any day of the week.
IE: Give one word to describe/characterize each member of the band (one word/phrase per person).
(pictured above, left to right)
Richard Pringle (bass guitar) – a proper Brit
Justin Biork (guitars, vocals) – fun, fun, fun on the autobahn
Ehrich Eberstark (keyboards, horns, woodwinds, vocals) – strong as a boar
Hannah Sobiyevski (vocals, tambourine) - the epitome ofhappiness, a positive attitude, and linguistics
Cory Renard (drums) – his favorite saying is “The neighbor’s goose always looks better than your duck.”
Josh Bettancourt (guitars) – the pride of Portugal, he’s a huge Manchester United fan.
Thank you Ehrich for your time, openness, and honesty. We are really looking forward to hearing and seeing you Sunday (6/9) evening at 6:30pm. Look for future artist spotlights right here at ImagineEleven.com.
We'll post regular updates here about upcoming concerts. See the full schedule here.