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Nov. 22, 2004

Discovering Eric Hutchinson

by Diana Frey, Page Editor
The murmuring voices of the audience at Mount Vernon Pub and Grill at George Washington University grow quiet as Eric Hutchinson, dressed in casual, preppy attire and carrying a single guitar, steps on stage to introduce himself. His down-to-earth tone is relaxing as the small show begins on a Friday night.

It only takes one song to for him to pause and crack a joke to the audience: "I know what you all are thinking. Eric Hutchinson is pretty good. So, for you, I have a T-shirt."

Displaying self-promoting merchandise, Eric Hutchinson, Blair graduate of the class of 1998, is working hard full-time on his promising music career.

Blair graduate Eric Hutchinson pours his heart out during a performance at the Mount Vernon Bar and Grill. Diana Frey
Blair graduate Eric Hutchinson pours his heart out during a performance at the Mount Vernon Bar and Grill.

Hutchinson says his interests in music began as a child with a music-oriented family. "It was made a priority to me when I was young," he says. Later, playing guitar became a favorite hobby for him at Blair.

But Hutchinson did not bring his guitar with him when he then moved on to Emerson College in Boston, where he majored in film. It wasn’t until after graduating that he realized music was still the place for him.

Hutchinson has been playing the guitar for ten years now after teaching himself how to play, and he says that the only way to get better in the music field and gain the necessary experience is to write, play, study and perform it. The more experience one can get, the more successful one will be, and practice makes perfect. Recently, Hutchinson has taken voice lessons, which he says broadens your opportunities. “I want to make a living doing this,” he says decidedly.

To get a foot into the music career, Hutchinson has worked hard to gain exposure. He has a booking agent that gets him gigs at different campuses, which he balances between club performances and other shows. Usually, the concerts are free for students, but starting small is the only way to gain popularity. So far, he has only recorded his CD in a friend’s basement, but he sees record deals in the future. “You have to convince a record company that you have followers,” says Hutchinson.

Audience members look at their newly-purchased Eric Hutchinson CDs. Diana Frey
Audience members look at their newly-purchased Eric Hutchinson CDs.

Hutchinson took on the challenge primarily on his own, without a band or anyone to travel on the road with. "The only person I can rely 100 percent on is myself," he declares.

With highly critical audiences like those at GW, you have about two hours to wow the audience so that they will pass on the good word about you or become one of your fans. Hutchinson finds that one of the most rewarding experiences about performing is converting people who have never heard of you to liking you. “It is a good feeling to go somewhere, and people buy the CD afterwards,” remarks Hutchinson.

Senior Lena Moreno heard about Hutchinson through friends. After listening to his CD, Moreno was pleased. “It’s nice to hear someone with an acoustic guitar singing. The simplicity of it is relaxing,” she says. She feels that he is exceptionally talented and will be successful pursuing a music career.

Hutchinson proved his skills to the audience at GW by not only performing his own songs with passion, although he later joked that the emotional faces he made while singing were all for show, but also by performing Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson for special ladies in the audience. He especially proved himself by making these popular songs look like no sweat, and his impression of Fat Joe with the song Lean Back was a comical sight since he was holding only his guitar instead of being surrounded by women and cars.

Hutchinson has a unique style of jazzy, soft rock. His voice is rich and calming. His lyrics are about relationships, acquaintances, money and the normal everyday concerns of people.

The jokes continued to be thrown out all night as Hutchinson asked the audience halfway through the show, “What’s my name?” When they shouted out his name, his response was, “Oh yeah, sure, it’s on the poster behind me!” He also teasingly accused people who walked through the grill of coming only for the free coffee. Hutchinson made sure to keep everyone in the audience involved in the show by suggesting a game. “Let’s have a contest: Which side of the room can look more deep in thought while I’m playing my song?” he proposed.

By the end of the night, the CDs and shirts sold very well, considering the seeming lack of enthusiasm from the audience at certain points during the night. However, Hutchinson has established that he can put on a good performance and gain new fans.

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  • a guy on November 23, 2004
    that guy lived down the street from me until he went to collage......he was my baby sitter
  • hutchead on November 23, 2004
    eric is so great. he is by far the best thing to come out of blair in recent years. if you haven't heard his music you should check it out, i'm not kidding. my friend introduced me to eric's stuff and it's like all i listen to.

    check it out.
  • len on November 23, 2004
    eric hutchinson is pretty good
  • Neighbor guy on November 30, 2004
    Hes my neighbor! I have a t-shirt.. actually quite funny. Cool guy and hes got cool stuff. Listen to it... NOW
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