My Sacred Heart
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 all over the country from Maine to Texas, Florida to Chicago covering over 50,000 miles annually. Among recent honors, Balkey was named a Kerrville New Folk Winner in 2005 and was selected for a Top-12 DIY feature in the January 2006 issue of Performing Songwriter magazine. His recent recording, 'Mission Street Project,' caught the attention of Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary) who called the socially relevent collection 'important, very important.' Prior to choosing 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. His releases include: - Negotiations & Compromise (2002) - God's Poet Now (2003) (a tribute to Dave Carter) - While the Paint Dries (2004) - Sanctuary Road (2005) - Mission Street Project: Liberty Tree (2006) - My Sacred Heart (2007) Legendary Philadelphia radio deejay, Michael Tearson wrote in SingOut! Magazine, 'These songs are literate, exacting portraits in amber... Nicely played and beautifully recorded.' His albums contain songs that have garnered Balkey 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. In 2006, his song 'Cut 'em Down' caught the attention of Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary), Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, Christine Lavin and other judges when it took 2nd Place at the national 'Music To Life' songwriting competition. In 2006 Balkey has written or co-written over three dozen songs. Among his writing collaborators are Johnsmith, Jonathan Byrd, Amy Speace, Tom Prasada-Rao, Cary Cooper, Freebo and Pat Wictor. Some of the new songs are gathered on Balkey's two recent releases, 'Mission Street Project' and 'My Sacred Heart.' His current recordings include performances from, among others, Tom Prasada-Rao, Cary Cooper, Pat Wictor, Beth Wood, Chris Chandler, the Dreamsicles, Jonathan Byrd, Laurie MacAllister, and Duke Levine (formerly in Mary Chapin Carpenter's band).