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Steamboat Magazine

Momentous Music: Eric Tessmer

08/30/2018 12:58 ● Published by Alesha Damerville

Image from Eric Tessmer

By Alesha Damerville

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – If there is one sure way to tell summer is coming to an end, the End of Summer Jam has to be it.

The End of Summer Jam is the final installation of the Keepin’ It Free Steamboat summer concert series. This event features four bands on two stages – picture thousands of people packed onto Howelsen Hill, gathering to groove summer to an end. 

This year’s lineup is one for the books: Pandas & People, Eric Tessmer, Kyle Hollingsworth and the Motet are all scheduled to close out the season. 

Eric Tessmer has played in Steamboat before, but this will be his first gig on Howelsen Hill. “Steamboat is beautiful, and everyone is super nice,” Tessmer says. “We love Colorado. Driving through the mountains is like nothing we experience in Texas.”

Born Eric James Tessmer, he grew up in a house of devout music lovers – he was even named after the rock gods Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. “It’s a trip to be named after those guys; it kind of messes with my head a little bit,” he says. “It’s a lot to live up to.” 

It’s safe to say he’s doing a good job of it. When he covers Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, he doesn’t miss a lick. “It’s kind of a responsibility when playing his music,” Tessmer says. “I try to get lost in the music and do it justice.”

“When everything comes together on stage and the audience is into it, it feels like you’re floating,” he adds.

Tessmer first picked up a guitar at eight years old, fully-committed to the practice of playing it at 12. “I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life,” he says. “My dad plays the guitar, and my grandmother was a guitar player. My dad is a big inspiration. When I was a little kid, I used to go see his bands play.”

Outside of music, Tessmer draws inspiration from black and white movies and old radio from the 30’s to the 50’s. “I’ve never thought it was weird until I began to observe my bandmates reaction to it,” he says.

During his free time, Tessmer likes to collect old international harvester trucks. “I grew up in farmland Wisconsin, so it’s kind of my anchor to my roots,” he says. 

Tessmer has been hard at work recording a new E.P. with renowned musician and producer Sean Beavanto be released in May. 

The End of Summer Jam begins at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, September 2 at Howelsen Hill. For more information visit https://keepinitfree.com.


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