Welcome to our website!  Here you'll find everything you've ever wanted to know about Eric Schaffer & The Other Troublemakers.

We're based in beautiful Tucson, Arizona and have been playing together since 2014.   Our music has been described as Folk, Country, Americana, Singer-Songwriter and some things we can't even remember.   

At any given Other Troublemakers show, you could hear original songs, old classics or obscure covers - but they'll all be performed with passion and emotion.  

Come check out a show, or listen to one of our tracks, or maybe even buy a CD.  We'd love to have you join us.

New Album...Due November 2023 

We're so excited!   Our new album, tentatively titled “Great Wild Nowhere” is in the works.   Produced/engineered by Peter Dalton Ronstadt and recorded at Jim Brady Studios, it will showcase the breadth of the bands songwriting.   

 

We're still working out which songs will be included and which will not, but here's a tentative track list:

  1. Great Wild Nowhere
  2. Mama's BOGO Blues
  3. My Friend
  4. Dry Lightning
  5. Fire Road 303
  6. I Choose You
  7. Love's Got A Way Of Its Own
  8. Wild And Hard To Find
  9. Road To Tucson
  10. Steady As We Go
  11. The Garden
  12. Whiskey Lay Me Down Tonight

Expected Release Date:  November 1, 2023

The Waiting is the Hardest Part 

"Crazy Road Trip" - the new Other Troublemakers CD is finally in production and due to be delivered the first week of May.    We're super excited about this project - it represents the best work we've ever done.  

Hard copies will be available in our website store and Cdbaby.com.   Download will be available on iTunes and Amazon Music.   

 

Colorado 

Colorado.    When I was younger, it almost mythical.   The very first time I ever played in a bar, it was at a place called Gasoline Alley - not far from my hometown in New Jersey.  I was one half of a duo with my friend Ali.   She played banjo, I played guitar, and we both sang.   She had the most wonderful, gritty voice.    

I remember playing “Rocky Mountain High”, but really might as well have been singing about Mars because the concept of Colorado was just fiction to me.  

A few years later, it was Dan Fogelberg’s songs that captured my imagination.   Songs like “Nether Lands”, and later, “Go Down Easy”.   I knew I wanted to go there someday. 

Years passed and I visited Denver a couple times, but never got far outside the city, but this past September, my fall tour took me through Colorado twice.  I got to play 6 dates in venues all through the state.  I got to really “see” Colorado. 

And now I get it. 

The beauty of the place speaks for itself.   I saw my first bald eagle and drove over mountain passes that felt like the top of the world.   We dug some fossils (Legally!) out of a wash overlooking a pristine lake that was about 30 miles from nowhere.   

The people too.   There was a couple we met in Pagosa Springs.  Right around our age and both retired police officers from Wisconsin.   They were in town looking for land so she could pursue her dream of fostering abused horses.    

And the young couple who came to our show in Windsor.   They had three kids under the age of 6, and upon learning we did not yet have a hotel reserved for the night, insisted we come stay with them.    

Just outside of Denver, we spent the night at the home of an old high school friend.   He and I played in a band together when we were 13.  He had worked in the tech word, but what he really wanted to do was become a Sommelier….so he did it.   We enjoyed many fine wines, and I learned that there are several whiskey distillers in Colorado who make fine products.   We had those too. 

In Glenwood Springs, the owner of the venue where we played was musician himself.  He had played piano in theatrical productions all over the country, but what he really wanted was to fulfill his dream of owning a music club where he could play and entertain his guests.   He had been performing at a private event outside of town, but came down to catch the end of our show.  He invited Carol and I for drinks and dessert at the restaurant next to his.  His competitor, of sorts, but apparently all the restauranteurs on that street saw themselves more as family than competitors.    

I can’t wait to go back 

ES

Spring in Tucson 



The desert seems to come alive in March and April, and we've been busy too.   

Our song "Genevieve" was named a finalist in the Great American Song Contest.   Gotta love that.   We're also starting to get some FM airplay.   A huge "Thank you" to KXCI-FM for adding songs from our Bootleg EP to their playlist.   

And now me and Bruce Lee (aka our drummer Bruce Halper and Lead Guitarist Lonesome Lee West) are getting ready for a little road trip out to West Texas and Southern New Mexico....culminating with an appearance at the Roswell Film Festival.   Three of us traveling 1800 miles in a 1980 Winnebago.   What could go wrong? 

Last man standing wins.

-ES

Leonard Cohen 

I heard the news on the radio just as I was pulling into my driveway after a long rehearsal last night. 

I searched "Leonard Cohen Suzanne" on YouTube. It was one of the very first songs I learned to play on guitar. I was probably 10 years old. 

The video that accompanied the original recording was just a still image of the album cover. "Songs of Leonard Cohen". It's probably been four decades since I've seen it, but that simple and now haunting photo, along with the very 60's-looking typeface brought a rush of memories. 

Memories of struggling to wrap my young hands around the neck of the guitar and trying to remember where to put my fingers to make the chords. Memories of playing the song for my younger sister - who still asks me to play it for her to this day. 

Memories of my father. A big Leonard Cohen fan. 

I'm going to play that song at my show tonight. The chords come to me easily now, and I still remember the words. I'll let them bring me back to my parents living room in New Jersey in 1967 and I'm going to smile. 

Goodbye, Leonard Cohen.   May your memory be a blessing.

Love Wins 

I’ve always refused to write about tragedies. 

9/11, Newtown - both hit close to home for me, but I never felt like these were things to write songs about.  

Two weeks ago, Carol and I were talking with Darden Smith about songwriting in general, and writing about dark topics in specific. I expressed to Darden my reluctance to write about bad things. He told us that writing about things - good or bad - is how songwriters ”process the world around them”.  

“Go down that hole”, he said. “No matter how dark it is”.  

Darden and I did our show that night, and I got home feeling pretty good about a lot of things. Then I turned on the TV and saw the breaking news about the shootings in Dallas.  

A couple days later, Carol came to me with the first draft of these lyrics. I initially resisted….then we went down that hole together. 

Props to The Other Troublemakers - Bruce Halper, Jaye Parks, Troy James Martin and Lonesome Lee West - they never even heard the finished version of this song until the night before this performance was recorded. 
 

Love Wins  

Blood runs again in the streets of Dallas 
Cries for peace lost in the fight 
Killers filled with so much malice 
Claim an eye for eye tonight. 

Oh give me Glory Hallelujah 
Maybe I can wash away these sins 
A gospel choir sings amen 
I feel amazing grace again 
And maybe this time   
Maybe this time 
Love wins  

Young men die in parking lots and back seats 
We choose sides, divide and assign blame  
Facts collide 
Defended, repeated 
I’m right, you're wrong 
And on and on and on and on 

Oh give me Glory Hallelujah 
Maybe we can wash away these sins 
A gospel choir sings amen 
I feel amazing grace again 
And maybe this time   
Maybe this time 
Love wins  

Gonna greet a stranger with a smile 
Unplug my TV, for a while   
Talk to my neighbor face to face 
Hold my kids, keep them safe 
That’s where it all begins 
Maybe tonight 
Pray that tonight 
Love wins 
Love wins 

©2016 E. Schaffer/C. Schaffer

The New EP is Done! 

So many people have asked for CDs at our shows and I felt we needed to to get something out that would be representative of how we sound and how I write.  I spent several months going over our repertoire of original songs.   Rewriting some lyrics, rearranging.  Then selecting - that was the worst part.    While our full-length CD is still in the planning stages, we felt we could put out a 6-song EP and still have enough material for the full album.

But which songs to select????

It's like picking which of your kids is your favorite.  

The songs on "The Bootleg EP" are like a core sample of The Other Troublemakers' music.   Give a listen - I hope you enjoy!

-ES

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