Eric "Scorch" ScortiaThe grandson of Romanian immigrants Eric was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio. Unlike most keyboard students who study piano first and then switch to organ, he gravitated immediately to the B3 from the age of five. At ten, he witnessed the visceral energy of gospel and country music when he saw Johnny and June Carter Cash perform at a Pentecostal church in a nearby town - an experience he marvels at to this day. His other early influences were numerous and diverse - from jazz and R&B greats like Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff to keyboardists like Larry Young, Brian Auger, Billy Preston, Jan Hammer and Jon Lord.
Shortly after high school, Scorch moved with his family to the Lone Star State, which has been his home ever since. He enrolled at the University of North Texas and studied music for a few years but didn't finish right away, opting instead to take a position as a keyboard clinician for a musical instrument manufacturer - a lucrative gig that had him performing at trade shows all over the country, and clinics at schools and universities.
He toured briefly with Delbert McClinton in the mid-1980s, until Texas blues guitarist Omar Dykes invited him to join the band on their Hard Times in the Land of Plenty tour. He logged in about 200 dates per year with Omar and the Howlers, opening for Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and other powerhouse blues-rock bands of the day. All the while, he managed to hold together his own band, play a few gigs here and there as a frontman, and continue developing his own material.
By the end of the '90s, Eric had finished with Omar and the Howlers and landed a gig with Fort Worth-based tenor saxophonist Johnny Reno, who'd already established himself as the frontman for the Sax Maniacs, mainstays of the Texas roadhouse rock and blues circuit. Scorch and Reno assembled a band called The Lounge Kings.
In the midst of these various affiliations Eric established a solo recording career on the Heads Up label. He parted with Heads Up a few years later and launched his own label, Organ-Ized Records. By the early years of the new decade, Scorch had established himself as a vibrant and diverse stage performer, a prolific songwriter, a highly skilled studio artist, a savvy business owner, educator and a voting member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (home of the Grammys). He has built a state-of-the-art recording studio in his Dallas home, where he does session work for his and other artists' projects.
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Heads Up International HUCD 4006
Eric Scortia, Hammond organ
Marchel Ivery, tenor sax
Ira Bassett, trumpet
Henry Johnson, guitar
Jim Shannon, guitar
Don Bozman, trombone
Ed Soph, drums
Bob Stewart, percussion
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