When Spin Doctors guitarist Eric Schenkman penned Locked In The House All Day for his latest solo album Who Shot John?, little did he know it’d become the shared experience for so many of us.
“I’ve been hunkered down in Toronto, not working live — which is basically what I do,” Schenkman says of how he’s personally wrangling social distancing and self-quarantine. “Still playing music at home, though!”
The video for Locked In The House All Day splashes city streets with graffiti alleys before they emptied entirely, and Canadians were called to change old routines into new normals — Schenkman included. “My mom is in an old folks’ home a mile from where I am. They actually have active COVID-19 cases, which is scary. I can only visit her at her window, which is kind of a miracle in itself since her room happens to have an accessible window. I’m thankful for that!”
Schenkman hasn’t spent most of his life locked away — he’s been a long-familiar face on hundreds of stages, playing before thousands of fans around the world with Spin Doctors. As one of the band’s not-so-secret weapons — a vital songwriter and a virtuoso guitarist who crafted the ‘90s band, and co-wrote all five of their Top 100 hits — he’s also worked with Chico Hamilton, Carly Simon, Natalie Merchant, Noel Redding, Phoebe Snow, Corky Laing and more.
His self-produced third solo album, Who Shot John? showcases the many sides of Schenkman; from raw, rockin’ blues to funk/soul/pop, the entire release is both classic and immediate. And, as Schenkman would likely admit, overdue. “I’ve been playing the Ontario blues circuit for about a decade,” he explains. “I have this long history as a guitarist in relation to the blues up here in Canada. And I’ve been writing songs in a couple of different idioms. So Who Shot John? comes from a convergence of my three worlds — vocals, guitar and songwriting. It’s about my life. Where I’m at now.”
And as it turns out, Locked In The House All Day is where we’re all at now. “I only go out with a mask now, and I keep my distance more than ever. This is a real communal issue,” he adds. “We are truly in it together, eh?”