STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For 21st Century Media
Five records in tends to make one a veteran in the game, yet singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson is anything but jaded, and considers the making of “Pure Fiction,” which came out this past April, a journey. It’s a trip that touches down this Saturday at the Theatre of Living Arts.
“I traveled so long and got to see so many people and places,” he said in a statement. “And sharing music with the fans every night got me thinking: The best concerts are when people sing along with me. So for the next one, what kind of songs do I want people singing with me? What kind of songs do I want people dancing to?”
He road-tested his previous album, “Moving Up Living Down,” in every setting from a converted garage in Salt Lake City to the 30,000-seat Calgary Saddledome, from San Diego to Dubai. As the Washington, D.C.-raised singer, pianist and guitarist traveled the world over the course of several years, word of mouth about his irresistible songs and engaging presence brought out consistently growing concert crowds. Along the way, he became enamored of the various locales he traveled to, motivating him to incorporate the experiences into songs.
“The biggest inspirations of the album were the cities I visited, the inspiration and rhythms of the people,” he said. It’s all about missing people, the so-close-yet-so-far-away family and friends, and reconnecting with the spirit that got him started originally and finding communities in unexpected places. Look no further than “The Basement” from Moving Up Living Down.
“I love soul music, so [that song] is sort of an homage to that,” he said. “One night after a show in Northampton, Mass., the promoter brought us to a club called The Basement — and it was a full-on rock ‘n’ roll party, DJ playing songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s… It was like, ‘I found my people!’ I named some of my favorite artists at the end — Isley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye — I just love that stuff!’”
Hutchinson will be joined by fellow singer songwriter Tristan Prettyman at the TLA Nov. 1, having launched the “City & Sand Tour” Monday night in Boston.
IF YOU GO: Eric Hutchinson performs Nov. 1 at the Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St, Philadelphia. For ticket information, check www.tlaphilly.com.