Angela Easterling | Earning Her Wings

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United States - South Carolina

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Country: Americana Country: Alt-Country Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Earning Her Wings

by Angela Easterling

Music drawn from the deep wells of American tradition, straight from the heart of a modern woman.
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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1. River Jordan
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2:44 $0.79
2. Earning Her Wings
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4:16 $0.79
3. Feel Like Drinking
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3:05 $0.79
4. Toy
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5. The Accordion
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6. Eyes Of A Fool
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7. Truck-Drivin' Man
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8. Cowboy
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9. Dear Johnny
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10. Long, Gone, True
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11. When I Wake Up (to Sleep No More)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Angela Easterling was raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the daughter of a Baptist minister. Much of her childhood was spent on the farm that has been in her family since 1791.


While country roots run deep for Angela, a native of Taylors, South Carolina, it wasn’t until she moved to Los Angeles, that the country calling in her soul became a siren’s song. A performer all her life, Angela had begun playing guitar and writing songs while studying at Emerson College in Boston. More and more her music returned to the place her heart called home. “As a kid, the only music I ever heard was the music in church, old-time gospel. It had such an impact on me.” As Angela began honing her writing and playing live, other artists began to spark her imagination, artists like Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, the Carter Family and Johnny Cash.

All those honky-tonk Saturdays and gospel-drenched Sundays have paid off for Angela, who has embraced her heritage in a big way on her debut album, Earning Her Wings. With a voice that Music Connection magazine called “haunting and ethereal”, Angela is a dynamic spitfire of a performer, with a knack for tapping you on the head while tugging at your heart.

Working “bit by bit” over a period of two years at various SoCal studios, Angela had amassed a lot of material. In 2006, she took all the pieces to James O’Connell, drummer and producer of L.A. roots-rock band West Coast Grand and owner of Silverlake’s Monkey Den Studios. Together, they waded through her tracks, recording new songs and remixing old ones. “This record represents such a slice of my life for the last few years!” she says. “The songs and the recordings are a visceral piece of me. All my friends (who just happen to be stellar musicians) helped me make this album. It was a real family affair and I think you can hear that in the final product”.

Tracks include “River Jordan”; about the music that’s “in my blood”. Angela wrote “The Accordion” with Shawn Davis, but the story is true: “My dad really did trade a truck for an old accordion! That’s so country I had to sing about it.” “Feel Like Drinking” features an outstanding pedal steel performance by Chris Laurence, who plays the same guitar featured on many classic Nashville recordings, including those of Loretta Lynn. The 1940’s-era “When I Wake Up”, is the only non-original on the album. Angela had cherished the song for years but only recently discovered that it was written by distant relative (and prolific gospel song writer) Marion Easterling. “He had songs recorded by the Kingsmen, the Gaithers, Johnny Cash and Ralph Stanley. I’m so proud to share his name and sing his song.”

Angela’s unique sound and soulful writing caught the attention of DJ Doc Holiday and later, Chris Morris, who soon began airing her songs on the “Watusi Rodeo” alt-country show on radio station Indie 103.1. Even with no label backing her, songs such as “River Jordan” and “Earning Her Wings” still resonated with Watusi listeners. After making a few live appearances on the “Rodeo”, Angela went on to perform on the same bill as Lucinda Williams, Deana Carter, Victoria Williams, Dave Alvin, John Doe and Michelle Shocked. Angela has had radio play and appeared live across America. Last year, several of her songs were picked up by the Animal Planet reality series “Horse Power”; and she opened up for Radney Foster at a sold-out show in Hollywood. In addition, "Earning Her Wings" was named the top album of the year by Smart Choice Music, a popular source of Americana music in Europe and the U.K.

Having established a recognizable name in the vibrant West Coast country music scene, Angela says she hopes to bring her music to an even wider audience. She has recently returned to the Carolinas, but plans on spending most of 2007 on the road, with shows booked from Georgia to Maine. Her tour includes opening for such artists as country music legend, Ray Price, Suzy Bogguss and the Oak Ridge Boys. As a special honor, Angela appeared this fall at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the birth of country music in Bristol TN/VA. “I want to be a part of the musical traditions of the artists that came before me, but filter them through my voice and my experiences as a young woman. I want to uplift people. Music has the ability to do that and that is my ultimate goal."




©2007 AngelaEasterling.com


Reviews


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JIm Mc Guinness


A Baptist minister's daughter who has spent a significant amount of time playing music in Los Angeles, the South Carolina native allows her varied roots to shine through on this excellent release.

Conjuring up images of both Saturday night frolic and Sunday morning redemption, Easterling has created an enchanting brand of neo-traditionalist country that mixes hard-edged honky tonk with fetching ballads. Her voice is a gorgeous instrument, capable of extracting nuances from a wide range of country-oriented material.

Songs like the Carter Family-inspired "River of Jordan," the moving "Long, Gone, True" and the yearning title track evoke the elemental allure of her Appalachian roots. Easterling further taps into her heritage on the old-time gospel sing-along "When I Wake Up To Sleep No More," a 60-year-old song written by a distant relative.

Balancing the album's mountain sensibility are some terrific honky-tonk numbers that bring to mind such classic performers as Jean Shepard and Rose Maddox. Of note are the steel guitar-driven "I Feel Like Drinking," the rockabilly-flecked "Toy" and the spry "Truck-Driving Man."

Country fans who like music with deep roots might want to check this one out.

Daniel T. Irwin

Country music as it should be
In this new world of faux country artists, Angela Easterling is the real deal. "Earning her wings" is not pop/country, country/rock , country/rap it's not country slash anything. This is an album of pure, good old fashioned COUNTRY music. And it's a beautiful piece of work. An album of pure country soul that will remind you of artists like Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, the Carter Family. Name a great one and Angela will hold her own. The songs are expertly crafted. Angela's voice is 24 karat, absolutely gorgeous. The backing musicians are solid as a rock. This is a CD that should have won a Grammy and a CMA award. It's perfect from start to finish. If you're a fan of real , down home, good old fashioned country music BUY THIS CD NOW. Shania has a great voice, but she's more pop than country, Taylor Swift, the new darling of country music, has a wonderful voice, but she played a "ROCK AND ROLL" song on SNL recently. Carrie Underwood is talented, but once again there are more Rock n Roll elements to her music than country. Those genres have there place, but Angela Easterling eschews any compromises with her art, and it's called COUNTRY MUSIC. I love this CD. It's timeless. It would have been perfect 50 years ago , and it will sound just as perfect 50 years from now. The only thing I regret about buying this CD is that I did'nt find Angela until 2 years after she released it. I can't wait for her next effort.

Smart Choice Music

Country Roots rediscovered and played the way it was always meant to be played.
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.

Robert Barry Francos, Jersey Beat Magazine

Yeah, I liked this one
On “Earning Her Wings”, ANGELA EASTERLING takes a more traditional pop country stance (think Loretta Lynn meets Barbara Mandrell) that is full of fiddles, pedal steel guitar, twang and some heavy emoting. From the fun “Feel Like Drinking” to the somber “Dear Johnny”, Angela invites you to the hoedown. Her voice is airy and fits the style like a sheath. Enjoyable from beginning to end, Angela has her finger (and voice) on the pulse of the style. The final cut is a rollicking cover of “When I Wake Up and Sleep No More”, with more than a hint of gospel handclapping sing-along. Yeah, I liked this one.



This CD reminds me of barefoot babies and family musicians pickin'up on the hay wagon after a big dinner on reunion day! It's GOOD...All GOOD!

Matt Matthews


Catch Angela live. She gives a great show! Thanks Angela for this great CD. The St. Giles Coffee House remembers your show with fondness.