June 15, 2018
When Craig Bickhardt steps on stage, he is accompanied by something invisible, yet ever-present: the stories of a lifetime, vividly translated into words and melody. From the 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 America. 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.
Craig is a singer/songwriter of the old school - you hear echoes of such 60's 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, and a spare but telling lyric approach. "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. "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."
After his band days, Craig wrote and sang songs for country music-themed Tender Mercies, starring Robert Duvall. This led to a residency in Nashville, where his songs were recorded by Ray Charles, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, the Judd's, Tony Rice and Alison Krauss. All the while, Craig was playing at the Bluebird Café and other Nashville area clubs. He released his first solo album, Easy Fires, in 2001. Five years later, he returned to his Pennsylvania roots and came into his own as a solo performer. By the end of the decade, Craig had won a new legion of fans through opening for the likes of Judy Collins, Kathy Mattea and Billy Joe Shaver as well as solo shows.
Craig usually brings with him a cadre of musician friends, both local, and from around the country. You can count on his trusty sidekick, percussionist extraordinaire, Tommy Geddes, being present, and the rest will be a surprise.
Simply put - it's live acoustic music in a private living room with an audience of friends, both new and old, and great food that everyone brings to share. The music is outstanding - these are very talented musicians. Most tour professionally, usually nationally, some even internationally. More...