By Kevin Alan Lamb
Eric Engblade is “Folk-Rock With Teeth”, a joyful Northern Michigan bequeath, pouring over the tug-o-war between wants and needs. His sound and songs are a soothing serenade, singing you to a place where apple pies cool on windowsills, and children play in cattails; accompanied by church bells ringing in the distance, where he warns to be weary of the “Enthusiastic, Evangelistic, Preacher Man”. Released in 2012 while fronting, booking, and managing The Northern Skies, ‘Thick As Thieves’ was hailed as a “homegrown, handmade work of art” (On The Town, Grand Rapids, MI). He hollers, harmonizes, and whispers truths you wish to believe, transforming listeners to the Forests of Manistee, blanketed beneath the shadow cover of Jack Pines on a summer day, sippin’ coffee, pick’n wildberries, while your worries slip away. A natural storyteller, Eric Engblade offers his hand and insists you hold on while he takes you for a ride, wagons ablaze, seasons changing, with course curriculum: fact, fiction, and someone else’s lies. His hopeful soul soothes and soars under skies blue, but his pragmatic skepticism posits the question of whether we’ll be able to make it through? Subdued rage, reasonable doubt, and existential meanderings which do not seek permission, but command attention, intention, and the choice between falling in line, or falling in love?
Enchanting, encouraging, guitar pick’n, banjo strummin’, kazoo commanding, Eric Engblade sings eclectic folk tunes from depths few dare to descend, counter-offering despair with a hearty helping of hope and hands-on contribution to the care of Michigan’s youth. An accomplished and acclaimed singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, father, music educator, and podcast host from Grand Rapids, MI, Eric Engblade performs as a solo artist or with his band across the Great Lakes region, having opened for prominent national acts as Greensky Bluegrass, Billy Strings, Paul Thorn, Pert Near Sandstone, among others. Some other career highlights include performing at Hoxeyville Music Festival (2010, 2017), Beaver Island Music Festival (2011), Hiawatha Music Festival (2011), Earthwork Harvest Gathering (20l6), Buttermilk Jamboree (2017, 2018), Cowpie Music Festival (2018), and at Frederick Meijer Garden Amphitheater (2012, 2018).
Engblade is a full-time working musician, teaching students multiple instruments at Ada Conservatory of Music (Ada, MI), and Joyful Sounds Music Studio (Grand Rapids, MI). For children ages 0 to 4 he utilizes the “Music Together” curriculum, and ages 4 to 7 the “Rhythm Kids” group drum curriculum, along with group Ukulele lessons using his own creation, “Uke Zoo”. When joined by his wife Tammy, they become Molten Lava Schnieder, who performs original and old favorite kids songs at Children’s museums, schools, and private parties.
In 2016 he released a 12 song, self titled, solo LP within which Engblade’s “inspiring musicianship and songwriting” (John Sinkevics, Local Spins) are undeniable. In 2020 Engblade released a single of his song “The Mystery Emporium”.
Eric Engblade can be booked as a solo artist, as a duo with upright bassist Justin Avdek, or adding other musicians such as Justin Weirenga on electric guitar, cellist Max Morrison, and violinist Ezekiel Kinney. Either as a solo act, or with the support of top notch regional musicians, Engblade continues to spread his “accessible” and “infectious”, yet ”eccentric”, and “danceable” Folk-Rock With Teeth while touring the Great Lakes Region and beyond (John Sinkevics, Local Spins).
His music tells great tales of mystic marvels, advent, and adventure! He is the modern Michigan Ringmaster: Theatric in his antics; Silly in his nature; Swing in his tempo; A showman thoroughly rooted and suited in the art of illustrating a vision, taking listeners on a mission, from his heart to yours.