Sweet Vine is a band of kindred spirits, both musically and personally, who bring together a variety of rock, country, and R&B influences to concoct a poignant brew all their own. On the group's self-titled Columbia Records debut, Eberbach sings with a surety and expressiveness that belies his youth, while the band's full classic sound is genuine and evocative, undeniably demonstrating that Sweet Vine belongs in the esteemed musical genre of honest, soulful, gutsy blues rock. Eberbach warns that...
Sweet Vine is a band of kindred spirits, both musically and personally, who bring together a variety of rock, country, and R&B influences to concoct a poignant brew all their own. On the group's self-titled Columbia Records debut, Eberbach sings with a surety and expressiveness that belies his youth, while the band's full classic sound is genuine and evocative, undeniably demonstrating that Sweet Vine belongs in the esteemed musical genre of honest, soulful, gutsy blues rock. Eberbach warns that he "talks too much to get to the point," but musically he cuts right to the chase, as is evident on the cohesive and moving Michael Barbiero (Blues Traveler) -produced disc. From the first moments of the infectious, mid-tempo "Mountainside" to the instantly memorable, gently rollicking gem "Candy for Fools" to the last chords of the lilting, stirring and sad "Ever Made Love To Be," it's clear Sweet Vine is not a band who minces words, and that honesty and eloquence comes through both lyrically and musically in Sweet Vine's initial 11 song release.
The combination of amusing, intelligent, introspective personalities and serious musical maturity and chops entwine well in Sweet Vine -- although it took a while to hit on the right combination. "All along the way we're meeting each other, it was always that feeling that this is the person," explains Eberbach. "I've come to realize all the bands that I love, and legendary bands, have the same kinds of connections we do." The vocalist moved to Sacramento from Maine at the age of 19, straight from, as he puts it, a "Leave It To Beaver" existence. He'd earned a music scholarship to Sacramento State, quickly hooked up with a keyboard player, then placed an ad for guitarists. Seventeen-year-old Nate Dale was the first to respond. There was some definite chemistry cooking. "It was an unbelievable turnaround," reminisces Eberbach. "From that moment on, we all hit it off. It was one of those things where you knew these were people you were going to be dealing with for a long time."
"Dealing with" was a good way to put it, because it took a few years for Sweet Vine to sow their wild oats, musically and personally. Eberbach refers to himself as a "reformed flake," which might account why he moved to Oahu with his best friend's little sister and delivered pizza for a living. Bassist Jason Fluhrer, who had been in and out of the as-yet-named lineup, took off for Europe-- but before they all went their respective ways, the trio recorded some acoustic tracks including SWEET VINE's "All I Can Do." "That lasted a few weeks," they recall with a laugh. "We did one gig and called ourselves '9 Day Wonder'!"
After much discussion, they agreed on the name Sweet Vine, from an old Humble Pie tune. "We thought, well, this'll be our name until we think of something else, but we all kinda dug it from the start because the name has a lot of different connotations, and we grew into it," explains Eberbach.
Sweet Vine also grew into a record deal, which was inked with Columbia Records in May 1995. Their songs are open, groove-oriented, well-crafted, and expertly-performed, suggesting a much more seasoned band. "We're all excited about how our record sounds," Eberbach understates. "While we can be jam-oriented, we're real lovers of the song." And they've written and recorded 11 winners on SWEET VINE. These creative minds are already living somewhere in the future yet draw from the past to work on perfecting their individual and collective musical crafts. A great beginning for five regular guys from the capital (Sacramento) of the Golden State (California).
It's a safe bet that Sweet Vine will bear fabulous fruit.
Hans Eberbach-lead vocals Nathan 'Nate' Dale-guitar Steve King-drums Gary Frank Skaggs-piano Michael Barbiero-vocals Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.