Eric Bartholomew began playing drums at the age of twelve, and went on to be awarded the John Philip Sousa and Semper Fidelis awards for musical excellence during his senior year in high school. After graduating the Drum Set Performance program at McNally-Smith College of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and putting in two years of study as a classical percussion major at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois, he hit the road with the Minneapolis-…based funk/dance/R&B act Brave New World.
Brave New World played five to six nights a week in hotels and casinos all over the United States during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Bartholomew also toured South Korea with Brave New World in 2000. Coming off the road in 2002, Eric was called to do drum set duties for Lisa Marie Furth’s Superstars in Concert celebrity impersonator show at ValleyFair! Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota for a summer. Gigs with various Twin Cities cover bands followed, including a stint with The Jenny Case Band.
It was back to South Korea for another tour in 2004, this time with the group D’arcy Park and Wildheart, a top-40 and country act that Bartholomew helped put together.
In 2006, Eric took to the seas as show band drummer aboard the Holland America cruise ship, The Amsterdam, for runs of the Eastern Seaboard of Canada and the United States, and then the Caribbean Islands.
After some time at sea, Bartholomew returned to the Midwest, where he played with various rock, country and R&B bands in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota – most notably, The Smokin’ Mojo Kings, an original blues group that won the Quad Cities division of the Iowa Blues Challenge two years in a row, and features Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Albee on guitar and Grammy-nominated blues bassist John Wentzien. Eric most recently toured the Unites States with internationally known Elvis impersonator Ryan Pelton, and spent some time backing up Country Music Television artist Jake McVey. He currently freelances and teaches in the lower midwest.
Bartholomew is known for his rock-steady time-keeping, his stylistic diversity, and his ability to groove with a click track or sequences.
In addition to Rich Sticks, Eric also endorses Soultone Cymbals.