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Eric Freeman Blues Man

June 15, 2017
















Delores Fisher (before Summer Break)

Summer blogging. . .

It was only a month before summer break and I was getting restless. I had planned to blog about San Diego’s street musicians again. They are a fascinating group. A few are especially unique. Every now and then, a street musician’s artistry haunts my thoughts.

During weekends in late April along the Broadway pier, I’d look for Eric Freeman. He’s a raw singing blues man with a sound like that which emits from old 33 1/3 vinyl records. The first time I heard him last summer, he was sitting near the Maritime Museum ships playing his slightly worn resonating guitar.

Eric Freeman Blues singer and guitarist


He stopped his set and we chatted for several minutes about lyrics, vocal styles,  early blues riffs, how he learned to play as a youth. Then he plunged into another song. I listened for several minutes more, then strolled on.

It is now almost a year later, June, only one month since spring semester ended.

This past week, May grey and June gloom finally stomped out of our atmosphere as playful pre-summer sun partied across the morning sky with much needed warmth. I am getting up AFTER 6:00AM, taking an occasional afternoon nap. reading, reflecting, blogging, playing piano, listening to music.

Listening? Oh yes. Listening. New CDs and artists seem to appear on my radar every day. Some have paid their dues. Some have not.

Unfortunately, unrealistic young musicians generally seem to fade into routine low wage jobs as life in the industry becomes tangibly in-your-face- real.

Today’s 21st century seasoned musicians make ends meet, gig whenever they can, and woodshed frequently to better their chops before they go cyber. They walk, take the trolley, or the bus. I met Eric one morning on the bus, guitar in hand, going to his day job.

Eric Freeman on the bus

We talked about life challenges– painful personal and general events, blessings, and an unsettling desire to positively touch others’ lives with our art. He’s alright for a blues man. He hasn’t gotten jaded like some of them I met years ago while hosting blues night at the old Hot Monkey Love Cafe on El Cajon Blvd right before the turn-of  onto College Avenue. He is cheerful with red-eyed tiredness.

That was the last time I saw Eric doing daily people stuff. It was a good memory.

It’s now 8:25 AM. I’m about a quarter of a mile further along the sitting at a table on the patio of Broadway Street Pier, sipping hot Ginger and Honey tea with a splash of whole milk, restlessly blogging.

Delores Fisher, Early AM
















Maybe I’m just tired from insomnia. I got up early and took a walk to the the waterfront. Great grey herons have returned to San Diego Harbor. One let me take it’s photo before spreading its majestic long wings to glide on air under the pier and out of sight.

Great Grey Heron

















Last night, tired of going to events and blogging, I stayed in and binged watched “Housewives of the Potomac.” So far, its drama/trauma laden story lines are not as messy as most in the genre. This allows me to feel connected and from time to time take sides from a distance with Black women whose societal connections are leagues above mine  


The current Real Housewives of the Potomac cast June 2017

Yea, I watch the lives of Charisse, Robyn, Karen, Monique, Ashley, and Giselle play out on the little screen especially since it’s summer break and I am intentionally taking a pause to do research. “Housewives of the Potomac” helps me relax. So does sitting harbor-side.


Let me describe Eric a bit more.

Eric plays an immediately recognizable raw non-21st century commercial blues style when he’s just jamming without an audience. It’s a style I like and listen to a lot.

We often talked blues during last fall and winter. He easily runs through names like Albert King and Big Bill Broonzy, with a brief demonstrations if you ask. Eric’s voice has been nasal and gravelly since we first met while he was busking;  he seems to be able to play almost any kind of guitar with ease and he’s now added harmonica to his sets . Like I said,  when I first met him, he had a really nice toned resonating guitar. Now, he’s got an old beat up acoustic but its a replacement until whenever he gets his next resonating.

Eric has quite a few youtube videos and faithful listeners who like his raw style.  Late spring, I saw him in a street performance around dusky sunset.  He was sitting on a business’ front steps on 6th street in the Gaslamp Quarter, another San Diego area where buskers perform. He had to correct me when he was talking about his challenges to playing and sounding like he wanted to sound. I was excited to be allowed to take this video. I started listening more closely after that. I wonder where he is now?

Update: July 3rd. I saw Eric looking worn and tired like blues men can. He was southbound, probably Mississippi or Louisiana. He was trying to start up a new gofundme page. He’s ran into a stretch of hard times, looking forward to traveling to find something better. Said he’ll get his instruments out of the pawnshop and head back to slower paced living.

If Eric’s still here in San Diego, hopefully he can get a good gig before he leaves. If you’re in town or visiting, look at club listings, visit the Gaslamp District or Embarcadero/waterfront and  listen for a guitar playing descending plaintive riffs, a harmonica wailing a train whistle, and a nasal/gravelly voice wailing about “Hey, pretty baby, honey knock yourself out” . . . It will probably be Eric Freeman.

Delores Fisher

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