FROM THAT FAR 1992 BLUE PIE MUSIC Produced by Darleen Wilson
“Erica Wheeler won’t let you do anything else while listening to From That Far. She just keeps coming up with surprise after surprise until she’s got you nodding earnestly saying “oh, I like this, more please.”
“Excellent writing, excellent production-overall a refreshingly different release”
-Dick Pleasants WGBH
Self released in 1992, From That Far was featured on many “Best of 93” lists and received high praise and air play across the nation. The CD was produced by award winning producer Darleen Wilson (Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Cosy Sheridan) and featured some of the finest session players the northeast has to offer; including Doug Plavin and the late Johnny Cunningham among others.
"A top notch singer/songwriter whose best work coexists comfortably in the company of Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the other Wheeler (Cheryl)....Not everyone can turn their impressions into three minute works of art that resonate with compelling truths. Erica Wheeler is one of the rare few who can."-Berkshire Eagle
"Wheeler is the perfect Americana fit." --Billboard''s Gavin Americana Chart
"Wheeler is the perfect kind of singer/songwriter: she writes songs filled with detail and revelation, and she sings them with a voice that is versatile and moving." https://www.tradebit.com
Erica Wheeler is a Signature Sounds recording artist with four critically acclaimed CD''s to her credit. She has been featured on NPR''s "All Things Considered" and her music has charted for four weeks in the top-ten on Billboard''s Gavin Americana Chart. She is a favorite at clubs, coffeehouses and colleges across the country and has shared the stage with Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Greg Brown and others.
Her music ranges in style from contemporary folk to country and bluegrass. Her voice is rich and warm, often conversational in style; her performances are engaging, inspiring and filled with hilarious stage patter and story. Erica writes songs that are full of sharply detailed portraits of the American landscape and the lives lived there. "All Music Guide" noted that her songs combine the "literary sensitivity of New England with the spiritual vision of the American West."
Erica''s music career began in Northampton, MA, an area known as "home" to a host of touring songwriters and a hotbed for the New England revival of the acoustic music scene. At a local club of national fame, (The Iron Horse Music Hall,) Erica quickly developed from an opening act into a headliner. She honed her skills there watching artists like Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Suzanne Vega in the 170-seat room. Erica was also a frequent participant in the Northampton Songwriter Group, which then included fellow songwriters Dar Williams, Cliff Eberhardt, Annie Gallup, Jim Henry and more.
Raised in the suburbs of Washington DC (Chevy Chase, Maryland) Erica exposed to traditional folk and bluegrass music through family escapades to the surrounding regions of rural Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. She began playing guitar in 8th grade, inspired by the music featured in the coal-mining documentary "Harlan County, USA."
Her early musical inspiration also came from her parents collection of folk artists such as Odetta and Judy Collins, followed by her older brother''s collections of seventies singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. In college she was moved by artists such as Ferron and Joan Armatrading. Erica has also been deeply influenced by writers such as Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Tempest Williams and the poet Mary Oliver.
A troubadour in the classic sense of the word, Erica enjoys traveling back roads, exploring small towns and collecting impressions along the way that eventually work their way into her songs. She sees her "job" as a way to take people on a journey through internal and external landscapes. Her concerts provide songs and stories that resonate with her listeners, evoking their own sense of relationship to place. Her hands-on workshop "The Soulful Landscape" (see below) provides opportunities for individuals to access, articulate and express their own stories of connection to place.
For her, touring and making music is about connection and building community. She finds one of the most rewarding aspects of her work to look out into an audience and realize she''s gathered together with a room full of people she''d like to get to know.
Erica is currently based north of Northampton, in the little Massachusetts hilltown of Colrain. She lives in a 100-year-old cottage beside a rushing brook, surrounded by her neighbors'' 750-acre dairy and maple sugar farm. It''s what keeps her grounded in a "sense of place" whenever she comes home from the road.
NEW RELEASE FOR FALL 2007/ WINTER 2008 "Good Summer Rain"
Known for her vivid imagery and "cinematographic" writing style, the songs on Erica''s new release offers a "wide-angle lens", displaying a panorama which includes both the beauty and the grit of our world today. Her songs span from the intimate streets of Greenwich Village to the sweeping vistas of Jackson Hole, moving emotionally from awe through loss. They include stories of where farmland gives way to sprawl and wilderness gives way to industrial growth...and the dilemmas that ensue.
"Good Summer Rain,"was produced by Crit Harmon (Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier, Lori McKenna) and draws on some of the Northeast''s finest session musicians. Fusing the rootsy Americana sounds of dobro, mandolin, guitar and drums with the elegance of piano and upright bass, the CD offers a rich textural foundation for Erica''s expressive lyrics and intimate, conversational vocal style. Full of literate and finely crafted songs, "Good Summer Rain" is rich with unforgettable imagery and stories about people, their landscapes and the lives lived there.
It''s Erica''s intention with this new CD to go beyond offering a just a great collection of songs that are beautifully produced and enjoyable to listen to. She hopes that these songs will also awaken something in the listener, rekindling their own sense of place and what it means in their lives, evoking the sense of connection so needed in our world today.
"Almost Like Tonight" (2004, Blue Pie Music) is a live CD, which showcases her spontaneous stage patter along with acoustic versions of requested favorites and several previously unreleased songs.
"three wishes" (1999, Signature Sounds), was produced by Steven Miller (Dar Williams). The CD enlisted Bob Dylan''s road band to create alternative country sound.
"The Harvest" (1996, Signature Sounds), produced by Grammy nominee and bluegrass wiz Laurie Lewis has been said to be Erica''s breakthrough release.
"From that Far"(1992, Blue Pie Music) was produced by Darleen Wilson (Patty Larkin, Bill Morrissey).
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