American Songwriter

Paul Zollo, January 20, 2014

The Aristocrat

As evident by the cover photo, a portrait of the artist as a bewigged Louis
XIV sorta guy, this is funny stuff. But not cheap funny. Aristocratic. Eric
Schwartz is a comic songwriter – but he doesn’t write parodies, ala Weird
Al, he composes original songs in every genre under the sun – much like the
great Tom Lehrer used to do – using the conventions of songwriting and
stylistics to frame his humor. He is very funny, and quite masterful with
the comic song, not an easy thing to do. This starts with a C&W ballad that
goes horribly wrong right up front. “Black Man In The White House” is a
blues about our president, a great turn of lyrics set to a driving Chicago
stomp, “there’s a black man in the White House with the blues.” “Telltale
Kitchen” is one of the best of the bunch – a funky and remarkable deluge of
culinary disasters that’s especially resonant in this age of constant
cooking shows on the tube. “Senator Whatsoever” spills out a political
screed of great proportions reflective of the constant outpouring of slanted
politics in our media every day. These are great and inventive songs,
beautifully fleshed out by Schwartz with Will Kennedy, who co-produced and
mixed. The guy takes on content other people don’t consider touching in
songs, and fully engages. These are funny songs but also smart ones – so
that the humor doesn’t wear off like a cheap joke. And great musicians like
Marty Rifkin on pedal steel and Ed Tree on guitar maintain a high level of
musicianship throughout. The world needs funny songs when they’re
well-written. He’s glib and poetic at the same time, and always with a fine
gift for rhyme. Good work Mr. Schwartz, this is a comic treasure.


Brian Keathley, August 01, 2014

“[The Better Man] is by far his best work yet. A great collection of tunes with humor, and social commentary – some of which is damn profound. Be listening for it this week and beyond on my radio shows!”

Various Quotes

“His humor and talent ring loud and clear.”
- Dr. Demento

“The Most gifted, irreverant, musically brilliant, beloved, warm presence here at kerrville and everywhere else”
- Peter Yarrow

“Blending politically savvy comedy with music has always been a slippery slope. Eric Schwartz knows just how to meld funny and funky.”
- Hustler Magazine, March, 2008

“Hattie and Mattie” [as recorded by Holly Near] makes you want to tap dance and fall in love”
- Gloria Steinem

Eric Schwarz is a mega-talented songwriter and player. He’s incredibly funny on the one hand and gut-wrenchingly topical on the other.
- Frank Goodman,

Eric Schwartz has a brilliant mind, a fabulous musical sensibility, and is not afraid to sing what other people barely allow themselves to think.
- Christine Lavin

“Outrageous Fun”
- John Platt, WFUV