An engaging mix of honesty, intimacy and humor. An agile voice accompanied by sparse and deliberate guitar work. Dirty Linen Magazine says, 'Balkey's confident delivery and sparse arrangements frame the songs with uncommon poise.' Erik Balkey has been on the road since January 2002. Keeping just a post office box in Philadelphia, he has taken to the highway with his guitar and notebook as well as paint brushes and rollers. He picks up interior house painting jobs to sustain his travels, and performs over 200 times annually. Balkey's songs that have garnered him recognition in over a dozen songwriting competitions across the country including being named KERRVILLE NEW FOLK WINNER in 2005 as well as finalist at the Mountain Stage New Song Festival songwriting competition in 2003 and 2004. Prior to chosing a life on the road, Balkey began songwriting as part of the Red Bank, NJ music scene in 1994 before a four-year stint in New York City. Among the songwriters in the city, Balkey listened and learned as an active volunteer and performer as part of the Fast Folk Cafe scene of the nineties. From 2002 through 2004 Balkey released three recording projects: 'Negotiations & Compromise,' 'God's Poet Now,' and 'While The Paint Dries.' Michael Tearson of SingOut! Magazine wrote, 'These songs are literate, exacting portraits in amber... Nicely played and beautifully recorded.' Buddy Mondlock says, 'heartfelt songs about real emotions, gracefully portrayed.' 'SANCTUARY ROAD' is the latest recording released in September 2005 with a full 16 songs including four songs recorded live at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Guests on this recording include Jonathan Byrd, Chris Chandler, Cary Cooper, Abbie Gardner, Brian Gundersdorf, Duke Levine, Laurie MacAllister, Bonnie Lee Panda, Tom Prasada-Rao and Carolann Solebello. Balkey's albums have been played on radio stations across the country, each 'charting' on the Folk DJ playlists with 'God's Poet Now' peaking at No. 6 for most played song in July 2003.
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