Eric Henry Andersen, who says he’s been playing “a boatload of gigs,’ will perform Wednesday at a most appropriate venue, the Valhalla Boathouse on the shoreline in South Lake Tahoe.
“It’s one of the most gorgeous, picturesque places you can play anywhere,” Andersen said via cellphone as he approached Minneapolis where he was to open a show for another talented pianist, Five for Fighting.
The pandemic, which has halted work for so many, did not slow Andersen’s rising career. Most notably, in 2020 he co-produced “Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno with Love).” It was part of a national city song project through the U.S. Conference of Mayors and involved the Reno Philharmonic, the city of Reno and Artown, and more than 50 musicians. Andersen wrote the songs along with seven others. Funds raised from the project benefiting artists hurt financially by the pandemic.
“It was an incredible project to have some musical purpose and hopefully create something that is helpful for the community,” Andersen said. “Putting that together illuminated just how dense the talent pool is, and not just that but the community spirit there that I feel exists more more than in other places. In a lot of cities music and arts communities there is a highly competitive attitude. In Reno everyone works together and likes to do that. The whole project was synergistic.”
A native of Wisconsin, Andersen came to Reno for college and to compete on the UNR ski team. He played in bands to help play for school and he became immersed in the local music scene.
Andersen’s music time in music began early, starting when he sang in a middle school choir and played viola in a youth symphony orchestra.
“I was always tuning my viola from the ‘A’ key on piano,” he said. “I realized there is more to this than the ‘A’ key, and I tried the ‘D’ key, and the next thing you know, I’ve got a chord.”
That’s when Andersen began to write musical compositions.
His longtime Reno band, the Novelists, toured nationally and appeared in 2019 at the Valhalla Boathouse Theatre.
His quartet for Wednesday’s appearance includes bassist Dave Strawn, drummer Tyler Cravines and guitarist Lucas Arizu, who also appeared at Valhalla this month with Tim Snider & Wolfgang Timber.
Andersen said the band will play songs from his February 2022 EP “Fundamental Force.” He also released an album in 2020, “Holding Space.” Andersen produced both of the albums.
- Eric Henry Andersen Band
- When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27
- Where: Valhalla Boathouse Theatre, Tallac Historic Site
- Tickets: $35