It’s hard to pigeon-hole Eric Roche’s music. It’s not folk, it’s not country, it’s not jazz, classical or “world” music, and it’s not rock or pop. At the same time, it takes inspiration from all of these styles to create something new, something profoundly creative and personal; something that pushes music to it’s own limits. Eric Roche’s guitar styles are truly original, involving percussion techniques reminiscent of traditional Irish music, blended with open string tunings reminiscent of medieval chord structures. And yet for all the complexity that pleases the ear of the musician, his music is incredibly simplistic, honest and heartfelt.
Lead, rhythm, bass and percussion all flow simultaneously from Eric’s guitar, in a sound so big that it is orchestral in its impact. And yet it is tender and considerate, with every intelligent chord tugging at the emotions. Music like this is rarely heard on your radio. It is too personal, too heartfelt, and too deep to make light entertainment. Eric’s music is music for the soul.
As well as releasing three albums, the third of which (With these Hands) was released on Martin Taylor’s P3 label, Eric Roche was a long running columnist for “Guitar Techniques” and “Guitarist” magazines. He was head of guitar at The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford. He also authored several books, most notably, the Acoustic Guitar Bible (foreword by Tommy Emmanuel). He delivered master classes in guitar all over the world and spawned a generation of fans and students who take inspiration from him in finding their own musical voice.
Eric Roche was the consummate guitarist’s guitarist, and yet the simplicity of emotion conveyed by his music can touch almost anybody.
Eric Roche, a citizen of Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland, died in Bury St. Edmunds, England in September 2005 aged 37, leaving behind a musical legacy that has inspired a new generation of musicians.
“Makes the guitar sound like a f***ing Orchestra!” Nigel Kennedy