Double trouble: Bluesmen Eric Jerardi and Noah Wotherspoon share the stage

The Dayton-area natives will perform at The Brightside Wednesday.



In the world of American bluesmen, Dayton-area natives Eric Jerardi and Noah Wotherspoon are mere youngsters. However, the two musicians, sharing a double bill at The Brightside in Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 15, have been among the most talked about blues guitarists in the region for decades. Combined, they have more than 60 years of musical experience.

Jerardi and Wotherspoon crossed paths for years, sitting in with each other occasionally, but rarely performed on the same bills. However, they did a one-off show together last year with their bands that went so well they decided to book more joint performances.

“This is the third double header this year,” Wotherspoon said recently, speaking by telephone from his home in Cincinnati. “They’ve been a ball. On the last couple of shows together, I’ve brought my big band with Da’Rosa Richardson on keys and the Just Strange Brothers Horns. Then, Eric found some charts for the horn stuff he did at Muscle Shoals, so they’ve been playing on his set as well. We usually do a couple of stripped down acoustic things together too during his set. It’s a revue kind of a night and The Brightside is a killer venue. It’s so nice.

“We did the first one at The Brightside last year,” Wotherspoon continued. “Then we did one this summer at the Southgate House down here and we also did a show at Levitt Pavilion in August. That was a great night. The Levitt is a blessing. It’s a wonderful thing. The turnout was awesome. You’re playing for a lot of new faces, which is huge. The whole story behind the venue and the fact it’s free for the public is a beautiful thing.”



Noah’s story

Wotherspoon, a 2000 graduate of Beavercreek High School, got his first electric guitar at the age of 11. The instrument was a gift from his older brother, who was a major influence on his early musical development as a Stratocaster-slinging guitarist. Wotherspoon was performing in local venues two years later.

The teenager released his first album in 1998 and was soon building a reputation far beyond the Ohio border as a hot young player. Other releases include “Buzz Me” (2001), “Reel to Real” (2005), “Mystic Mud” (2015) and “Mobile Jukebox House Theater” (2019). Wotherspoon has continued to develop his playing, even winning best guitarist honors at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2015.

Wotherspoon and his band played in Europe for the first time in 2016. In 2017, he headlined the Reykjavik Blues Festival in Iceland, and also toured with his band in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The group performed at the Salvabluesjazz Festival in Mexico in 2018. Last month, Wotherspoon and his band did four weeks of shows in the same Eastern European countries they toured in 2017.



Eric’s story

Jerardi, who graduated from Vandalia Butler High School in 1987, started playing electric guitar at 15. He was a few years older than Wotherspoon, but it didn’t take him long either to become one of the leading guitar players locally and beyond.

While attending Ohio University in 1988, Jerardi became singer and guitarist for the band 18th Emergency. In 1992, MTV named the Ohio outfit the best unsigned college group in the Midwest. It placed third that year during the music channel’s Spring Break Bash in Daytona Beach, Fla. His debut solo album, “Eric Jerardi,” was released in 1996 by Rock Records, a New York-based label run by Bellbrook native George Karras.

Jerardi spent years performing nationally and has made numerous albums for Niche Records, including “Had Enough” (1998), “Virtual Virtue” (2002), “Restless” (2007), “Everybody’s Waiting” (2013) and “Occupied” (2019). The guitarist has also been the owner and operator of the wine shop, The Little Store, located at 7325 Peters Pike, since 1994. While Jerardi has scaled back his national dates in recent years, he is still one of the most dynamic players around.

Shared history

Wotherspoon’s brother not only gifted him his first electric guitar, but he also introduced him to Jerardi’s music.

“I first learned about Eric when I was a kid,” Wotherspoon said. “It was the classic thing where my older brother would bring home music. He introduced me to all kinds of stuff. There would be a Hendrix CD and then he’d be like, ‘Hey, my buddies and I are going to go out and see Eric.’ At the time he was in 18th Emergency. Those CDs were kind of strewn around the bedroom stereo as well. I’d see his album covers.”

It wasn’t long before Wotherspoon met Jerardi.

“Once I got in junior high, I’d go out with Dave Hussong’s kid Griffin, who was in my band,” he said. “We’d see Eric play and we’d end up sitting in. I remember when my main guitar was stolen, somehow Jim Nichols (long-time Dayton writer who passed away in 2008) got word about it and did an article. Eric saw Jim’s article and he called me and told me to meet him downtown. He let me borrow this gold Strat he had until I found a replacement guitar.

“I did end up finding that same guitar again, which is still my main axe,” Wotherspoon added. “Eric has been a friend for a long time and that act of kindness always stayed with me. We’re more in touch now than we have been in a long time and doing these shows together has been a really cool experience.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


What: The Eric Jerardi Band and the Noah Wotherspoon Band

Where: The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton

When: 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15

Cost: $25 general admission, $70 two-top bistro table seating

More info: 937-410-0450 or

Artist info: and

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