"Eberhardt is better than ever, Steve McQueening his way into your heart at about ninety-eight miles an hour, kicking ass with fresh insight and new ways to lament old yearnings.”
—Philly Rock Guide
Cliff Eberhardt knew by age seven that he was going to be a singer and songwriter. Growing up in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, he and his brothers sang together and their parents played instruments. His dad introduced him to the guitar and he quickly taught himself to play. Fortunate enough to live close to the Main Point (one of the best folk clubs on the East Coast), he cut his teeth listening to the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and Mississippi John Hurt — receiving an early and impressive tutorial in acoustic music. At the same time, he was also listening to great pop songwriters like Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Rodgers and Hart, which explain his penchant for great melodies and clever lyrical twists.
At fifteen, Cliff and his brother Geoff began touring as an acoustic duo, playing the Eastern club circuit until Cliff turned twenty-one and moved to Carbondale, Illinois. There he found space to develop his own voice within a vibrant and supportive music scene that included Shawn Colvin. After a couple of years there and a short stay in Colorado, Cliff moved to New York in 1978.
Because the clubs were great (the Bitter End, the Speakeasy, Kenny’s Castaway, Folk City) and the company amazing (John Gorka, Suzanne Vega, Lucy Kaplansky, Julie Gold, Steve Forbert, Christine Lavin, and Shawn Colvin), New York was an ideal musician’s boot camp. Though he put in long hours as a taxi driver, Cliff worked steadily on his music throughout the 80’s, doing solo gigs and studio work, and playing guitar on the road with Richie Havens, Melanie and others. Singing advertising jingles for products like Coke, Miller Beer and Chevrolet (“The Heartbeat of America” campaign) allowed him to devote more time to his songwriting.
In 1990 Cliff’s song “My Father’s Shoes,” appeared on Windham Hill’s Legacy collection, leading to a deal with the label. They released Cliff’s first album, The Long Road (1990), a work featuring a duet with Richie Havens. The critical response to this debut was outstanding (the Philadelphia Inquirer called the album a “repeatedly astounding collection”). He followed with two more records on Shanachie before releasing, 12 Songs of Good and Evil (1997) on Red House Records, which stemmed from a chance meeting with Red House founder Bob Feldman at John Gorka’s wedding. Since then, Cliff has released 4 albums on the label-Borders, School For Love,12 Songs of Good & Evil and his current one- The High Above & the Down Below, recorded in Minneapolis with noted jazz players Gordy Johnson, J. T. Bates and Rich Dworsky.
Long one of the most respected songwriters on the club scene, his peers often mine his catalog for themselves. Cliff’s song “Memphis” was included on Cry Cry Cry, an album of collaborative covers by the “folk supergroup” of the same name (comprised of Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell). Other performers who have recorded his songs include Richie Havens, Shawn Colvin, Russ Taff and Buffy Sainte Marie. A collection of his songs has recently been published in The Cliff Eberhardt Songbook (Cherry Lane Publishing).
Cliff is touring to promote the brand new release of 500 Miles: The Blue Rock Sessions. A deeply personal album, it follows his critically acclaimed The High Above and the Down Below, which was named the #5 album of the year in 2008 by USA Today.
For more info and music samples, visit Cliff's web site: http://www.cliffeberhardt.net
Showtime: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 Advance, $20 Door (if available)
Reservations & Directions to venue: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-349-2943
To reserve seats in advance, make check payable to Cliff Eberhardt and mail to:
7245 Lapwai Lane
Darby, MT 59829