In the early ’60s, Eric Blumer started drumming on pots and pans. He gradually moved over to his older brother’s kit. When he was nine, he performed the Surfaris' “Wipe Out” at a variety show and went on to play hundreds of gigs throughout high school and college and after graduating. But in all that time, he was never was a full-time musician.
Instead, the North Dakota native, who’s now based in Lakewood, went on to become a television news photographer, editor, producer and writer.
About a decade ago, Blumer started writing and recording songs in his home basement — but not just drum tracks. He laid down guitar, keyboard and percussion tracks, as well. Nine of those cuts made it onto his debut, Boy Meets Groove, which he recently released under the moniker Blumer Haus.
Blumer, who's met and studied with a number of legendary drummers, including Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Louie Bellson, Ed Shaughnessy and Carmine Appice, says he’d record chord structures on either keys or guitar over click tricks and then add percussion.
“When you're doing this as a recording project, you're not rehearsing with the band,” Blumer says. “I have to compose the piece. I have to practice it. I have to record one part, because I'm recording multiple parts. I'm recording the drums and the piano and the guitar. It’s very arduous, long and complicated. This is not a light project.”
To flesh out the tracks he’d recorded, Blumer brought in a few bassists, including Lonnie Motley, who’s worked with George Clinton and Chaka Khan; Bob Songster, who plays with local jazz trio Spherio; and Todd Edmunds, who was a longtime member of bluesman Otis Taylor’s band. Blumer also recruited trumpeter Jason Klobnak, saxophonist Elijah Samuels and flat-picking guitarist Tyler Grant of Grant Farm and the Emmitt-Nershi Band.
Blumer describes the album as “unique, inventive, melodic, rhythmic, syncopated and groovy.” Boy Meets Groove opens with the funky jazz cut “Imperspective,” while “Cindy Lou Who” delves into space rock. Blumer has a few odes to his North Dakota roots, including “Mood Fargo,” “moody bossa nova” and the Americana-flavored “North Dakota Sky Blues,” which features a dog barking, a nod to one of Blumer’s favorite albums, Pink Floyd’s Animals.
“I've been exposed to and appreciate a great deal of all kinds of music,” Blumer says. “I played in a dance band for years, and we played all different styles, and I've worked at a country radio station. So I really like good music — like good funk. I love Earth, Wind and Fire. I love the Beatles. They’re my greatest influence.”
Blumer had about thirty tracks he’d been working on, but chose nine of them for Boy Meets Groove because he thought they would stand alone as instrumentals. He plans to eventually add lyrics to other songs.
The album cover of Boy Meets Groove has a photo of a nine-year-old Blumer playing drums with a friend who’s “playing” a tennis racket.
"Boy Meets Groove is representative of the fact that this has been me since I was a boy,” Blumer says. “My entire life has been music — other than the fact that I've had to earn a living.”
For more information, visit Eric Blumer online.