Too Sick Charlie (Eric Heiligenstein, M.D.) plays the cigar box guitar, a once forgotten instrument of American blues and roots music. His music has been described as traditional Upper Midwestern cigar box guitar blues.

Too Sick was born in a Nassau blue Chevy Bel Air that was being used as a beagle pen on the outskirts of Belleville, Illinois. He performed on the Mississippi River Medicine Show Circuit for several years before transitioning into a practice of medicine. After developing various snake oil cures for ailments that proved unfounded (but very, very profitable) he made his way to Madison, Wisconsin where he lives a quiet, ascetic life of medical study, song writing and robustly varied acquiescence to almost constant temptation.

2023New Orleans Cigar Box Festival.



Short Press Bio

Too Sick Charlie and his genuine one man band may call Wisconsin home but his music is deeply rooted in the blues of the north Mississippi Hill country. With his 3 string cigar box guitar he picks out hip-grinding licks and lays down some solid beats with his drum kit. And throw in some harp for good measure. It’s the best low-down boogie in the neighborhood.