Erin's Story

Local favorite Erin Harkes has been called the busiest woman in show biz (NYS Music). She is regularly voted Best Singer/Songwriter, Solo Musician and Comedian in the Capital Region by the Times Union Reader’s Poll and The Alt. She took home the 2020 Thomas Edison Award for Best Solo/Duo Artist of the Year. Her music comes from triumphs over tragedy, always with a resounding theme of resilience, and with a voice that’s been compared to Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin.

Adding to her entertainment portfolio in 2012, Harkes decided to try her hand at standup comedy. Since then she’s performed in nearly every major club in NYC, Toronto and Montreal, as well as being a regular at Funny Bone Comedy Clubs across the country. She likes to say that music is her spouse and comedy is her mistress. She tries to give them equal amounts of love and attention. Whether singing songs or telling jokes, Harkes commands attention every time she steps foot on stage.

Erin began writing her own songs at age 19 and has released four albums of original material since then. Her first CD was aptly titled “Bar Napkins and Magic Markers” due to the crude way the lyrics were jotted down during her college years. 

Her music comes from triumphs over tragedy. Though sometimes somber there’s always a resounding theme of resilience. The power of her voice and the emotion that comes through her lyrics make you want to sit and listen to every word.  Erin’s lyrics tell stories of her life, sung through a big voice that’s often compared to Janis Joplin.  Hearing Erin sing is a powerful experience that grabs anyone within earshot. 

Erin’s spontaneity and willingness to perform won her a spot on “Battle of the Instant Bands” on the Jimmy Fallon show in April of 2010.  Having only 20 minutes to prepare with an impromptu band made up of complete strangers, Erin won over both Jimmy Fallon and the studio audience by naming the band (“Fallon Angels”) and the song (“Free Jimmy”) – the band performed the song with Erin on vocals to an explosive audience response and easily won the contest. 

Erin is regularly voted Best Singer/Songwriter, Solo Musician and Comedian in the Capital Region by the Times Union Reader’s Poll, The Alt and the Metroland.  She has been the subject of several cover stories by all of those newspapers.  She is definitely a local favorite. Erin has had the privilege to have shared the stage with national acts such as 10,000 Maniacs, Spin Doctors, Pat Benetar and one of her musical idols, Beth Hart. In comedy she has worked with Jeff Dye, Judy Gold, Demetri Martin, Craig Robinson and Mark Normand.