(Excerpts from liner notes) – American Vanity explores the many faces of hubris in American culture, and society. At first, America’s bloated egotism and its’ presumptuous smug attitude, reoccurring themes in the history of our politics and culture, was plenty of material to get my blood boiling and the project started. The real challenge was to dig
deeper, and realize that vanity just may be a corner stone of the American way… Excessive egotism, however, suggests emptiness, that some argue has damaged our culture…and we get dragged from fad to fad…along the way, some innovative gems of “Americana” become more than just passing fancies, but instead offer us a glimpse into a
time that was or a time that is or even can be. My goal is to mine for these “gems”, both in recording and live settings, through improvisation, composition and re-interpretation.
Best Debuts of 2004 list
He can play lightning fast phrases or slow blues, sentimental melodies or dissonant
flurries, and he’s certainly a brilliant player. Fans of guitar forays will be especially
amazed by what he does on several pieces…consistent musical brilliance.
—Ron Wynn, Nashville City Paper
…this is a muscular and audacious display of technical virtuosity…he’s got my attention.
—Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.com
His approach is stately as classical music but loaded with the nose-thumbing attitude of
American music (found also in Thelonious Monk, Charles Ives and Lightnin’ Hopkins).
—Mark Keresman, JazzReview.com
Using hefty fingerstyle chops on acoustic guitar, he weaves bebop phrases, discrete bass
lines, prepared guitar, dissonance, and fragmented improvisation into a cool and unique
personal statement…Hofbauer sustains the personality of each arrangement while re-
examining its elements. [His] original pieces are equally interesting, angular and
—Gary Lee Joyner, Acoustic Guitar
That the album not only accomplishes the grafting of image to tone, but swings in the
process is simply great…Hofbauer is a first-rate guitarist in the spirit mold, able to deftly
switch gears in the middle of passages and play against himself amazingly…The guy’s
got a sense of humor to go with his skepticism and the record wins for it.
—Scott Woods, Rambles.net
…rich with the sound of a player discovering the depth of his musical voice as well as the
possibilities of the stringed instrument he employs for artistic expression.
—Walter Tunis, Lexington Herald-Leader
Not sounding like jazz guitar is probably American Vanity’s biggest accomplishment.
—Syracuse New Times
The program is an elegantly varied collection of original improvisations and
compositions along with arrangements of other composers’ work…American Vanity is a
very impressive effort from a major young talent.
—Rick Anderson, All Music Guide
Creative Nation Music, CNM 003
Street Date: 2004
Eric Hofbauer, guitar
01. The Fad (1:54)
02. Coke (for our addicts) (2:06)
03. Gnossienne #1 (4:56)
04. Mandrake (3:55)
05. American Eulogy (2:17)
06. Better Get Hit In Your Soul (3:39)
07. BA-DEE Image (2:28)
08. Greensleeves In Vermont (3:37)
09. Ode To Little Drummer Joy (3:20)
10. $…(part 1) (0:37)
11. Old Man RIver (for our lost ones) (6:19)
12. New Coke (part 1) (0:36)
13. Driftin’ On A Reed (for our dreamers) (2:11)
14. American Innocence (2:29)
15. $…(part 2) (0:40)
16. Dukes Of Hazzard (3:22)
17. Take On Me (3:41)
18. Femme Fatale (3:37)
19. New Cok (part 2) (0:48)
20. Display Window Strut (3:30)