Angela Easterling…she’s got the gift
I stumbled onto Angela through this community several months ago and was struck not only by her incredible voice, but also the way she presents her music and connects with fans. She is one of a new breed of performer that has embraced technology in a way that brings her closer to her audience as opposed to isolating them.
Basically a one woman show, she’s often on the road performing while staying connected via her website and Facebook. She shares her life story, her daily ups and downs, her passions and frustrations,and by doing so her music becomes a living and breathing entity rather than just a soundtrack.
Yesterday her latest “Blacktop Road” was released online and at selected stores, and it was the #1 most-added title at Americana radio.
In getting to know her, I found myself eagerly awaiting Blacktop Road’s release. She sent fans a free mp3 of “Better” a couple of months ago to whet our appetite and it sure did the trick. It has become my favorite song of the moment and when I downloaded the album last night I wasn’t surprised to discover that every track is a killer.
The review from TwangNation posted below says it more eloquently than I can, but in a nutshell Angela has a true gift that we don’t often find in a performer. As a true DIY’er in the modern age of the new music industry, you won’t necessarily find her album in your local record store…that is if you still have a local record store. You’ll hear it on Americana radio, at her shows and you can buy it right here/right now at any of the major online e-tailers. I would suggest that it would be a wise decision to do so.
Here’s what TwangNation says:
If you want an excellent example of what Americana, that 5 layer-dip of genres, has to offer you need to just put on Angela Easterling s new release Blacktop Road. Easterling delivers neo-trad country, folk and rock in her earnestly melancholic voice betraying her Greenville, S.C. roots, and her expanded tastes and sensibilities that might have been cultivated by her stretch in L.A. She sounds like she d be right at home in a honky-tonk or a New York supper club. Blacktop Road was produced by Will Kimbrough (Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Kate Campbell, Jimmy Buffett) and the album reflects his good sense to not burdon it with studio wizardry. Easterling has the goods and needs little more than a mic (though here she has a crack band Al Perkins, Fats Kaplin, Ken Coomer, Anne McCue and Dave Jacques, along with Kimbrough backing her) to get the job done. whether it s John Mellencamp or Steve Earle style roots rocking on American I.D., a mid-tempo piece about American multiculturalism and self-identity and the title cut decrying the encroaching suburban sprawl and the loss of a rural way of life. American identity is again addressed in the The Picture about a woman s relationship with her father and his involvement in the Jim Crow South. For all braying about social messages in contemporary country music they are like crayon scribbling compared to finely crafted song like this. Better is a beautifully aching hillbilly-chamber piece featuring mandolin, dobro, cello and violin (not fiddle) as a backdrop for longing for the comfort of a loved one. AP Carter s Blues continues the bittersweet tone and offers a fine tribute to the Carter family patriarch with excellent pedal steel accompaniment by Fats Kaplin. The cover of Neil Young s Helpless is done similarly as the original s slow, woeful simmering manner that fits the song to a T without being done by rote. Stars Over The Prairie is wonderfully spirited; a Western Swing shuffle reworking of a song penned by her great-grandfather in the 40s. Easterling s first offering, 2007’s Earning Her Wings, was an excellent first release, and with Blacktop Road she advances her skills and confidence and has provided us a great Summer soundtrack. –TwangNation