Eric Bannan is a musical storyteller whose songs travel the bleak desert highways and lush mountain hollows of the heart. His sound is rooted in folk, driven by foot-tapping funk and seasoned with the blues. More than an entertainer, his mission is to build community with story and song. With over 35 years of performing experience, Eric’s shows are an energetic celebration of life, love and loss.
Born and raised on the North side of Chicago he was nurtured by the folk music of the 60s and the gritty, soulful, electric blues of Muddy Waters and Willy Dixon.
Eric served on a US Coast Guard air search and rescue team in Kodiak, Alaska. There, he became deeply inspired by the harsh natural beauty of his surroundings and the unique characters he encountered. A friend taught him a few chords on the guitar and he started writing songs. After playing his first gig on Halloween 1979, he realized this was his calling.
In 2004, Eric began attending songwriting and performance classes at the legendary Swannanoa Gathering. Over the years, he has honed his writing chops and stage craft at the feet of contemporary masters like David Wilcox, Vance Gilbert, Jon Vezner, Billy Jonas, Janis Ian, Livingston Taylor and Kathy Mattea.
In May of 2012, on the day his Wild Places CD was released, Eric’s mother died suddenly. Eventually, he sat down to try and write his way out of the grief. During those countless early morning writing sessions he realized that his own story was more powerful than any he could make up. From this new wellspring of intent flowed the songs that make up the heart of Stumbling Towards The Light.
Eric spent the winter of 2014-2015 getting up at 4:30 AM to record the basic tracks on his laptop before getting his son ready for school. When spring arrived, he took the tracks to Chris Rosser’s Asheville, NC recording studio. There he spent 10 days with some very talented friends building up 11 songs that explore the darkness and doubt in our lives without losing sight of the hope and joy that sustain us. With guest appearances by Jonathan Byrd, Wyatt Easterling and Laurelyn Dossett, Stumbling Towards The Light gives voice to the triumphs and tragedies of everyday life
Eric is also a husband, father, back-country adventure racer and tai chi instructor with a master’s degree in computer science. He currently resides in Pittsboro, NC and is available for shows at house concerts, listening rooms and festivals.
“Eric writes outside the box!” Jon Vezner – Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter