My Own Boss

My Own Boss

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

My Own Boss is a solo, unplugged tribute to Bruce Springsteen that mixes the intimacy of the Boss' solo shows with the emotional depth and excitement of his legendary performances with the E-Street Band. Like a real Springsteen show, you never know what's coming next, just that it's good.


Eric Garneau is not a Bruce Springsteen impersonator but rather a Bruce Springsteen interpreter. His goal is not to sound precisely like the Boss (who could?) but rather to convey the wide range of emotions that are so key to the music of Springsteen. Highs and lows, excitement and fear, love and pain -- that's what each My Own Boss show attempts to deliver (of course depending on the venue and the occasion he can focus on the lighter side of things -- Bruce knew how to have fun, after all!).

Eric has over a decade of musical experience, and has been playing professionally for over five years. He's performed for audiences of one and audiences of 100,000. In addition to being the bass player in Chicago cover band Take Cover, Eric has been lunchtime entertainment at various Potbelly stores since 2005. In his career, Eric has performed at venues such as 115 Bourbon Street, Walter Payton's Roundhouse, the Double Door, the Miramar Theater (Milwaukee), the Canopy Club (Urbana, IL), Bobby McGee's, Amp Rock Lounge, Uncle Fatty's, and JJ Kelley's. He participated in the inaugural Chicago Winter Music Fest and will be featured in the documentary about the Chicago cover band scene coming out of that fest. He also took part in the inaugural XCountry 106.5 Old Time Radio show at the Watseka Theater.

Eric on The Boss:

"Bruce Springsteen, for a long time, wasn't my favorite musician -- not even close. I remember buying his greatest hits record in high school because I was going through a rock-and-roll classics phase and I felt I SHOULD have it, and I also bought Born in the USA although I listened to that once and filed it away. I wasn't totally sold on Bruce's musical style and I don't know why, except I always liked 'Thunder Road' and I could have sworn that the recording of 'Born to Run' actually got LOUDER after the "one, two, three, four...!".

In college I picked up a few more Boss albums thanks to the influence of friends, notably "Darkness on the Edge of Town" on vinyl and the "Live in New York City" CD, and by this time there was a collection of Bruce songs that I'd really started to like. I still wouldn't put him anywhere near my top musicians, but I was, at that point, a fan.

It wasn't until a few years after I graduated that the real power of Springsteen hit me. I was taking a couple-hour day trip and decided to listen to the whole of "Live in New York City" on the drive. Somewhere on that trip, it hit me: the amazing thing about the Boss is that his music captures the whole of the emotional spectrum. In a couple hours of concert CDs, listeners could run an emotional gamut, from the assertively triumphant 'My Love Will Not Let You Down' to the down-and-out sadness of 'The River' to the pissed-as-all-hell 'Youngstown' and of course back around to the defiance of 'Born to Run,' an anthem of hope tucked away inside a song about escape. At that point in my life I considered myself fairly well-versed in music -- I'd been in a couple bands, was a solo performer, and also spent a few months as a DJ in college -- and I had never seen an artist take command of the human experience as much as Bruce Springsteen had.

At that point, it was safe to say, I was a devotee. I began to scoop up his other albums and developed a liking or at least an appreciation for them all. I'd also gone to see him live several times. His live shows were like church for me -- an affirmation of life, with all its hardships, but also all its joys. Bruce believes in the promised land, and so do I.

And so somewhere amongst a sea of performing in a cover band and also as a solo cover artist, I got the idea to do a solo tribute to this man whose music was above all others in my collection. My goal would not be to recreate the atmosphere of his more dour solo concerts, nor could I hope to channel the energy and transcendence of an E-Street Band show, but I thought I could aim for something in between, something that hopefully hints at that full emotional spectrum over which Bruce is truly the Boss. And here I am, aiming. If you're a fan of the Boss, of folk/rock/Americana music in general, or a fan of this great experience we all share -- life -- maybe come check me out some time, and we'll talk about the promised land."

-Eric Garneau/My Own Boss, November 2009

Set List

Any and all Bruce Springsteen songs are fair game! A show can last as long as you need (1-3 hours preferred), with the ideal amount being 2 hours. For shows longer than 3 hours, I'll open with a brief set of generic covers and take a short break before I do a full Springsteen set.

For a log of complete setlists, please see

Songs performed live so far:

Adam Raised a Cain
Ain't Got You
All I'm Thinkin' 'Bout
All That Heaven Will Allow
American Land
Atlantic City
Because the Night
Better Days
Blinded by the Light
Bobby Jean
Born in the USA
Born to Run
Candy's Room
Cover Me
Dancing in the Dark
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Devils and Dust
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Downbound Train
Drive All Night
Erie Canal
Fade Away
Further on up the Road
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Glory Days
Growin' Up
Human Touch
I Wanna Be With You
I'm Going Down
I'm on Fire
If I Should