Pride and Joy

The Eldorados have gigged throughout Monterey County for two years, becoming beloved by locals with their danceable blues rock.

Members of The Eldorados found each other via Craigslist and word-of-mouth. And in one year the seven-member ensemble has gone from sophomore act to seasoned favorite. They’ve played nearly a hundred shows up and down the Monterey Peninsula. This month, they make appearances at Cooper’s Pub, Sly McFly’s, and Cibo in Monterey. And they’ll introduce new originals at nearly every performance.

It can’t be an easy task to produce so much material, but guitar player and founder Will Benson finds inspiration everywhere. His mind is at its most creative, for instance, when traveling between Monterey and Hollister for band rehearsals. “Driving down the road, with the rolling hills, just cultivates Americana and poetry,” he says. “And a lot of rock and roll is about cars,” he adds. (The name of the band comes from his own former Cadillac Eldorado.)

The Eldorados perform “about 75-percent originals” according to Benson, but the few covers in their repertoire – “Don’t Burn Down the Bridge” by Albert King and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” by the Allman Brothers, to name a few – are there partially for their ability to inspire.

“We’re trying to pick songs that we love and are passionate about, and that love will come through,” Benson says.

When he was a teenager, Benson picked up a guitar simply because he thought it was cool – “You know, when you’re young and impressionable. But the blues got to me.”

Not blue as in sad – if anything, it’s the opposite for this group. The searing riffs and chest-shaking rhythms lit a fire under Benson. Now that energy continues to fuel him – even beyond the blues.

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“I love country and honky-tonk,” he adds.

THE ELDORADOS 8pm Friday, June 7. Cooper’s Pub & Restaurant, 653 Cannery Row, Monterey. No cover. 373-1353, cooperspubmonterey.com

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