Origins of the Whaleshark, Erik Pietsch
Erik’s life as he knows it now, started just about 14? 15? well, quite a few years ago on a cold December Thursday in Pennsylvania. Fresh out of the Marines and not quite sure where he was headed, he knew that it was just too damn cold up north. So he built an apartment in the back of his van and headed south “ ’till the highway ran out of road”; right smack in the middle of Key West Florida. A week later his life was changed. Erik just couldn’t beat a warm sun, a blue sky, a beautiful woman, and an island life. Long story short, he later landed in Lahaina Maui, with a surfboard, a guitar and $2300 dollars in his back pocket.
A lot has happened since. After countless live local shows, the release of four original CDs, a solid growing fan base and four successful years touring the United States, the Whaleshark returns to the mainland
The music is a collection of true and mostly-true stories of a crazy life in the islands mixed with new adventures of life on the road. With his 2006 release “A Hard Lesson”, Erik’s stories have grown, and his musical style has become unlike anything else coming out of Hawaii. It’s that characteristic acoustic mai-tai island style delivered with his notorious comedic edginess that makes his fans laugh, shake their heads, and always come back for more. With an uncanny lyrical finesse, the grooves of a Steve Goodman steam-train ride, and a taste of Jerry Jeff Walker’s old school road dog cowboy humor, The Whaleshark is notorious for drawing in unsuspecting passers-by into his world of pirates, parrots and drunken sailors.
Erik has taken his solo acoustic act all over the Hawaiian islands, played next to Maui’s own Rock Chick, Gail Swanson; The Shanty Man Trevor Jones, and has shared the stage with various local acts. Since the “Party Like a Pirate” tour began in 2002, he‘s played all over the continental US entertaining crowds ranging from Jimmy Buffetts own Parrotheads, to the Deadliest Catchs alaskan fisherman, from the Outaws motorcycle club, to Average Joe backyard barbeques. He has shared the stage with artists including Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Robert Greenidge, Amy Lee and Mike Utley of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band, Billy Peterson (Steve Miller Band), and the Tommy Rocker band at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas among others. Erik has also been featured as artist of the month for several internet websites and radio stations.
The Whaleshark’s off-island exposure started as a favorite featured performer mainly in tourist town bars and has grown to cover the entire United States from coast to coast, and from Alaska to the Keys.
This year Erik has lost his mind, left Maui for good and hit the road again for lifes next great adventure. You may find him in the Keys. You may find him in the mountains. You may find him in the desert. If you find him let him know where he is. He is out there searching for the next story. So pull up a beach chair and pour yourself another “Three Shot Story” as this is where you can find The Whaleshark, Erik Pietsch, straight out of (something) harbor (somewhere), helping you waste away in your own private Margaritaville.