While the Paint Dries
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 spent the last three years on the road. Keeping just a post office box in Philadelphia, he has taken to the road 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. 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. Gathering from his experiences and from his work on songwriting craft, Balkey wrote and recorded his debut album, 'Negotiations & Compromise,' in 2001. Michael Tearson of SingOut! Magazine wrote, 'These songs are literate, exacting portraits in amber... Nicely played and beautifully recorded, this is a very rewarding album.' In July 2003, Bakey released a seven-song EP,'God's Poet Now,' as a benefit project for the Dave Carter Memorial Fund. Buddy Mondlock says of this collection of songs, 'heartfelt songs about real emotions, gracefully portrayed.' His most recent release, 'While the Paint Dries,' was released in September 2004. The album contains songs that have garnered Balkey recognition in over a dozen songwriting competitions across the country including being named Kerrville New Folk Finalist (TX) and two-time selection as a Mountain Stage New Song Festival songwriting competition finalist (WV). 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 album in July 2003. Radio deejays who have played his music include Gene Shay at WXPN in Philadelphia, John Platt at WFUV in New York City, Rich Warren at WFMT in Chicago, and Marilyn Beyer at WUMB in Boston. His tour stops include the Tin Angel in Philadelphia; the Six String Cafe in Cary, NC; Makor in New York City; Jammin Java in Vienna, VA; Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse in Dallas, TX. Balkey is a member of the Folk Alliance and BMI. He writes the 'Songwriter's Tour Guide.' He has held volunteer positions with the Fast Folk Cafe (NYC), Music Among Friends (Hoboken, NJ), the Philadelphia Songwriters Alliance, and Nameless Coffeehouse (Cambridge, MA).