CRAIG BICKHARDT AT SANDYWOODS
FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2013 - CRAIG BICKHARDT
7:30 pm, doors open 7 pm
BYOB & food allowed
$12 advance, $15 at the door
ADVANCE TICKETS AT
When Craig Bickhardt steps onto a concert stage, he comes equipped with his trusty acoustic guitar. He is also accompanied by something invisible, yet ever-present - the stories of a lifetime, vividly translated into words and melody.
From the boisterous club scene of Philadelphia to the country-rock milieu of Los Angeles to the picking parlors of Nashville, Craig has immersed himself in the sights and sounds of American music. His music reflects a life lived as a rock band lead singer, a solo troubadour, a dedicated songwriter, a husband and father. Dreams, heartaches and hard-earned lessons have fed his creativity. There is no other way he could have written the eloquent, often bittersweet songs that have become his trademark.
"I start a lot of songs because I feel conflicted," he explains. "I may begin from a point of darkness, but I usually end up writing towards the light because, for me, hope is the thing worth singing about. The characters in the stories I sing aren't heroic; they're very ordinary. But they're reaching for something beyond themselves, and I find nobility in that."
Craig is a singer/songwriter of the old school you can hear echoes of such '60s folk revival artists as Tom Rush, Gordon Lightfoot and Eric Andersen in his work. Added to this is the melodic sophistication of a Jimmy Webb or a Paul Simon, as well as a spare but telling lyric approach. Also crucial to Craig's art is his virtuosic guitar work, interweaving folk, blues, country and ragtime influences into a unique whole: "The guitar isn't just an accompanying instrument for me sometimes it's the front man and my voice is the accompanist."
Craig secured an assignment to write and sing songs for "Tender Mercies," a country music-themed film starring Robert Duvall. This led to a lengthy residency in Nashville, where he saw his songs recorded by such legends as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, the Judds, Tony Rice and Alison Krauss. All the while, Craig continued playing his music live at the Bluebird Café and other clubs in the Nashville area. The call to the stage grew stronger after he released his first solo album, "Easy Fires," in 2001. By the end of the decade, Craig had won a new legion of fans on the East Coast and beyond through opening gigs for the likes of Judy Collins, Kathy Mattea, and Billy Joe Shaver, and club dates of his own.
A Craig Bickhardt live set is a mix of absurd anecdotes and personal confessions, accompanying a well-stocked bag of original tunes and the occasional choice cover. His decades in music have given his performances the depth of experience. "I think people come to my shows to be reminded that there's something profound in the small stuff we experience every day," he says. "My goal is to get an audience to look deeper at the things we all take for granted."
Craig Bickhardt combines a seasoned troubadour's easy command of his art with a beginner's passion to win over his next audience and top his next song. The stories of his lifetime are simply too good not to share.
SANDYWOODS CENTER FOR THE ARTS (View)
43 Muse Way
Tiverton, RI 02878
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