Eddie Rion’s musical journey began at the age of 4 with piano lessons. By the age 6 his father showed him his first guitar chords. Since then, Rion has been self-taught through mimicking other guitarists that inspired him, books, and videos. Dedicated to his craft, Rion continues working at expanding his fretboard vocabulary into jazz, country, and blues.
Growing up Rion’s taste of music gravitated to the raw, electric sounds of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Yardbirds, and other groups from the 1960s. Over the years, guitarists like Keith Richards, Angus Young, and Eddie Van Halen where huge influences. But the one who really rocked Rion’s boat was Brian Setzer. Setzer’s blend of playing styles immediately inspired him to learn every Stray Cats, Brian Setzer Orchestra, and classic rockabilly tunes he could get his hands on.
Rion’s love for Gretsch started young as his father owned a vintage Gretsch Tennessean that he liked to strum on. His interest in Gretsch only intensified once he started idolizing Brian Setzer and his classic rockabilly sound. Rion states, “I prefer to record and perform LIVE with my Gretsch guitars because of their versatility to deliver clean, sparkly tones suitable for jazz, to raw, overdriven sounds I require on stage.”
Rion spent several years playing in the coverband scene creating a niche for himself turning “guilty-pleasure” pop songs into rock covers. He took this style into original music with his solo project, “Eddie Rion and the Guilty Pleasures.” Rion now primarily plays for roots rock and roll band Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones. U.S. tours have included dates sharing the stage with The Blasters, Reverend Horton Heat, Joan Jett, and Rion’s hero, Brian Setzer.
Featured image by Mark Schoen Photography.