Too Sick is Too Sick: Gut bucket guitar, blues, and smooth, high-livin' honey in a whiskey jar for pipes. ”

— Lynnea and Ted Lauffer, Owners, Gray Dog Deli

OMG is this guy is good!  Epic night of Blues Music... ”

— Tony Koenk, Owner, Brix 340

Thanks for putting on such a great set. Mark Nov. 2nd, 2019. I'd love to have you back!”

— Brian Rogan, Director Chicago Cigar Box Festival

...really like your style and repertoire...”

— Collins Kirby, Producer New Orleans CBG Festival

Project Name

SHORT BIO: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.

LONG BIO: 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.

SHORT PRESS BIO: Too Sick Charlie’s distinctive blend of regional blues music is like a slow-cooked gumbo on a late summer evening; deep, flavorful, satisfying. Too Sick’s live performances combine gut-bucket slide on cigar box guitars and compelling stories that make his shows captivating. A performance from Too Sick Charlie is truly “good for what ails ya!"

Press Photos


Eric Heiligenstein, M.D.