Eric Bannan is a storyteller and performing songwriter whose stories travel the scenic desert highways and lush mountain hollows of the heart. He has been called to share his art to inspire, motivate for positive change and build community. His sound is rooted in folk, driven by foot-tapping funk and seasoned with the blues. With over 37 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. Stumbling Toward The Light spent 6 months in the top 10 of the Roots Music Review North Carolina chart and received airplay on Folk and Americana radio all over the world.
Eric’s new 2017 CD You Are Welcome Here is an intriguing collection of uplifting anthems and stories of life on the margins. Eric explores the uncomfortable truths in our lives in a colorful and accessible way. It’s the hard discussions to have that Eric relates through his songs like Don’t Thank Me For My Service and Invisible. The title track You Are Welcome Here is rapidly becoming a call to action for socially conscious congregations and communities.
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