Erika Chambers

Erika Chambers

BandCountryBluegrass

Erika Chambers is a modern artist with a nostalgic twist. She has a passion for introducing new 'traditional' roots music into the classic folk scene.

Biography

*Erika was one of 10 songwriters selected to showcase at the IBMA World of Bluegrass, Oct 2007!

Erika Chambers is a modern artist with a nostalgic twist. She has a passion for introducing new 'traditional' roots music into the classic folk scene. New listeners often assume that Erika's songs are creative renditions of old folk favorites and are surprised to find that she pens nearly every song she performs. Her music is timeless, and her voice delicately captures that quality in every song. With her unique writing style, unforgettable vocals, and captivating instrumentation, Erika is quickly capturing the attention of the Americana / Bluegrass music scene in Nashville and throughout the country.

Although she has been singing since she was in diapers, Erika wasn’t always a fan of Americana music. At the age of 11, she and her family moved from the busy metropolis of Phoenix , Arizona to an unbearably small town outside of Nashville . Her parents hoped for a simpler life in rural Tennessee , but the change was drastic and difficult for Erika and her younger sister, Aly. They didn’t understand the “Southern” way of life and didn’t have much in common with their peers, particularly in the realm of music. Erika had never heard of Patsy Cline or Conway Twitty until she attended high school with the grandchildren of both country legends.

After years of being somewhat resentful of what she had always considered “hillbilly music”, Erika’s perception changed during her last year of college. Surrounded by new friends with a different perspective, Erika began listening to roots music with a new appreciation. Soon, she was writing her own songs, inspired by the classic artists she had once paid little attention to. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and the Carter family became some of her biggest influences, along with more current artists such as Patty Griffin, Mindy Smith, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. Before long, Erika had something unique to offer, and she was ready to share it. She formed a band and began playing Nashville venues.

She and her band are still pleasantly surprised by the incredibly warm reception they receive from their audiences. At nearly every show, fans comment on how “different” and “refreshing” Erika’s music is. Her fans appreciate that her music is both “traditional” and “fresh” at the same time. While Erika can still be seen playing around Nashville with her band, she has big plans for the near future. Her first full-length album is debuting this Spring, and her songs are already receiving airplay on broadcast and online radio stations. On “Garageband.com”, the online independent music giant, Erika has won nearly forty awards, including “Track of the Week” and “Best Female Vocals” on numerous occasions. In addition, Erika will soon appear as a contestant on the new television show, “Songwriters USA”, produced by Meridian Entertainment. In the mean time, she’s busy finishing up her album, recording demos, familiarizing herself with the ways of the ‘industry’, and writing with some of Nashville ’s “heavy-hitting” songwriters. Of course, her favorite co-writer is still her mom, a talented lyricist, who helped Erika finally find her voice.

To find out more, check out
http://www.myspace.com/erikachambers

Lyrics

"If Only Tears"

Written By: Erika Chambers, Mae Chambers

Verse 1

The whistle blew, the train was racing
But no one knew it’d left the station
The warning lights had long been flashing
But no one saw, ‘til a crash brought us all
To our knees

Chorus

A load so heavy, a road so long
Should not be endured alone
It is for you these tears I shed
If only tears could raise our dead
If only tears could raise our dead

Verse 2

The siren sounded your disaster
Who held you up the morning after?
I was not there, I could not hold you
But now this prayer, and these tears
Are a small offering

Chorus

A load so heavy, a road so long
Should not be endured alone
It is for you these tears I shed
If only tears could raise our dead
If only tears could raise our dead

(Repeat Verse 1)

Alt Chorus

My tears may never make you whole
But let them speak, “You’re not alone”
May your tears speak to Someone who
Longs to raise the dead in you
He longs to raise the dead in you

(Repeat)

Don't Cross the River, Jordan

Written By: Erika Chambers, Mae Chambers

Don’t cross the river, Jordan,
Cause Mama needs you home
I’ve laid my head upon your bed
And cried since you’ve been gone
Don’t cross the river, Jordan
Paw paw’s called the Saints to pray
Now we’re gathered at the shoreline
Beggin’ God for you to stay

Oh please don’t leave, sweet angel boy
Your time has not yet come
So rise from the water and with us stand
Till Jesus leads you on

Don’t cross the river, Jordan
Mama bade you not to go
Where the waters carry farther
Then pull you down below
Don’t cross the river, Jordan
Listen to your Mama’s voice
I’ve been callin’ from the shoreline
Callin’ to my angel boy

Oh please don’t leave, sweet angel boy
Your time has not yet come
So rise from the water and with us stand
Till Jesus leads you on

Don’t cross the river, Jordan
Till you hear another call
From the Man who walked on water
And can carry you across
Don’t cross the river, Jordan
But if you have to go
I’ll be wavin’ from the shoreline
Prayin’ till you’re safely home.

O Star O'er Bethlehem

Written By: Erika Chambers

Late did thou appear one night
As o’er the East our eyes did seek
Long have we been waiting for
Thy light to lead us to a King

Weary from our journey long
We wondered where His palace lay
Ne’er did we expect thy light
To shine upon such humble Babe

Oh star, oh star, oh star o’er Bethlehem
Oh star, oh star, oh star o’er Bethlehem

We in adoration fell
In worship of the tiny King
Gifts of gold and frankincense
And myrrh brought we as offering

Ne’er before have ere we seen
Such light as shone from His sweet face
Not from sun nor moon nor star
As thou who shone to light the way

Oh star, oh star, oh star o’er Bethlehem
Oh star, oh star, oh star o’er Bethlehem

Five Dozen Roses

Written By: Erika Chambers


I can picture a room
full of five dozen roses
I imagine each one of them mine
They were picked by my lover,
who no one supposes
will ever return here alive

He was carried away
by the wings of the ocean
Carried away from my arms
But he carried my love
in the letters I wrote him
And I carry his love in my heart

For my lover, he promised me
He would return
And I promised I'd wait till I die
So I'm carryin' on
in my room full of roses
And I'll carry his promise for life

Now a story is told
Of an ill-fated sailor
Who lept to his death in the waves
To recover a letter
blown from his hands
To the water that swept him away

But my lover, he promised me
He would return
And I promised I'd wait till I die
So I'm carryin' on
in my room full of roses
And I'll carry his promise for life

I can picture a room
full of five dozen roses
A rose for each year of my life
I've spent waiting and wond'ring
what'ere I will say to my lover
the day he arrives

For my lover, he promised me
He would return
And I promised I'd wait till I die
So I'm carryin' on
in my room full of roses
And I'll carry his promise...

Footprints

Written By: Erika Chambers and Mae Chambers


frozen, broken down in colorado
lonely mountain road with a town below
snow's been fallin' for three long days
children cryin' "will we ever be saved?"

my true love prayed aloud to his Lord above
I begged for him to stay but a greater love-
led him out into the blizzard blind
seekin' hope for loved ones left behind

I saw him stumble, I saw him fall
would his footprints bring deliverance to us all?

they found him lyin' there in the early dawn
stiff and blue, the life he knew was gone
but his footprints led, to their surprise
to the place where we were still alive

I saw him stumble, I saw him fall
but his footprints brought deliverance to us all

my true love did what only true love does
my children know the man their daddy was
and I pray someday his sons will choose
to step into their father's shoes

for they may stumble, and they may fall
but his footprints bring deliverance to us all

my love, I lost you deep in the fallen snow
I wish that I could tell you, wish you could know
that though you stumbled, though you fell
your footprints led us out of hell

I saw you stumble, I saw you fall
but your footprints brought deliverance
... brought deliverance
to us all

Back in Birmingham

Written By: Erika Chambers

I stand on ashes where once there stood a home
Here lived my family but now I stand alone
You told my papa to move us out of town
But he was a stubborn man and always stood his ground

He taught his children that only cowards run
From hatred in the eye or a bullet in a gun
Now some call me foolish for choosing to return
To face the man who lit the match and watched my family burn

(chorus)
I saw your face through the smoke and the flame
and I've prayed to God I could forget your name
and I swore I'd hate you until the day I die
but now I'm back in Birmingham to look you in the eye

You were one of many men who lived your life in fear
That people who don't look like you would take what you held dear
But when you saw what you had done, you hit your knees and cried
And when you heard me screamin' you knew you'd believed a lie

You ran to the sherrif's house and told him what you did
He told you to go on home and not speak of this again
But you chose to pay for the wicked deed you'd done
And after thirty years behind these bars, you ask for me to come

(chorus)
I saw your face through the smoke and the flame
and I've prayed to God I could forget your name
and I swore I'd hate you until the day I die
but now I'm back in Birmingham to look you in the eye

You tremble before me now as sorrow fills your eyes
And I can find no trace of that man I've so despised
You ask me to forgive all the demons of your past
And there's no time to waste, for this day will be your last

I've got thirty years of pain still alive inside of me
But before they send you to your grave, I choose to set you free

(chorus)
I saw your face through the smoke and the flame
and I've prayed to God I could forget your name
and I swore I'd hate you until the day I die
but now I'm back in back in Birmingham
yeah, here I stand in Birmingham
I came back to Birmingham to look you in the eye

Discography

*"First Glance" 5 song EP -released August '06 (featuring Bobby Clark from "Williams and Clark Expedition" on mandolin, banjo, and bass)
*Songs from "First Glance" being aired in Southern Louisiana and on several Bluegrass/Roots radio shows throughout the nation.
*"Holiday Noise" Christmas Compilation featuring Erika's original composition "O Star O'er Bethlehem". This CD was selected for a "Local Lightning Spotlight of the Week" on Nashville's WRLT Lightning 100
*Erika did an in-studio performance of "O Star" on Nashville station WRVU
*Erika's music has been featured on the radio show "Bluegrass Highway" and is also played regularly on thespiritradio.net as well as on other online stations.
* Erika's full album to be released Winter '07
* Erika was recently announced as a finalist in the Great American Song Contest.

Set List

We do anything from five song to two hour sets. Typically our sets are about 45 minutes long with about 7 originals and two covers. We can be very flexible depending on the venue and event. Our most frequently performed original songs are:
Lipstick n' Rouge
Don't Cross the River, Jordan
Havin' the Time of my Life
If Only Tears
The War
Mama's Angels
Five Dozen Roses
All is Right
Probly Never Know
Footprints
Devil Train
Sweet and Silent

We do a few Alison Krauss and Patsy Cline covers, and our lead guitarist, Scott does some killer Johnny Cash.

In addition to country and traditional bluegrass, some of our music is more along the lines of Patty Griffin or Nickel Creek. We encompass a wide variety of Roots- Americana music.