Eric Madis is an American recording artist known for his
acoustic, electric and slide guitar skills, soulful vocals, dynamic arrangements of blues and jazz classics and original acoustic compositions, which defy categorization and combine blues logic and harmony with diverse musical influences. He is also an internationally-recognized guitar instructor.
Eric grew up surrounded by music, from The Sons of the Pioneers to Broadway show tunes to the operas of Puccini and Verdi. His mother, opera singer Isabelle Bellis, had Eric start piano lessons at the age of 9. Eric took up guitar at the age of 10, inspired by guitarist Grady Martin with Marty Robbins, and that same year performed for hundreds of youths at a Denver theatre. In 1966, Eric and his friend Steve Simmons formed the Phynx of Babylon, playing music of the Byrds and other sixties folk-rock.
Eric's family moved to Chicago in 1969, where he began performing in coffeehouses and later blues clubs. There he learned from his association with Chicago blues artists, such as Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Rush, Big Walter Horton and more. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1975, Eric pursued a musical career, performing as a solo artist and with the Madis-Johnson Band (blues), Open Road (rock), Pat Burton (bluegrass) and Illinois senior fiddle champion Halbert Thornberry (country and swing), as well as repairing and building instruments and teaching guitar for Rosewood Guitar Shop.
Eric lived in Dallas 1979-1981, where he worked as a session musician, performed with Deacon Jones, Willie Willis, Craig Wallace and Faded Red, and was a 1981 Kerrville Festival New Folk finalist. Eric then returned to Denver 1981-1984, where he led the groups Ukiah and Don't Go No Further, did an extended solo acoustic engagement at Mercury Cafe and taught blues guitar at Denver Free University.
Since relocating to Seattle in 1984, Eric has continued as a solo act and leading Blue Madness, BluesCast and the Eric Madis Trio. He has performed with Robben Ford, jazz ukulele legend Bill Tapia, poet Nikki Grimes, swing violinist Paul Anastasio and Hawaii's iconic Farden Family in their last mainland tour. He has worked with regional greats Orville Johnson, Dr. Slide, Steve Bailey, Grant Dermody, Little Bill Englehart, Paul Green, Mark Dufresne, Pete Martin, Ryan Burns, Mike Lynch and Runaway Train, and has opened for James Cotton, Robben Ford, Little Charlie & the Nightcasts, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie.
Eric's music has appeared on five film soundtracks and his five Luna Records CDs have received excellent reviews, nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS) and daily airplay at SeaTac Airport. He was a finalist in Guitar World's 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition and has received 19 Best Blues nominations from WBS. Eric has taught for the National Guitar Workshop, Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus, Northwest Folklife, University of Washington Experimental College, Denver Free University, Dusty Strings Music School and JamPlay.com, and has over 150 online instructional videos.
|The music of Eric Madis reflects his experience in blues, jazz and folk music and has appeared on film soundtracks, television and radio, as well as his five solo CDs on Luna Records. Although best known for solo and group work, Eric's guitar artistry has appeared on numerous recordings and he has performed with diverse array of artists including blues greats Robben Ford and Big Walter Horton, Hawaii's iconic Farden Family, ukulele virtuoso Bill Tapia, swing violinist Paul Anastasio and poet Nicki Grimes. He was a finalist at the 1981 Kerrville Festival and 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition and has received 21 award nominations from Washington Blues Society and Northwest Area Music Association. Eric has taught guitar workshops throughout the US and Canada and has over 150 online instructional videos.|
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