Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 16, 2019
Second in a trilogy of extended plays, EP 2 continues tracing the local guitar hero's evolution from bar-closing Sixth Street slinger to a songwriter with chops. Tessmer taps a more mature and honest vein focusing on his recent sobriety. Blues still run through his veins, with opener "The Treatment" flaring a dirty burn early and "Good So Bad" slinking darkly up from rock bottom ("I just want to feel good so bad"). Deeper, though, "Early, Early Morning" follows a rising strut into the light of clearer possibility, and "Simple Solution" blisters an unfettered freedom into the funky jam of "Po' Boy." Anders Osborne's "Love Is Taking Its Toll" capstones with a 10-minute revelation. It's a daunting song cycle that never sacrifices Eric Tessmer's six-string sting.