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Eric "Baron"


... Without question for me, percussion instruments are the most spiritual and satisfying to play. The allure of primal rhythm that is deep rooted in our human history is too hard to resist. My favorite music to play, blues, really does it for me as a musician. The dynamics and emotion of life reflects in the music, giving me a heartfelt reason to perform. Gigging at all my favorite clubs in Chicago, and performing at venues all over the United States is a tremendous honor for me. I hope to carry the torch for future blues musicians with respect and dignity, playing the music of my idols and creating new music with the future blues legends I now work with here in Chicago. Many great players have passed away during my career, and I hope their influences on me creates a spark in others for the celebration of this music we call "blues".


Back in the day, after playing clarinet and coronet in gradeschool, I devoted myself to artistic studies in high school. Then, away at college in Indiana, I picked up guitar while majoring in Industrial Design at Purdue University. My Kappa Delta Rho fraternity roommate, Ken Guidotti, was the son of a drummer, and a drummer himself. "Guido" let me play his drums, and I fell in love with percussion instruments bigtime! Jamming on his kit planted the seed that made drums an obsession for me! Little did I know that only a few years later I would be bitten by the "blues bug" so hard it would change my life forever...
... After graduation from Purdue in 1983, I worked as an Industrial & Graphic Designer for design consulting firms and product manufacturers by day. I hung out at all the legendary blues clubs in Chicago and I listened hard to the playing of the working musicians in the Chicago-based bands including: Junior Wells, Big Time Sara, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Willie Kent, Glenn Davis, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Tommy McCracken, Sugar Blue, Son Seals, George Baze, Billy Branch, and Buddy Guy. I played at all the jams I could, learning the "chops" necessary to be a better musician, along with getting the necessary criticism to be a better bluesman. As I played drums I also invented products that I wanted to manufacture and sell. Playing in the clubs gave me a realistic perspective on what was needed to make good drum products for working musicians. I had one goal: Quit working for "the man", be a full-time professional musician, and have my own line of percussion accessories on the side. I wanted it all, to be a musician and a manufacturer; it took over ten years, but I finally started my own company Slug Percussion Products in 1995. I have been playing drums and percussion instruments professionally in Chicago since 1987.


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