On Tuesday, Jan. 13, singer-songwriter Eric Erdman released his latest effort “No Slowing Down” and an impressive number of fans filled Soul Kitchen to celebrate and hear live interpretations of the new tracks. Erdman promised to bring a cavalcade of guests, and he followed through.

Mobile singer-songwriter Eric Erdman debuted his new album "No Slowing Down" at Soul Kitchen Jan. 13 with a stage full of friends lending support.

Honestly, Mobile needs more shows like this. The stage full of talent brought an edge that is rarely scene in a local show. Erdman recruited friends including Ryan Balthrop, Kristy Lee, Holli Mosley, Harrison McInnis and John Milham. The Hussy Hicks also paid a visit.

In addition to Erdman’s new tracks, the evening’s vocal work was one of the most impressive aspects of the show. The Hicks mingled delicate backing vocals and perfectly accented each song in which they were included. McInnis, Lee, Mosley and Balthrop also added the down home soul of their voices. However, credit has to be extended to Erdman. Although he took ill just days before the show, he delivered one of his best performances yet.

Guitarfest debuts Saturday

Guitarfest is coming to Mobile Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Azalea City Center for the Arts (63 Midtown Park E.). The event is the brainchild of several local guitar teachers who felt their students lacked critical performance opportunities. One of those teachers is University of Mobile professor Mark Habib, who elaborated on the concept in a recent press release.

“Practicing and perfecting a piece of music for a competition, playing in front of a judge, and gathering with your peers who are also studying music, is an important part of learning an instrument,” Habib said. “There are opportunities for students of piano, band instruments, and strings along the Gulf Coast, but until Guitarfest holds its first competition in January, there have not been any for guitar.”

The competition will cost $25 for students, and they will be judged by David Bryan, a guitar professor at William Carey University. In addition to the competition, the crowd will also enjoy performances from the William Carey University Guitar Quintet, Mark Habib, Bryant Gilley, the Josh Titford Trio, Chris and Melody Duncan and Corky Hughes. Walter Cazalas from Cottage Hill Christian Academy will also provide an educational demonstration.