If not for Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice, Andy Frasco might have never found his muse. As a kid in Southern California, Frasco dreamed of being a music business behind-the-scenes guy — managing bands or running a label. Dropping out of school at the tender age of 14, Frasco started a booking agency and lied about his age to work at Capitol Records. At 18, he saw Damien Rice perform live and it all changed. “I moved to New York, locked myself in a room for a year with albums like Dr. John, Professor Longhair, The Band, etc., and tried to play [piano] with them,” Frasco says.
Frasco is endowed with a formidable afro (his Fall 2013 tour is called Fall ’Fro Down) and an infectious energy, apparent in his wide and toothy perma-grin. His music is an eclectic mix of piano-man balladry and New Orleans-style dance blues mixed with flavors of raise-the-roof gospel, jazz, R&B and even ska. “I love the South,” Frasco says. “There’s something about it that rings to my soul: the culture, the people, the music. It just makes me happy listening to it. So I try to bring my California style of blues with a hint of bayou boogie to keep the dance party going. We call it party blues.”
Of his first time playing in Eugene, Frasco says: “Bring an extra pair of pants. Things are gonna get weird.”
Andy Frasco and The U.N. play 10 pm Friday, Dec. 13, at Luckey’s; $5.