Eddie 9V (or “Eddie Nine Volt”) — Atlanta’s latest living reminder that “the blues is never going away” — is releasing his new album “Little Black Flies” on Ruf Records on May 28.
The 24-year-old bluesman has been a fixture on the Georgia blues music circuit since his teens, and he brings youthful energy and genuine soul power to a style that has long defined America.
After recording his debut album in a double-wide trailer, he continues chasing raw authenticity with his second record — the album captures a nearly live experience, the featured musicians not even knowing they were making a record.
Eddie 9V joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about the album and his life in blues.
On how the young Eddie 9V found his way to blues music:
“I was 6 years old, and my dad got me, I don’t even remember the brand, it was a little red guitar. I think it had four strings on it, but you know, it needed six. … It had a little speaker on it, and you just slip on a switch on the back and it would be this distorted sound,” said Eddie.
“Uncle Brian was reliving his college years of being in frats and partying, and he would just call us over and give us all the instruments to play on. And then we’d finally take it over to the family party … even from an early age, I was watching and learning from him,” recounted Eddie.
“I credit him with going to a local legend barbecue joint. I played at Fat Matt’s. I probably played that club 200, 300 times. And that really taught me how to talk to an audience. … You really got to be an entertainer these days, that’s really what’s going to make you stand out. I tell people all the time, you just gonna have to get out there and do it, get yourself into uncomfortable situations. That’s what’s going to get you to be the best at entertaining.”
On the process of making “Little Black Flies”:
“I got a bunch of my musicians over one day; they had no idea that we were recording. And it wasn’t me trying to be sneaky and trying to use them. … I was just saying, you know, I have a few songs I’d like to jam and just hit record, have a few beers, and I bought pizza for everybody. Honestly, it was just a party,” said Eddie.
“But when I hit play on the playback speaker, everyone was like ‘Whoa, what is this?’”
He continued, “In the end, you hear a bunch of friends hanging out, a bunch of people just playing music and just using all their soul. And they didn’t know they were recording, which I think is the best part.”
On his musical influences:
“The three are probably Freddie King, B.B. King and Sean Costello.”
Returning to the stage:
“I see people coming back to the shows … the crowds are getting bigger and bigger. Everyone’s getting vaccinated … and the smiles on their faces, just the idea of coming out to a show and just putting everything by, if you got a babysitter or a dogsitter, just letting loose, ordering some drinks, having fun and just letting the music take you somewhere,” said Eddie.
“Just seeing that on people’s faces and having them come up to me and say, ‘You gave me the most memorable night of the last six months.’ For me, that’s what makes it all worth it.”