By Kim Burdges
You may not know singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson, much less one of his songs; however, once you hear his album Sounds Like This you will insist that you have heard his sound from somewhere. You have.
Hutchinson’s chameleon-like sound morphs from song to song. On “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” and “You Don’t Have to Believe Me,” he is a young Billy Joel pounding the keys of his piano, while singing his heart out. “Outside Villanova,” he picks up the tempo and banter to echo contemporary Jason Mraz. And, Paul Simon would be proud of the toe-tapping folk hit “Rock & Roll.” Although Hutchinson’s sound is familiar, it is still fresh which makes it so appealing.
“I always try to make music that sounds fresh and new, but also familiar,” says Hutchinson. “I like to think of it as pop music with intelligence or acoustic soul music; just music I believe in.”
Many more are starting to believe in Eric Hutchinson, too, as his popularity begins to rise. He is currently touring with OneRepublic. On January 24, Hutchison and OneRepublic kicked off the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend with a concert at Atlanta’s historic Tabernacle. Although the crowd was packed, the Q100 generated crowd was more concerned with socializing and hearing One Republic’s “Apologize” than enjoying the impressive musicianship being displayed by both Hutchinson and OneRepublic.
“Taking in one of my shows is a good way to get introduced to me,” Hutchinson says.
He’s right. At his January 24th show, Hutchinson sneaked on stage wearing a Washington Capitals jersey, showcasing his team’s spirit and fervor for the NHL All-Star weekend. Although he took the stage rather inconspicuously, he soon made his presence known as he delivered an impressive solo-acoustic set. He alternated between piano and guitar, without any accompaniment, singing several songs from Sounds Like This, including “Food Chain” (one of his favorites to perform live), “Outside Villanova,” and “Oh!”. However, he really grabbed the mostly radio-pop audience’s attention with a Justin Timberlake medley of mockery.
Hutchinson cleverly played several of Timberlake’s biggest hits showing how they mostly share interchangeable lyrics and rhythms, in turn illustrating his impressive guitar and singing skills. It is Hutchinson’s ability to play such a wide range of instruments that keep you engaged in his music, even when he is the only one on stage.
“[Playing multiple instruments] gives me more options to a make a show more exciting,” says Hutchinson. “I like a lot of crowd interaction. It’s like being the host of the party; I want to make sure everyone is having a great time.”
Catch Eric Hutchinson’s party on the road with OneRepublic! For more information and show dates, visit Hutchinson’s MySpace.