Photo by Allison Meyer

Since the early 90’s, Erich Russek and his band Poets In Heat have spread their distinctive brand of roadside quirky rock across the country, playing a unique fusion of alternative music influenced by Cuban, cajun, klezmer and punk, everywhere from the tiniest towns to the most sprawling cities. The word used most often to describe Poets in Heat is “weird.” Think Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, etc…

After releasing a series of eclectically orchestrated albums from 1992-2002, Erich disappeared to the tiny town (187 people) of Clifton, VA, where he took several years off from making music, spending his time focusing on his health and well being instead. Now he has reemerged with his first official release in over 15 years, “The Return Of El Rubio,” (El Rubio was his nickname growing up in a cuban family) a fascinating and diverse collection of songs showing that the veteran troubadour hasn’t missed a beat. With the passionate grit of his vocal delivery and a gift for painting a vivid emotional picture in each song, Erich shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.