Local music: Erica Blinn

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From the October 20, 2011 edition

There’s a no-nonsense air about Erica Blinn. She inherited it from her father.

Whether strumming her Gibson Les Paul Special or tinkering with her Sportster, Blinn’s main pastimes were passed down from her dad, Jerry, a longtime player in Columbus music and a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. Growing up in Worthington, Blinn latched onto these passions, made them her own and pursued them with passion.

And while she’s become an accomplished mechanic — she disassembled and rebuilt her motorcycle’s motor — she’s been making her biggest strides as a singer-songwriter. Though she identifies her sound as blues rock, her rough-and-tumble rock tunes carry a whiff of Bonnie Raitt, with a saucy attitude and melodic twang that veers near to Nashville-ready country.

However you classify her, Blinn’s music career is picking up steam 10 years after she first wailed away on the harmonica in Columbus bars at age 14.

Her relentless pursuit of rock stardom led her to essentially stalk Columbus rockers Watershed. Fortunately, her persistence won over Watershed guitarist Colin Gawel rather than send him scrambling for a restraining order.

“I always followed them around, and I would introduce myself to them every time I saw them,” Blinn said. “Finally one day I went to see Colin play at Rumba, and we were talking about stuff, and he says, ‘Come outside. You’re serious about this, aren’t you? I want to help you any way I can.’”

Gawel’s help included recruiting producer Mike Landolt (O.A.R., Maroon 5, Earwig) to record her self-titled EP and Raleigh rockers Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team to play on it. Those connections have stuck: Landolt will release the six-song set on his Curry House Records, and Anderson’s band will play the release show Saturday at Rumba.

What’s next? A little touring, more recording and hopefully a few hours set aside to ride.

Photo by Jodi Miller