Erica Wheeler

Erica Wheeler

 Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Award-winning singer/songwriter with a rich, warm, conversational voice. Style ranges from contemporary folk to country and bluegrass. Her songs create vivid portraits of the American Landscape and the lives lived there. "This is new folk at it's best." -Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Biography

�Wheeler is the perfect Americana fit.�
--Billboard's Gavin Americana Chart

Based in western Massachusetts, Erica Wheeler is an award-winning songwriter with five critically acclaimed releases to her credit. She has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and WXPN's World Caf�. Her CD "The Harvest" remained on Billboard's Gavin Americana Chart for five months with a solid month in the top ten. The Fall 2007 issue of Yankee Magazine gave her music the honored distinction of being named the second best thing about fall: Best Soundtrack. Erica has appeared as clubs, concert halls, colleges and festivals across the country and has shared the bill with Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Greg Brown and many others. She also facilitates her writing workshop "The Soulful Landscape," which connects people with their stories of place and belonging. Her forthcoming 2008 release "Good Summer Rain" was sponsored in part by the Trust for Public Land.

Her music ranges in style from contemporary folk to country and bluegrass. Her voice is rich and warm, often conversational in style; her performances are engaging, inspiring and filled with hilarious stage patter and story. Erica writes songs that are full of sharply detailed portraits of the American landscape and the lives lived there. �All Music Guide� noted that her songs combine the �literary sensitivity of New England with the spiritual vision of the American West."The Berkshire Eagle noted "Not everyone can turn their impressions into three minute works of art that resonate with compelling truths. Erica Wheeler is one of the rare few who can."

More about �Good Summer Rain�

Erica Wheeler�s 2008 release; �Good Summer Rain� is full of literate songs about people and their relationship to place. On it she paints a vivid travelogue of the North American landscape, often feeling as expansive as the land itself. Known for her visual, "cinematographic" song-writing style, the 11 songs �Good Summer Rain� span from the intimate streets of Greenwich Village to the sweeping vistas of Jackson Hole.. Charged with emotion ranging from awe to loss, her songs include both the beauty and the grit of our landscapes. They reach out to the edges, where farmland gives way to urban sprawl, wilderness gives way to industrial growth, leaving the listener to contemplate the impacts of change, and the dilemmas that ensue.

Produced in Boston by Crit Harmon (Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier, Lori McKenna) "Good Summer Rain" draws on some of the Northeast's finest session musicians. It fuses the rootsy Americana sounds of dobro, mandolin, guitar and drums with the elegance of piano and upright bass, offering a rich textural foundation for Erica's expressive lyrics and intimate, conversational vocal style.

Wheeler�s intention with �Good Summer Rain� goes beyond the music and appeals to awaken our awareness of our place in the world. She does so with the kind of poetry that lets the listener draw their own conclusions. Beautiful, thoughtful, deeply spiritual and satisfying, Good Summer Rain will make you smile, laugh and cry but most of all, it will make you think.

Biography
Erica�s music career began in Northampton, MA, an area known as "home" to a host of touring songwriters and a hotbed for the New England revival of the acoustic music scene. At a local club of national fame, (The Iron Horse Music Hall,) Erica quickly developed from an opening act into a headliner. She honed her skills there watching artists like Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Suzanne Vega in the 170-seat room. Erica was also a frequent participant in the Northampton Songwriter Group, which then included fellow songwriters Dar Williams, Cliff Eberhardt, Annie Gallup, Jim Henry and more.

Raised in the suburbs of Washington DC (Chevy Chase, Maryland) Erica exposed to traditional folk and bluegrass music through family escapades to the surrounding regions of rural Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. She began playing guitar in 8th grade, inspired by the music featured in the coal-mining documentary �Harlan County, USA.�

Her early musical inspiration also came from her parents collection of folk artists such as Odetta and Judy Collins, followed by her older brother�s collections of seventies singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. In college she was moved by artists such as Ferron and Joan Armatrading. Erica has also been deeply influenced by writers such as Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Tempest Williams and the poet Mary Oliver.

A troubadour in the classic sense of the word, Erica enjoys traveling back roads, exploring small towns and collecting impressions along the way that eventually work their way into her songs. She sees her �job� as a way to take people on a journey through internal and external landscapes. Her concerts provide songs and stories that resonate with her

Discography

"Good Summer Rain" 2008 (forthcoming)

"Almost Like Tonight" (2004, Blue Pie Music) is a live CD, which showcases her spontaneous stage patter along with acoustic versions of requested favorites and several previously unreleased songs.

"three wishes" (1999, Signature Sounds), was produced by Steven Miller (Dar Williams). The CD enlisted Bob Dylan�s road band to create alternative country sound.

"The Harvest" (1996, Signature Sounds), produced by Grammy nominee and bluegrass wiz Laurie Lewis has been said to be Erica�s breakthrough release.

"From that Far"(1992, Blue Pie Music) was produced by Darleen Wilson (Patty Larkin, Bill Morrissey).

Set List

1 75 minute set or 2 45 minute sets
Erica's orginal songs with 1 to 3 covers per show.