ERIC MADIS and BLUE MADNESS
Eric Madis is a Pacific Northwest guitarist, singer, composer, recording artist and internationally recognized guitar instructor whose music has been described as “a mosaic of blues, jazz and folk styles”. His electric music blends his rich Chicago and Texas blues experience with jazz, swing and rock. His acoustic music is an original blend of Piedmont and Delta blues, jazz, country and Hawaiian music.
Eric grew up surrounded by music, from the Sons of the Pioneers to Broadway show tunes to the operas of Puccini and Verdi. His mother, an accomplished opera singer named Isabelle Bellis, started Eric on piano at the age of 9. Eric took up guitar at the age of 10, inspired by the great country guitarist Grady Martin, and that same year performed “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” for hundreds of youths at a Denver theatre. His first band the Phynx of Babylon, formed in 1966, played music of the Byrds and other popular groups.
Eric lived in Chicago from 1969 to 1978, where he performed in coffeehouses and was an active player in the blues scene, becoming friends and/or playing with some of Chicago's blues greats: Willie Dixon, Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Rush and more. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1975, led Open Road and the Madis-Johnson Band and backed up bluegrass musicians Pat Burton and Halbert Thornberry. Eric lived in Dallas 1979-1981, working as a session guitarist and arranger and performing with Deacon Jones, Willie Willis, and Faded Red. He was a finalist at the Kerrville National Folk Festival in 1981. Eric lived in Denver from 1981 to 1984, where he led Ukiah and Don’t Go No Further, did an extended solo acoustic gig at the Mercury Café and taught blues guitar at Denver Free University.
Since relocating to Seattle in 1984, Eric has led the BluesCast, Blue Madness and the Eric Madis Trio/Quartet. He has also worked with many of the finest in Seattle’s blues, swing and jazz scenes, including Little Bill Englehart, Seattle Swing Trio, Paul Anastasio, Steve Bailey, Ryan Burns, Mike Lynch, Runaway Train and many more. He has also performed with Hawaiian musical greats Irmgard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and jazz ukulele legend Bill Tapia. Eric has also opened concerts for Robben Ford, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, James Cotton and others.
Eric’s five CDs on Luna Records have received excellent reviews, regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). His most recent, "The Dues Will Never Be Paid in Full", was released in November 2009. Eric has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, his music has appeared on five film soundtracks, and he was a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition sponsored by Guitar World Magazine. A respected guitar instructor since 1976, Eric has taught for the National Guitar Workshop, Guitar Workshop Plus of Canada, Northwest Folklife, University of Washington Experimental College, Denver Free University, Dusty Strings and JamPlay.com.