May, 2011: I was just named a top ten Telluride Troubadour Finalist & will get to perform at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival next month! Check it out: http://www.bluegrass.com/telluride/contests.html
April 2011: We’re about to send the new CD off to manufacturing, booking a summer tour, really busy around here! Check out this great new interview I did with Ed Maxin at No Depression! http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/angela-easterlings-declaration
January 2011: Happy New Year! Looking forward to lots of great things in 2011, with lots of work ahead. Recording went splendidly on the new CD and it was fantastic being back in the studio with Will Kimbough and David Henry and having my band; Brandon and Jeff along as well. I will be going back to Nashville next month to mix. We had a freezing cold photo shoot on Lake Hartwell with Coke Whitworth who photographed BlackTop Road. In the coming days, we’ll be going over pix and graphic designs, mixing mastering and getting the album ready for the world.
Exciting news: I will be playing on the nationally broadcast NPR show Michael Feldman’s “Whad’Ya Know” on February 12, 2011. Be sure to tune in to your local NPR station to hear us live!
R.I.P. Charlie Louvin. It was a pleasure and an honor to get to meet you several times over the years and to get to sing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with you on WSM last fall. A truly great influence on American music.
November 2010: I’m really excited to be going to Nashville next month to record a
new CD! Will Kimbrough is back in the producer’s seat, but this time,
I’m bringing along my amazing SC band, the Beguilers: Brandon
Turner on lead guitar and Jeff Hook on the drums. We’ve got some
great new songs and the combination of players cannot be beat. Byron
House, currently touring with Robert Plant, Buddy Miller & Patty
Griffin in Band of Joy will be joining us on the bass. Plus lots of
special surprise guests.
All this wonderment does not
come cheap and I’ve been saving every penny I make from my touring
over the last 2 years to pay for it. I’m an indie artist and
entirely self–funded. I’m just about there, but need a little
boost to help cover our living expenses in Nashville.
raise some money, I have a great gift. For a donation of $15, I will
send a personalized Holiday card to whoever you want to receive it. Inside the card will be gift cards to download BOTH of my albums, BlackTop Road and Earning Her Wings for free!!
This makes a great gift and a nice way to share my music with your
friends. Or get my albums for yourself if you don’t have them already! At
only $15, it is cheaper than downloading both my albums on Amazon or
Itunes, plus you get the added bonus of the personalized card and
the chance to support my new CD. The downloads can be played on any ipod or Mp3 player and also burned onto a CD.
have 115 of these gifts available. Just think, if I sell all of
them, that is over $1700, which would be a HUGE help in our budget.
The cards will be sent out the first week in December. You can buy
just one or as many as you want. I’m happy to send them to multiple
addresses in one order. I really hope I can sell them all!
You can message me here or at easterling.fans(at)gmail.com if you are interested!
All the best,
P.S. FREE full band show 11/26 at the Bohemian! Last band gig before Brandon, Jeff & I go to Nashville to record!
September 2010: This summer has been HOT and busy! Brandon and I had a great tour to the Mid-Atlantic states in July with wonderful, supportive crowds and lots of fun experiences. The coolest was the Johnstown Bandshell and getting to sing my song “Johsntown, PA”I in the town that inspired it. Here’s a link to a local news story about our show there: http://www.fox8tv.com/News/NewsDetails.asp?NewsID=3707 I’m going to post some new articles from the tour in my press section. & pix in the gallery so be sure to check them out. I also headed off to Nashville to meet with Will Kimbrough and make plans for recording my new CD, which we’ll be doing in December. I’m very excited about it! I also finished booking my October tour: SC, MD, NJ, CT, VT, MA, PA, VA, here I come! Check my calendar for all info on my upcoming dates.
a very sad note, we received some terrible news last month. Todd Verdin,
who played bass with me all last year, passed away in early August.
Todd was a smart, sweet and talented young man. He was one of the
funniest guys I’ve ever known and kept us all in stitches. He played
some great gigs with me, including my Americana showcase. We will miss
him greatly. Please keep his parents, brother and sister in your
thoughts and prayers. He was one of a kind.
Here’s a video of us playing at the Americana Convention in September. ’09 You can really hear Todd’s bass good on this track. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGCmKl0r63Y Todd was not just a band member, he was my friend. I hope his spirit is at peace.
July 2010: Busy summer, full of shows and writing, getting ready to make another CD! I was recently on the cover of two local magazines, the April issue of Greer Now and the June Annual Music Issue of Link! Check my pix gallery to see the articles!
May 17, 2010: I’ve been doing some updates of new press, so if you’re interested, check out the press pages! So many shows and so much going on. I’ve got tons of solo, duo and band shows coming up this summer. Next up is the Kerrville New Folk finals!
Here’s a few new videos in the meantime:
Really great multimedia piece about me and my music, by Tim Kimzey of the Spartanburg Herald: CLICK HERE
My Bob Edwards Show appearance aired May 5. To check out his archive and how to download the show, visit: http://www.bobedwardsradio.com/blog/2010/4/30/bob-edwards-show-schedule.html
April 14, 2010:
I’m having a great day today! First, I was interviewed by legendary
journalist Bob Edwards in Washington, DC. It will air nationally on
Sirius/XM and PBS sometime next month (I’ll let you know when).
Then when I got back to my email, I found out I had been named a
Kerrville New Folk Finalist again! That means my music has been chosen
as one of 32 finalists out of 800 entries for the 2nd year in a row.
This is throwing a wrench into what is already a very busy month of May,
so I’m scrambling to adjust my schedule so I can go to Texas. I will be
performing the 2 songs I submitted this year – “The Picture”, and
“American ID” (last year was “Field of Sorrow” and “BlackTop Road”) I am
really excited and honored to be chosen for Kerrville again.
January 25, 2010:
Starting TODAY, for 2 weeks, CDbaby will donate $1 of each CD
purchased to Haiti relief! If you don’t have my albums, there’s no
better time! http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/AngelaEasterling
January 9, 2010: Blog reflecting on the year that was 2009.
December 2, 2009:
Check out a video of me performing “BlackTop Road” with Will Kimbrough & Brandon Turner at Music City Roots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u5vml5Rpo0
When you’re making out your Holiday Gift list, please
don’t forget your fave. indie artists (like me:). CD’s make great
affordable gifts for everyone on your list, help intro your friends to
your favorite music, and really make a huge difference in keeping an
alternative available to the mass marketed media. Every CD I sell is
vital to me being able to continue to make my music and I don’t take
any of them for granted. Please consider gifting a few to your family
and friends!Plus there’s no tax, no wrestling with crowds and many places. like Amazon, offer free shipping on orders over $25.My CD’s are available on CDBaby, itunes and many other outlets as well.
Physical price is just $11.98 for BlackTop Road and $9.99 for Earning Her Wings.
Here’s the Amazon link:
Happy Holidays & thanks for your support!
November 11, 2009:
October 21, 2009: Long time no talk! I’ve been so busy, with so many good things. The best news is that BlackTop Road debuted on the Americana Top 40 Radio airplay chart in early September and it is still there after 7 WEEKS. Looking at that chart and seeing my little album hanging in with the likes of John Fogerty, Steve Earle, Wilco, etc. is the best feeling. Thanks to all the great programmers who took a chance on my CD. I’ve also been having lots of fun going around and visiting some of the stations. Here’s a video of me singing “Better” recently on WNRN in Charlottesville, VA. I look exhausted because this was before the time I usually get up in the morning, but it didn’t turn out half bad.
September was packed with shows and the annual Americana Convention in Nashville. I was fortunate enough to be given an official Americana Showcase this year, which made the festival even more fun and exciting. I’ve been going to this Conference for five years now and its always like a big family reunion punctuated by inspiring musical moments. This year did not disappoint. However for me, the highlight was getting to do my showcase with my fantastic band of SC guys: Brandon Turner, Jeff Hook and Todd Verdin. We haven’t been playing together very long; in fact, we’ve only done a handful of shows, but I have just fallen in love with each and every one of them and we have so much fun together. I put a lot of pressure on them, knowing this was such a big gig for me and they really came through in a big way. It meant so much to me that they drove all the way to Nashville to do this gig with me and I know that them being there was what made the difference in my successful performance. Not only that, the AMAZING Will Kimbrough sat in with us for the set. Playing that show with my dear friends both on stage and in the audience, listening to Will and Brandon trading guitar licks and getting such a warm response from the large crowd was a moment I never wanted to end! You can check out a few videos from our AMA Showcase on my youtube page:
Another fantastic time was at the Shakori Hills Festival in early Oct. Brandon and I did a couple of duo sets there but our set on the Main Stage Friday afternoon was another moment I never wanted to end. We got a great response from the crowd, I sold out of CD’s and we had folks coming up to us the rest of the day to tell us how much they enjoyed us. Shakori is a great fest with great audiences and volunteers who made sure our every need was met. I can’t wait to play there again.
BlackTop Road continues to get great reviews in the online and print media. Be sure to visit my press page for the latest reviews from Americana UK, Country California, and others.
We’ve got some great shows coming up this fall! The one I’m most excited about is appearing with Charlie Louvin at the new Music City Roots, Live from the Loveless show in Nashville. check it out at:
Oh and I’m a Mad Men finalist! Please vote for me to win!
August 24, 2009: There is a profile of me in the current issue of Country Weekly on
Newsstands everywhere today and a free download of my song “BlackTop
Road” on their website: http://www.countryweekly.com/freemusic
don’t forget about voting! I’m in the lead, but need everyone’s help to
stay there. You can watch my video and vote here: http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men-contest-2009/2009/08/ycbmm-09-angelaeasterlingpete.php
I have two shows in Atlanta this week. Hope to see some of you there!!
August 20, 2009: Help me get on Mad Men! Go to the link to watch my video and vote for me!
You have to register at AMC.TV
once you vote for me you are done. If you’re so inclined, you could
also leave me a nice comment. Please consider forwarding this to your
friends. It will only take a moment to register and vote. For the video, you had to perform a monologue of one of the
characters. They had 6 monologues to choose from. I chose Pete Campbell
and since he whines all the time, I turned his monologue into a whiny
yodeling country song. I recorded guitar, vocal and mandolin on my
computer and then made my video. Go here to watch my
July 28, 2009: Looks like “BlackTop Road” is in the top 5 for adds to the Americana
Chart for the third week in a row! Thanks so much to all the stations
who are taking a chance and spinning a new artist. Please consider
emailing, phoning or twittering your favorite Americana-Roots-Folk
station and requesting my tunes. Thanks so much to everyone who already
(Finally) my itunes page is live! Here is the link: http://itunes.apple.com/We..bObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/vi..ewAlbum?id=324400244&s=143..441If you have an itunes account, I would greatly appreciate a good rating. Again, every little bit helps! I have been constantly restocking CD’s at Amazon and they have been
selling out as fast as I can send them. However CD Baby still has the
CD in stock: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/easterling4 Customer reviews on these sites are very helpful to me also!! Greenville SC folks can pick up the CD at The Beaded Frog, on Main St.
It feels great to be home, but there’s no rest for the weary. I’ve got
lots of shows coming up in the Carolinas and Georgia so be sure to
check my schedule and come see me! xox, Angela
P.S. check out this great interview w/me & Larry T. for Kix Country www.wikx.com keyword: cookin
July 21, 2009: Got the great news that “BlackTop Road” is in the
top 5 for a second week in a row for adds to the Americana chart. Not
bad for indie artist! Please continue to call email and twitter your
local Americana stations and ask them to play it. Every little bit
them some more, so you can feel confident ordering from Amazon that you
will get your CD soon. The good news is, CD Baby still has plenty in
stock: www.cdbaby.com/cd/easterling4 . You can also purchase downloads
on Amazon and my itunes store should be up any day now. Please consider
taking a moment to post a nice review for me on Amazon or CDBaby. You
may not think your opinion or words count, but they really do improve
my sales and help me to continue playing music for a living.
tour is winding down this week with a show Thursday in Baltimore and
one on Friday in Alexandria, VA. all the info is below. Would love to
see you there.
July 14, 2009: Hi from Pittsfield, MA! I’m on tour in the northeast right now, but actually have tonight off
and scored free tix to see Steve Earle, so I’m excited about that. I’ll
be playing in MA and NH every other night this week.
Just wanted to drop a line to say my new CD “BlackTop Road” is
officially released today, July 14. You can get it at CDBaby, Amazon,
itunes, etc and of course, at one of my shows. I also just got word
yesterday that it is number 1 for the week in adds to the Americana
chart, so call or email your your favorite Americana station and make
sure they spin some of the tunes for you. One more final bit of great
news is that I was offered a showcase at this fall’s Americana Music
Conference in Nashville and looks like my producer, Will Kimbrough,
will most likely be appearing with me there. I’m really excited about
Touring is fun and I’ve been on the road four weeks now. Just a week
and a half to go and I’ll be back home for some shows in the southeast.
Will be nice to sleep in my bed, but I’ve gotta admit, New England is
the place to be in the summertime and I certainly have not missed that
Thanks to everyone one who’s been giving me support on twitter,
facebook, etc and writing reviews for me on Amazon and stuff. I am a
completely indie artist so your help is vital and SO appreciated!!!
June 23, 2009: Roger McGuinn (founder of The Byrds) had this to say after hearing my new record:
“Angela Easterling is
a bright shining star on the country/folk/alt.music horizon! Her gift is so
special. She will be able to perform and record as long as she wants to. I
loved listening to her new “Black Top Road” CD! The production value
is outstanding! Will Kimbrough is an incredible producer. The instruments are
multidimensional and have a luster that I love. Brought me back to the time the
Byrds recorded “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – tradition meets youthful
exuberance! I love the Jingle Jangle guitars on “American ID”. www.mcguinn.com
June 22, 2009: Hi from the road! The great reviews are piling up and I am so honored and happy. Check out www.twangnation.com for a fantastic one that just came out today. I’ll post it also on the press page. Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the CD on CDbaby and Amazon!
June 15, 2009: I’m getting lots of great press, including being named a top pick by Oxford American! Here’s what they said:
“Angela Easterling, we now know, is a quietly plaintive singer who
rewards attentive listening. Her BlackTop Road, with its mandolins,
dobros, lap steels, peddle steels, fiddles, etc., is out-and-out “alt.
country,” a genre no longer in vogue but still kicking. A lot of the
songs here sound like they’ve been around for years—that’s a
compliment—including the sweetly yearning cover of a certain Wannabe
Southern Man’s “Helpless.” Produced by the agile and sensitive Will
April 30, 2009: Just added lots of new photos to the Gallery and Media Kit! Also tons of new shows, check the Calendar or my myspace page www.myspace.com/easterling for most current listing.
April 28, 2009: We’ve done some redecorating! Much thanks to madmantics for the awesome redesign of my site. I am still busy doing updates and in the next few days will be adding a new bio and new pix to both the media kit sections as well as bio and gallery pages. All in preparation for the release of my new CD BlackTop Road!
March 18, 2009: I am busy getting ready for the summer release of my new CD, BlackTop Road, produced by Will Kimbrough and featuring some fantastic musicians. In January, I went back to Nashville to do some touch-up recording, mix and master. I also did a photo shoot with amazing NC photographer Coke Whitwoth. He is such a talent and was my first choice, so glad I got to work with him. We shot at my family’s farm on Hammett Bridge Rd. The results were stunning and Eva Crawford, who did such a wonderful job designing my last CD, is hard at work on the package and poster. If you’d like to see some photos and hear some select tracks, click on the “Music” page to be directed to where they are. Check back soon for more info about the release and tour!
Believe it or not, I am also prepping for another new CD, which I hope to record this fall. It is a very exciting project with my dear friend, Marianne Bessy. Ms. Bessy is a native of France, has a Phd and is a professor of French at Furman University. We have been working on a group of songs (entirely in French) together and are almost finished writing at this point. I’m really thrilled about this and can’t wait to start recording.
December 1, 2008: Be sure to check out my photos on myspace, facebook and website as I’m beginning to post some of the pix from my recent recording session for my new CD with producer Will Kimbrough and musicians Fats Kaplin, Al Perkins, Anne McCue, Ken Coomer, David Henry, Dave Jacques, Tim Marks and me! I’m also working on a diary of the sessions which I’ll be posting soon. I’m very excited about how the new tunes are sounding and can’t wait for you all to hear them! The new CD will be released TBA in 2009.
But please don’t forget about my debut album “Earning Her Wings”. It also features fantastic musicians and makes a great, affordable gift for everyone on your list. Plus, you can feel good in supporting your local indie musician, that being me! Every CD I sell helps me to continue making music my livelyhood. I cherish and appreciate your support. CD’s are available at many online resources, including Amazon.com, itunes & CDbaby.
I’m also always in need of more reviews on pages where my CD is sold. Please consider taking a moment to write one. Every little bit helps!
Thanks so much to all of you who have come out to see me at a live show this year. I really do appreciate each and every one of you! It was a fun and busy year for me and I’m quickly booking more shows for 2009.
Take care, Happy Holidays & God Bless!
October 25, 2008: Check out the new article “Me & My Toyota” from Toyota Connections magazine! https://www.angelaeasterling.com/content/view/4/4/1/1/ or http://www.toyotaconnections.com/article.php?name=toyota-testimonials-angela
October 13, 2008: You may have noticed I don’t have my usual number of shows booked for the rest of the year. I’m kind of winding things down for the touring and getting ready to record my new CD! I will be recording this fall in Nashville with Will Kimbrough producing. I am so excited and fortunate to be able to work with him. You can check him out at http://www.willkimbrough.com/
My first CD “Earning Her Wings” was recorded in L.A. over the course of a couple of years, bit by bit, whenever I had a little money. I had several different producers and the musical talents of my dear friends in California, many times who played for nothing more than gas money and some cookies I made. I was so lucky to have such a community to work with and to have found James O’Connell to help me produce the last few songs and tie everything together with the mix. I am very proud of that CD and all the doors it has opened for me over the last couple of years.
I’m really looking forward to recording this group of songs I’ve been writing over the last 18 months. During that time, my life has gone through a big transition of leaving Los Angeles, moving back home to S.C. after not even coming home for a visit in four years (!) and spending so much time touring all over the place. The new CD will be out sometime in 2009 and I’ll be getting back out on the road ASAP!
August 6, 2008: I just finished posting lots of new live pix, so check out the photo gallery!
August 3, 2008: I just got back from another great tour to the northeast! Will be working on updating my photo gallery, so check back. In the meantime, read this wonderful new article from The State newspaper about house concerts, featuring me: https://www.angelaeasterling.com/content/view/4/4/1/2/ Thanks to Otis Taylor for including me in his well-written piece.
February 10, 2008: My cousin Mike hipped me to this website www.freerice.com. You answer vocabulary word questions and for every one you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the hungry. The rice is paid for by the advertising on the page. So if you’ve got a few extra minutes online, check it out. It’s fun and kind of addicitve. You’ll make yourself smarter and help others at the same time!
January 10, 2008: Takecountryback.com, a fantastic roots music website, put me in their top 20 list for the year! Here it is: TCB’s 2007 PICKS
1. Mary Gauthier – Between the Daylight and Dusk
2. Walt Wilkins – Diamonds in the Sun
3. Jesse Dayton/Brennen Leigh – Holdin’ Our Own
4. Seth Walker – self titled
5. porterdavis – Live at Eddie’s
6. Malcolm Holcombe – Wager
7. Merle Haggard – Bluegrass Sessions
8. Moot Davis – Already Moved On
9. Kane, Welch, Kaplin – self titled
10. Tommy Alverson – Country to the Bone
11. Roger Wallace – It’s About Time
12. Kelly Willis – Translated from Love
13. The Blue Voodoo – Back to the Shack
14. Sharla June – Flyin Without My Wings Again
15. Angela Easterling – Earning Her Wings
16. Dwight Yoakam – This Time
17. Bobby Flores – Neon Nights
18. Cornell Hurd Band – Beyond the Purple Hills
19. Jackson Taylor – Dark Days
20. Doc Marshalls – Honest For Once
“Angela’s one of my personal new favorites. Her debut album is amazing from the opening track to the last.” Take Country Back.com
January 4 ’08 – Happy New Year! I had a fantastic time during my December tour despite the snowstorms and ice storms and nor’easters and what not the weatherman dished up. Thanks so much to all the wonderful venues and audiences who kept my heart warm even while the rest of me was freezing 🙂 I’ve just been doing a bunch of picture updates, so check out my photo gallery for lots of new live pix and pix with new friends (like Suzy Bogguss). I really appreciate those of you who’ve been nice enough to send me your pictures from my shows – it is a big help! Cheers!
November 16 ’07 – I did an interview with Larry T. from “Down Home Cookin” on KIX Country 92.9 while in Nashville for the AMA’s. Wanna listen? go here ! (My interview is the 2nd one, right after my song Truck-Drivin’ Man plays).
September 16 ’07 – An exciting summer is coming to an end. I spent the first half on the road in the northeast (25 shows in 40 days!) and finished out with a round of concerts that proved to be wonderful opportunities for me. Opening for Ray Price at the Birchmere was an experience I’ll never forget. The Oak Ridge Boys show was fun too, but mainly memorable for that smoking Georgia heat! I enjoyed being interviewed on WRNR in Annapolis and was treated to another great appearance at the Baltimore Chop, thanks to all my good friends in Maryland. Capping it all off was the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion this past weekend. It was such an honor for me to be a part of it and I especially enjoyed meeting and watching all the other fantastic artists. Can’t wait for next year!
I’ll be in the Southeast for a couple of months, heading out to Nashville in Oct. for the Americana Conference and then going back up to the Northeast in December. i’m looking forward to playing my favorite spots and finding some new ones! Thanks so much to all the nice people who have come out to my shows, laughed and listened and made me feel so welcome! Thanks also to the many venues, radio DJ’s, indie record stores and music journalists who have supported my music and given me a hand. I couldn’t do it without you!
If you would like me to come to your town and play your local concert hall, coffeehouse, church, bar, fair, festival, house concert or any and all between, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do.
July 12 ’07 – I just got back from my six week, northeast tour and have but a minute to reast before I head out for another round of shows. I want to thank all the nice people who came out to the shows and bought CD’s and also all the great venues who hosted me and made me feel so welcome. I can’t wait to come back! Check out the photo gallery for new tour pix I just posted.
I’m getting lots of type! Check out the “Press” section to read.
“Earning Her Wings” on new Alt-Country Sampler!
Great news from the U.K.:
My song, “Earning Her Wings” will be on a music sampler in the May issue of Maverick magazine! (a British alt-country No Depression-esque tome) Other artists on the CD include: Wayne Hancock , Elizabeth Cook, Sunny Sweeney, George Jones & Merle Haggard! Kevin Montgomery, Idgy Vaughn, Gina Villalobos, Will Kimbrough & more!
In addition, anyone who orders from Smart Choice www.smartchoicemusic.com will receive a sampler CD for free! I’m really excited to be included with all these great artists.
Smart Choice Music made my record their Americana pick of the year! I am so proud and honored. Here’s what they said:
“As we are firmly nailing our colours to the mast at Smart Choice Music by championing new music, and the new generation of artists, it seems fitting that Angela Easterling’s Earning Her Wings is our pick of the year. Having spent her formative years working in the West Coast country scene, Angela rediscovered her Carolina roots for this old-school country album. Delightful tongue-in-cheek pastiches of songs about truckers and cowboys, a hint of gospel and authentic acoustic instruments and production has the spirit of the Carter Family and Kitty Wells flowing throughout. However, Angela manages to put a youthful, new slant onto a well trodden path and has produced a vibrant debut album.”
I’m going out on the road! I’ll be opening for Hank Sinatra at the Cave in Chapel Hil,l NC on December 16.Check my calendar for this and other live appearances!
“Toy” was played on the Watusi Rodeo on Indie103.1FM July 30!
My cd release party at the Mint (7-28-06)was a blast! I’ll be posting new live pix soon.
I opened for famed Nashville Songwriter Radney Foster in Hollywood on July 15. The sold-out show at St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Hollywood was a fundraiser for the Jubilee Consortium.
My record is done!! My new song “Feel Like Drinking” was played on the Watusi Rodeo on May 7! Lots more news to come. You can also go to www.myspace.com/easterling for news and blogs. Angela’s music is featured on Animal Planet’s new show “Horse Power”, debuting February 1. Go to www.animalplanet.com for more info.
Angela is currently working on her first full-length album! Stay tuned for info on the release and tour.
New photos taken by the amazing Sara Corwin are in the Gallery under “Brand New Pix”. Be sure to check them out!
Check out the “Press” page for two new clippings and the “Pictures” page for many new live performance pix!
Visit Angela’s new My Space Music Page and sign up as a friend to get more updates and info.
2009. What a year.
I wanted to take a minute to reflect back on the year I had
as I try to jump into 2010. What a whirlwind ride.To see pix, go here:
I spent most of the first few months prepping the release of
my album, “BlackTop Road” recorded in Nov. 08 in Nashville with Will Kimbrough.
January was the photo shoot on our farm with amazing photographer Coke
Whitworth, then two quick trips back to Nashville for mixing with David Henry
at TrueTone (also where we tracked) and mastering. The photos turned out even
better and more striking than I expected and the master sounded great. Next, I
turned the project over to my designer, Eva Crawford (who also designed my
first album) and she completely outdid herself with beautiful work that
complimented and presented a visual story to go with my songs. While all this
was going on, my friend Marianne Bessy and I worked on translations of several
of my songs into French, for an upcoming Franco-Americana album. I gave myself
the gift of a quick, just-for-fun trip to NYC in March, where I stayed with my
dear friend Janis and spent time with her as well as my friend Adam and cousin
Kimberly. Best of all, I got to see my favorite actress – and someone who has
been kind of an artistic muse for me – Jane Fonda – perform in 33 Variations on
Broadway. I also got to go backstage and meet her. I’m sure I made a huge fool
of myself, but it was very exciting! Back home I worked to put together a band
of SC musicians, Brandon Turner, Jeff Hook and Todd Verdin. We started
rehearsing and I kept on working on getting BTR ready, plus playing solo shows
and booking my summer tour.
May 5 was my first show with Todd and Brandon at Artisphere
in Greenville. I never felt so immediately at ease and had so much fun at a
first gig as I did with these guys. Not long after that, I took off for my
first trip to Texas. I had been named a 2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist,
chosen as one of 35 out of 800 entries. The festival was an interesting
experience and quite an honor, of course. I also spent some time in Austin with
my dear friends Jim & Dani Lacey-Baker in their lovely new home and
reconnecting with many many pals from my L.A. days. In fact, I think just about
everyone I knew in L.A. must have moved there, I felt right at home. The
highlight was a gig at Threadgills with Dave Phenicie & by the end of the
night, everyone was up on stage, just like old times.
Back in SC in June, I had my first gig with the whole band,
including drummer Jeff Hook at the
Rhythm on the River series. in Columbia. Well, almost. We got a few songs into
our set and then the storm clouds rolled in. But what we were able to play was
fun, relaxed and good enough to tell me I had something really great with these
Late June was the beginning of my album release tour. Thanks
to the hard work of my great publicist, Kim Fowler, the rave reviews started
pouring in (and they’re still coming!). I won’t fill this up with quotes, but
will encourage you to visit my website press page and read some of them: https://www.angelaeasterling.com/content/view/4/4/
Without a doubt the best time in June was getting this from
Byrds founder and iconic musician Roger McGuinn: “Angela Easterling is a
bright shining star on the country/folk/alt.music horizon! Her gift is so
special. I loved listening to her new “Black Top Road” CD! The
instruments are multidimensional and have a luster that I love. Brought me back
to the time the Byrds recorded “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – tradition
meets youthful exuberance!”. (Jun 22, 2009)
Wow! I could never have imagined and still can hardly
believe how kind and supportive Roger has been to me. When he said that I
thought, “I must be doing something right”!
My 6 week summer tour to the mid-Atlantic and New England
was such a blur of shows and driving, I can hardly remember it now! But a few
things stand out. One was getting to spend many days in Vermont with my mom and
stepfather, Don. Sometimes I only get to see them for a couple of days when I’m
touring. But I actually got to visit them for several days 2 different times
this summer. Don and I watched Red Sox games every single night I wasn’t
gigging and yelled at the pitchers and Terry Francona. We had so much fun. It’s
fun to have another baseball/RedSox fan in the family & Don really knows
his stuff! I don’t know how much mom enjoyed it but she put up with it. I also
got to make my yearly trek to Fenway Park for a game, this time on the 4th
of July! (Sox lost) and caught a Red Sox/Nats game while passing through D.C.
(Sox won). July 14 (Bastille Day) was the release of BTR which was exciting
enough, but made even more so because I got to go see Steve Earle solo acoustic
in western MA. I had actually not ever really listened to him much before and
he completely blew me away. So much so that I was star-struck-silent when I
went backstage to meet him ‘- not a usual occurance for me J
But I thought it was so special that that happened the day my CD was released.
Another memorable show was at the DreamAway Lodge, also in the Berkshires. A
really cool, hippie place. To my surprise and pleasure, a favorite Acting
professor from my Emerson days, Paula Langton, showed up at my gig. It was so
great to get to play my music for her and catch up… a magical night!
BTR was selling out at Amazon and CDBaby faster than I could
send them more copies. Thanks to my Dad, who helped me keep up with all my
shipping while I was on the road. The day after I arrived home from touring, I
got to go see Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson & John Mellancamp in concert with my
aunt Ruthie. Then I found out I was chosen one of the “25 Most Beautiful Women”
in Greenville by Talk Magazine, so had another photo shoot for that. This is
when the year really started going at warp speed. I had some of my best gigs of
the year in August, such as the Hendersonville, NC and Decatur, GA Libraries;
and opening for Ellis Paul at a beyond-sold-out (but still quiet and rapt)
Eddie’s Attic, also in Decatur. My band played the Reedy River Concert Series
with me at the Peace Center Amphitheatre. We hadn’t been together all summer,
but as soon as we all started playing the first song, I had this feeling of
warmth and peace and joyfulness just wash over me. At that moment, I knew I
wanted them to come to Nashville with me in September for the Americana
Americana. September. I could write a whole book about just
that, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I was chosen for an
official showcase at 2009 conference, a goal I had had for the past several
years after attending many of them. Two weeks before, my album entered the top
40 Americana chart, thanks to the hard work and great talent of Leslie Rouffe
of Songlines who was doing my promotion. How exciting to be going to the AMA
with an album in the chart. I was nervous, but excited, especially when I got
word from Will Kimbrough that he could play the set with me & my band.
Showing up in Nashville on Weds, I was treated to a phenomenal, legendary (and quite sweaty) night when I
saw John Fogerty and his amazing band including one of my fave drummers, Kenny
Aronoff, play in the Mercy Lounge. I’d never seen Fogerty before and here he
was, just a few feet away. Wow! Another night I was at the Station Inn with
Brandon when Jim Lauderdale came over and told me he was a fan of mine. I was
so surprised and honored and I’m sure I probably made a fool of myself again 🙂
The whole week was a definite highlight of my year, seeing old friends, making
new ones and hanging with my band in Nashville. And our showcase was one of the
most fun times I’ve ever had onstage. The Basement was hot and packed and
receptive, my band was hot, Will K was hot, I’m just hoping I held up to all
the hotness, LOL! It was an amazing experience I never wanted to end. Standing
on a stage between Will and Brandon is a great place to be, folks. It was all I
could do to remember to play. Then you throw in Jeff and Todd who are so
talented and put all their heart and soul into that rhythm section and, wow, am
I lucky or what. I felt like I had been playing with those guys forever. It was
our third gig – and my first with Will. This was probably one of my most
important shows I’d had to date and those guys just made me feel so comfortable
and relaxed. They made me shine. If I was good that night, I owe it all to them.
Not much time for post AMA rest as October packed in more
touring. Shakori Hills festival in NC was definitely another highlight of the
year. My afternoon duo set with Brandon on the main stage, looking out at the
crowd of all ages dancing, feeling all the love wash over me, being treated
like royalty -in a cool hippie way, by all the staff and volunteers, I really
made myself stop and take in that moment. I also realized at that show what a
cool thing Brandon and I had going with the duo thing too. My album surprised
all and most especially me by staying in the Americana chart for seven weeks!
It was an honor, yet also pretty wild to see my name in there every week with
all those other great artists: Roseanne Cash, John Fogerty, Steve Earle, Son
Volt, Wilco, Nanci Griffith, John Prine, the list goes on. I did several radio
appearances throughout the fall, wherever I happened to be touring, as well as
call in interviews to ones far away. I really appreciate all the stations who
were so supportive of my music and gave it a chance and lots of spins!
November didn’t start off that great when I had to have some
surprise oral surgery right before heading down for some shows in GA and FL,
but everything went OK and the trip was lots of fun. Brandon and I made two
trips to Tennessee, the first to appear on the amazing new show Music City
Roots broadcast on WSM in Nashville. This was another night I could write a
book about. We were on the bill with Charlie Louvin, a music legend if ever
there was one. The MCR folks have a great show and a great focus and again, we
were treated like royalty! Will came to play with me and Brandon and those two
tore it up again. Check out this video if you haven’t already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u5vml5Rpo0.
Being on WSM, as a lover of music and music heritage was a thrill. I can’t wait
to do that show again. Brandon also trekked out to Johnson City and Knoxville
with me for shows and radio appearances. He even came over to the Hammett
family Thanksgiving and we played some tunes for everyone. I feel so lucky to
have him to play with, there is really no one like him and no one better. One
more development in November: I became a first time homeowner when I acquired
through my mom and aunts the house that was built by my great-grandfather in
1900. Very exciting, and scary and, oops, there went all the money I thought
I’d saved this year 🙂
December finally slowed down a wee bit and I got to actually
spend time with my friends and sister Joy who had just moved back to SC. I
closed out the year with a couple of house concerts, at one point I found
myself on a yacht with some hippies up in Southport, NC for a
Christmas-boat-parade. What a life I lead. BTR wound up on many 2009 “best-of”
lists, including Kevin Oliver in Free Times, & the TwangNation blog. WNCW
listeners chose it as one of the top 100 CD’s of 2009 as well as one of the top
20 by regional artists. Best of all, my song “The Picture” was listed as “Best
Political Country Song” in the Boston Herald.
As the New Year approached, I had many plans for how to
start off the new decade. But 2009 did not leave me where I thought it would. I
did not make it through the whole year without a huge dose of sorrow. Around
5PM on December 31st, I got word that my sweet and generous
stepfather, Don Messa, had lost his 27-year battle with cancer. And it was a
battle, he had fought so valiantly without any complaint for so long. He had
beat it many times, but this time it was too much. All plans were dropped and
Joy and I flew to Vermont to be with our mom and sisters. He touched so many
lives. Everyone from his doctors, to the mailman, to the people at nearby
restaurants he frequented remarked to us on what a special man he was. He never
lost his smile and he taught me a lot about patience, how to deal with hardship
and how to enjoy the journey in life, not just the destination. He made my Mom
so happy. They had so much fun together. I’m so glad we had him in our family,
even though it wasn’t long enough. I’m so glad my tour worked out for me to
spend all that time with them this summer. A couple months after Mom and Don
married back in ’05, I got a check in the mail from him for quite a large
amount of money. I called Mom to ask her about it and she didn’t know anything
about it. Don said that it was for me to finish my CD (what would become my
debut, Earning her Wings) I had been trying finish it for years, recording it
bit by bit, but finances were not in my favor at that time. That money from
Don, from someone who was, at that point in my life, practically a stranger,
gave me not only the funds, but most importantly, the ENCOURAGEMENT to get my
act together and finish that record, the first step in the journey that lead me
right to where I am today. I cannot imagine where I would be without it. We
will miss him, but hold dear all these special memories and wonderful times and
the example he left behind.
What happens next… well, the events of the last couple weeks
have gotten me off my previously plotted course a bit, but that’s life, and
like Don, I will enjoy the ride wherever it takes me. I’ve got my next record a
little more than half written and a band rehearsal tomorrow. I’ve got lots of
shows coming up. I don’t have any money yet, but I’ve never had any money, so I
can deal with that. I’ve got great friends and a supportive family. I get to
travel all over the place and play music. I’m a lucky girl.
Thanks to everyone this year who booked me, who bought a CD,
came to a show, wrote a review, spun me on radio, retweeted me on twitter J
offered me encouragement and support. You make this possible!
2010, here we go!