20 S. 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA, 19106
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
ERIC ANDERSEN'S voice, songs, guitar and piano playing created a career that has spanned over 45 years. He has recorded 25 albums of original songs, and made numerous tours of North America, Europe, and Japan.
His songs have been recorded and performed by world renown artists such as Ricky Nelson, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Linda Thompson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Francoise Hardy, plus many others in Europe, Australia, England, and Japan.
The 40's & 50's
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1943, Eric received his early schooling in Buffalo, where he taught himself guitar and piano. His dad Harold was a chemical metallurgist who loved poetry and his mom Janis was a housewife who studied art in college. Love of art and music ran through the house.
Andersen’s hometown provided many musical experiences, which would later form his musical character and career. Among these was watching Elvis Presley perform in a gold suit at the Buffalo Memorial auditorium and seeing Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers play at his high school gym.
As a teenager his parents took him to see the Miles Davis Quintet at Kleinhans Music Hall and his mom often took him to see exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Art Museum, whose holdings included a comprehensive collection of American Abstract expressionism such as Pollack, Still, Rothko, and Klein. When he was eight, he saw his first Van Gogh exhibition.
He recollected, “Hearing and seeing this stuff reminded me that there was a bigger world outside of the one I knew there in Buffalo.”
tl_files/EricAndersen/bio/Sept10_1962.jpgAfter school hours, he began listening to The Kingston Trio and The Weavers. To make money to buy records, he worked as a short order cook and cleaned the floors of a record store. In his senior year, he started his own high school folk group called the Eric Andersen Singers that performed folk ballads and the political songs of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
For two summers, during his junior and senior years, he worked at the Roswell Park Cancer Research hospital in Buffalo, under the auspices of a Hungarian researcher/doctor neighbor, Tomás Bardos.
Also, in high school years, he hung around a group of folk music and literature loving friends, where, outside of class, he developed a life-long love for literature, and spent a great deal of time reading the books by Dostoyevsky, Lawrence, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. His parents were supportive of his musical talents. In this atmosphere, he started writing his own stories, poems, and songs.
He began spending weekend evenings a local Buffalo folk music club, called the Limelight, to hear the great folk duo harmonies and guitar playing of Don Hackett and Jerry Ravin.
Charles has been writing and performing songs for over forty years. The germ of the idea for “The Holy Bluff”, the non fiction work that took over four years to bring to fruition, came from a song that “popped into his head" in fifteen minutes. Click on the tab under "Songwriting" to read the original Lyrics.
Charles written over two thousand songs and and is busy working on the next thousand.
Charles started out in folk trios in the 1960's and began writing songs "before I’d learned my fourth chord". He started out singing at freedom marches, schools and coffee houses around Chicago at the height of the civil rights movement, hit New York’s Greenwich Village “right after the stars left”, went underground when the 70’s hit, got on with the "real world" business of work and family, kept writing through it all and resurfaced a few years back when he noticed that the the music was alive and well and living in Philadelphia, which he now does as well. He credits his two years of Cabaret training at New York’s famed Actor’s Institute with his dramatic performance style and Jack Hardy’s merciless Monday Night song sessions with getting his songwriting past that greatest of all barriers, "me".
He counts as his influences “Everybody but Dostoevsky – I could never get into Dostoevsky – sorry, Fyodor” - which is to say his tastes are less eclectic than omnivorous - classical, jazz, folk, blues, the great American songbook, rock n’ roll, country and the twenty year old kid he heard last Friday. Not to mention literature, fiction, poetry, philosophy, pulp, criticism, comedy, everything from Presley to Piaf, from the Bard to the Beats to the Basement Tapes. You’ll hear elements of it all in both his writing and his performances – sort of a Cole Porter meets Charles Bukowski and they go off to a banjo picking party at Billie Holiday’s house.
Recent influences include one man poetry slam Chris Chandler, the “prematurely immortal” Dave Carter, Southwestern whiskey poets Butch Morgan, Sam Baker and Eric Taylor, and, of course, that twenty year old kid he heard last Friday.
Tickets are non-refundable. Seating is unreserved except for Serrano diners. Reserved seats are assigned based on the order in which the reservations are made, and are only available for those diners who honor their reservations in a full and timely manner. In order to make a dinner reservation please visit Opentable.com. All shows are 21 and over unless indicated.
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