Eli Gardiner is a songwriter from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, currently located in Minneapolis Minnesota. He writes music that can be described as Americana, Heartland Rock, and Folk. Coming of the 2020 release of his album, The Fire and The Medicine, he formed his full band comprised of drummer Greg Schutte (Mickey Hart, Ryan Bingham) lap steel/electric guitarist Dan Schwartz, keyboardist Kevin Gamble and bassist Nick Salisbury (Ryan Bingham, Brian Fallon).

The new album, Transient was released December 15th 2023. It was recorded this past winter in Eli’s home studio. It is comprised of intimate, hushed songs that showcase the depth of his writing. Drawing on inspiration from albums like Springsteen’s Nebraska, Eli delves into the more mysterious and haunting depths of American storytelling. 

Eli grew up in musical household. His mom played flute and piano and his dad classical guitar. Music was always on, James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Bonnie Raitt would be playing as dinner was made and the dishes were washed. From a young age he pursued his first passion though, hockey, not starting to write songs until he was out of high school. “I remember sitting in my room trying to learn chords on my dad’s old nylon string guitar, he had a song book and I think the first song I learned was House of The Rising Sun.” Shortly after, he recorded the first songs he wrote on a 4 track Tascam tape recorder. “I still have some of those old notebooks I wrote those old songs in” Eli states. Moving to Minneapolis was a turning point for his music career. 

Eli’s music is always changing, morphing to the mood and groove. It can be described as Americana or Rock, but the themes are deeply rooted in our lives in present day, what it means to be a human and to be sympathetic to other people. It’s about our connection, how we are all the same and crave that understanding that music can bring at its most transcendental times.


Photo by Tom Smouse