Eric Garcia, AKA Uncle Scotchy, is the lead vocalist and harmonica ace of Juke, a Miami-based postblues band. Scotchy is Garcia's alter-ego/one-man band in which he creates sound sitting on a cajón, accompanied by a high-hat, guitar, and harmonica. He confessed it's "just boring to have 'Eric Garcia' playing live."
Juke is coming off the heels of a marathon 41-song recording session. The reason for the intensity, he explains, is that the rhythm section became suddenly busy, and he and Evan Lamb, the band's guitarist and backup vocalist as well as the session's engineer, needed a way to get new players up to speed fast.
"There are just so many people in Juke -- half of Miami's musicians have been in it at one point or another -- so instead of showing people the songs that we do one by one and because it's hard to get everyone together in the same room to rehearse, we decided to knock this out in one or two days," he says. "It turned into a grueling thing; that's why we're calling it the Suicide Sessions." So in essence, this is the band's complete canon.
To Garcia, content is more important than profit, so he figures as soon as the songs are mixed, the band will release one free song every week. The tracks will be issued on Tuesdays through Facebook and the band's website.
For now, the band is excited to be playing a string of shows, from Poorhouse to Guananbanas in Jupiter to Aura Music Festival in March and Wanee Festival in April. For Juke, Garcia explains, one of the best parts about playing Wanee is the mobile stage. "All these people start coming out of the fuckin' forest and just start following you, driving around real slow." They even throw joints at the band.
Another perk: free moonshine. "One of the guys I sold tickets to really appreciated that I sent him them on good faith. And he told me that he had the best moonshine in Florida, and I said, 'Yeah, whatever.' " But the guy showed up with pictures of his operation and two jars of it -- peach-flavored and one that tasted like rubbing alcohol. Garcia later used some of it to help a struggling pack of musicians light a fire for warmth in the backstage area. "Ten musicians trying to light a fire is pretty ridiculous, but we couldn't get it going. So I spit a little bit of the moonshine, and it caused a huge explosion!"
We asked Garcia about a WLRN article he was quoted in a few months back titled, "Wanna Hear Rock 'N' Roll? You Might Have To Leave Miami," and whether or not he felt it represented him well.
See also our response to the article: No, WLRN, You Don't Have to Leave South Florida to Hear Rock 'n' Roll
When asked about the negative feedback, Garcia said, "That was fucking bullshit. I was misquoted in the piece. Rock is a tough sell in Miami, yes, but it's a tough sell anywhere. What I said was, I see it doing really well in Miami. Why would I say that? I if believed it, what the fuck am I doing booking bands for a living anyway?
"There's a lot of crappy music out there, but you know what? There's a lot of crappy music in Seattle. There are a lot of crappy bands all over the universe. Unfortunately, it was a long interview, but all she (author Jessica Meszaros) did was put that one sentence. I know what she was trying to say, to be honest, maybe she should have written it better and it would have been clearer to people. But, for the most part, (the negative reaction) was from idiots that are haters and that just glanced over the article."
A similar backlash resulted when his comments ran in a story about Railroad Blues when it opened. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Garcia was quoted as saying there would be "no shit bands" booked there. Garcia says, "First of all, that wasn't me. If you read it, the owner said 'I don't want any shit up on the stage,' which, you know, what owner wants shit? So then for all of a sudden for people to take it personally, I don't know.
"I like Churchill's, and I really like Nayra (Serrano, booking manager at Churchill's). I don't know why people thought I was attacking them. Nayra called me up and said, 'Everybody is telling me that you are talking shit about Churchill's.' I never even said a word that started with 'c,' I don't know what the fuck anyone is talking about. After that, I thought about not doing any more press unless it was directly about me and my shit. These people are fucking morons, my phone was blowing up with people going, 'What the fuck... Who were you talking about?' I guess I don't have much of a rep of being a nice guy, so I might as well kind of go with it."
Good thing for the rest of us, Garcia hasn't yet made good on the promise of not doing any further interviews. Go on with your bad self, Uncle Scotchy.
Juke. 11 p.m. Saturday, February 7, at the Poorhouse, 110 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. No cover. Call 954-522-5145, or visit poorhousebar.com. Visit jukepostblues.com.
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