|Erik Brandt and The Urban Hillbilly Quartet
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Web site: http://www.erikbrandt.com
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Erik Brandt has been the ringleader of the award-winning eclectic Twin Cities-based Urban Hillbilly Quartet since 1995. By night, he plays music. By day, he teaches English and Journalism at Harding High School in St. Paul. He’s played in venues all over the USA, Canada, Australia, and on various street corners throughout Europe. He’s also taught high school Shakespeare, rudimentary grammar, haikus and standardized test prep.
On stage, Erik performs mainly original material drawn from the Americana vein. Most of his original tunes can be found on the eight albums he’s recorded with the UHQ and his two solo albums: Green Eyed Alone and, his latest, Sometimes. When choosing covers, he pulls liberally from the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Big Bill Broonzy, Johnny Cash, and other Americana heroes. As a multi-instrumentalist, Erik switches between acoustic guitar, piano and accordion during performances.
His music has been influenced by and compared to: Americana powerhouses The Jayhawks, Gillian Welch, and Uncle Tupelo; Georgia’s Vigilantes of Love; Britain’s The Waterboys; Australia’s Paul Kelly; Canada’s Bruce Cockburn; and folk/jazz pioneers David Grisman, Paris Combo and Tin Hat Trio.
Though Erik mostly performs solo, he is often joined by guests from UHQ and other bands on stage. The combination of his different instruments, songwriting talent and musical guests makes his live performances dynamic and unique.