Television and music fans in Nashville know Eric Dahl as the host of the weekly TV show Rock & Review on WZTV, FOX 17, where he interviews notable Nashville recording artists and musicians of all genres. He also hosts a similar show on iHeart Radio’s 98.3/1510 WLAC. But what many people don’t know about Dahl is that he is far more than just your everyday TV and radio talk show host.
For more than three decades, Dahl has worked both behind and in front of the camera for the publicly-traded Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates dozens of television stations across the country. Dahl currently serves as Sinclair’s Creative Services & Program Director for Nashville’s FOX 17, CW58 and MyTV30, and spent a decade working for Sinclair in a similar capacity in Las Vegas. His career with the company actually began just a few hours from Nashville in the Mississippi River town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. So a lifelong gig as successful as his would be plenty for most folks. Dahl, though, is a lot more than just a broadcasting veteran.
Prior to earning a broadcasting degree, Dahl studied jazz and classical guitar and music theory at Nashville’s Belmont University. And after signing off for the day at the TV station in Cape Girardeau, he was the guitarist for Van Gogh’s Ear, one of Southeast Missouri’s most popular bands. When Sinclair sent him to work in Las Vegas in 2001 it may have seemed like just another step up the corporate ladder. But Dahl then spent the next decade with not only a high-profile television gig in Vegas, but as the go-to guy for high-profile Strip performers and bands when they needed a guitarist at night.
Now, a decade after relocating to Nashville, Dahl is a recognized expert on guitars and the gear that makes them sound the way they do, and has been a contributor to various music and instrument-related magazines worldwide for years. Add to that his two published books about blues great B.B. King (written after Dahl accidentally bought one of King’s stolen guitars in a Las Vegas pawn shop), and you have to wonder when this guy ever takes a minute to chill.
“I don’t sleep a lot,” said the ever-smiling Dahl, who is known for an outgoing and positive personality that, no doubt, gets him the interviews with the big artists who won’t talk to other people. “TV is my real day job that pays the bills, but I’m passionate about doing my interviews for the FOX 17 Rock & Review and the Rock & Review radio show on WLAC. I had another radio show until last February on Acme Radio called Acme Radio Gear Gab for three and a half years. The second edition of my B.B. King Lucille book came out this past October during the pandemic, and I want to start working on my third book this year.”
Dahl is also a utility player in the praise and worship band at the church he attends. And of course, like practically every musician in Nashville, he has one yet-unrequited goal. We won’t be surprised when he achieves it.
“I want to start writing original songs again and do a solo album just for fun,” he said. “I will be getting back out to play songwriter rounds this year too. It scares the crap out of me so I keep doing it. I’m much more comfortable covering other artists’ songs instead of saying, ‘Hey, here’s an Eric Dahl original!’ But I always meet interesting people and hear great songs when I play the rounds. It is very humbling.”