So today I spent time listening to two artists whose albums are currently on the Folk DJ Chart for January. The first was Wyatt Easterling whose album Goodbye –Hello is #33 and the second Steep Ravine and their album Trampin’ On which sits a little higher on the chart at #20. Neither of the artists names were familiar to me.
After listening to the really well written songs on Goodbye–Hello, especially my particular favorites “Teach Me How to Say Goodbye”, “If A Tree Falls” and “A Soldier Comes Home” I wondered where this new songwriter came from, what I found out is that this young songwriter released his debut album Both Sides of the Shore, on Moonlight Records (Warner Bros.) in 1981. Then he headed off to Nashville to make his way in the music business. To pay the bills, while he searched foe another record deal, he wrote for various song publishers. Then instead of writing songs and performing them, he became head of A&R for Atlantic Records. and that led to a twenty year career as a songwriter, producer, executive and/or session player. That career has been full of chart-topping songs including cuts with Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy, Sons of the Desert, Robbie Hecht But these days, Easterling is embracing the life of a troubadour, focusing his energy on bringing his music and his stories directly to his audience. His new CD, Goodbye-Hello, is rich with wisdom, acceptance and optimism. “I must say it’s the most personal album I’ve recorded to date.”