Pianist/singer/songwriter Eleisha Eagle was on a scholarship in St. Louis, Missouri majoring in marketing and advertising graphic design in 2002 when she realized how much she missed performing. So Eagle persuaded her parents and Washington University's Dean of Students to allow her to take a year off in Nashville, to pursue her dream of a music career.
Eagle readily acknowledges that this was an unusual artistic direction for an experienced musical theatre performer and dancer. It was a strange twist for a songwriter whose favorite lyricist is the dark and dramatic film and theatre composer Stephen Sondheim. But it was even a stretch for the former high school-era band member who covered well-known songs with here best schoolmate in a duo whose career highlight was busking in New York's Central Park during their senior trip, earning tips and appreciation from usually blase' locals and the occasional famous face.
The Eagle's baby sister Alexandra came from Lake Charles to Nashville for an all-too-brief visit one not-so-special summer. When she left, Eagle channeled the ache of missing Alexandra into a poignant rock song, pouring her sorrow into straightforaward big-sisterly promises and warnings set to hard-driving chords and a purring bass line.
From that first song, Eagle says, she never looked back. Just two short years later, the former nanny and waitress has created a substantial body of better than good work, earned regular gigs at Nashville college coffee shops, and grown savvier about the business.
Eagle's recording studio blurb describes her music as what you get when you let "Ben Folds [eat] a Fiona Apple and [give] birth to a show tune about a postmodern Catholic school girl" (www.theparkstudio.com). Now that's a colorful pronouncement, but I can assure you, between Folds and Apple is a nice spot to be in, out there among the alternative scene and rock herd. And it's a place in which Eagle and her artlessly crafted lyrics will most surely thrive.
Eagle is almost ready to leave for southern California, the place she believes she should move on to in pursuit of her artistic future. She's dreaming about it. But back in Nashville she's got a manager and a producer, and it's there she wrote her first dozen songs, all of which have been beautifully recorded for her autobiographical CD debut, "Private School." "It's a coming-of-age record," Eagle says, about lessons and love, and growing into your own skin.