An American, a Canadian, and an Alaskan walk out of a bar...
Part time troubadours come and go but for Tim Easton (JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA), Leeroy Stagger(VICTORIA, CANADA) and Evan Phillips (ANCHORAGE, ALASKA), traveling the world and singing songs is a way of life. It is how they survive in this world, and it is what caused them to cross each others paths.
The three singer/songwriters first came together at Easton\'s Joshua Tree desert home in 2007. They had mutual respect for each others work but the thought of forming a band was the last thing on their minds. Fast forward to January 08 where Easton and Stagger are the support acts for Phillips\' band The Whipsaws on their Alaskan CD release tour and the three start to collaborate. With the assistance and support of Anchorage resident and recording engineer Greg Benolkin, the three musicians found themselves laying down tracks during a winter storm in a cabin in Girdwood, Alaska. What came out of that session was a lifelong friendship and a beautiful record of songs the three had been stockpiling. The snow was falling and the tape was rolling, and the majority of ONE FOR THE DITCH was recorded in a three day session. On the third evening, the first performance as Easton, Stagger, Phillips took place at Vagabond Blues in Palmer, Alaska.
The trio later reconvened in the lower 48 in March 08 for a cross country drive from Austin to Joshua Tree in order to add the finishing touches on the record. Hunkering down at Easton\'s home cabin studio as well as Victoria Williams\' Chapparal Bottoms studio, ESP recruited Bobby Furgo (Leonard Cohen band)on fiddle to finish what was to be ESP\'s debut album \"One For The Ditch.\"
There is a special dynamic to the three. \" We are kinda like a dysfunctional traveling roadshow, we all kind of keep each other together and in check, but it is a very easy and fulfilling band to be in,\" Stagger exclaims. \" We are also big fans of each other so that helps\". Easton adds \"This is a natural fit. There\'s a ton of songwriters out rambling about, and I feel lucky to have crossed paths with these two.\" Evan Phillips was unreachable for comment, as he and his rock and roll band The Whipsaws are sleeping on various couches across the land on their current cross country tour.
ONE FOR THE DITCH is being released by REBELTONE RECORDS, and this introduction to the band showcases the kind of song writing tradition that brought the three together in the first place. From the classic, Townes Van Zandt inspired storytelling of Leeroy Stagger in the opening track \"Hell of A Life,\" which chronicles the life and times of the wayward troubadour, to the clear mountain stream vocals of Evan Phillips in big country inspired songs such as \"Highway 395\" or \"Walk Away,\" to the optimistic and stoned sing along \"Festival Song,\" which has all three members of the band taking turns at verses written by Tim Easton, with three voices blending as one generation for the chorus shout out \"It feels like the world is gonna be alright.\" This album is the begining of a life long collaborative effort and dedication to making music and traveling the world together as Easton, Stagger, Phillips.
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