Angela Easterling | Black Top Road

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Gillian Welch Miranda Lambert Steve Earle

Album Links
Official Website Myspace page Twitter Facebook page

More Artists From
United States - South Carolina

Other Genres You Will Love
Rock: Americana Country: Country Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist
There are no items in your wishlist.

Black Top Road

by Angela Easterling

Rootsy, homegrown music juxtaposed with the emotions of a woman coming into her own -- smartly produced by Will Kimbrough and underscored by a bevy of A-list American artists.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Share to Google +1

Tracks

Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
share
time
download
1. American ID
Share this song!
X
3:37 $0.89
2. Better
Share this song!
X
4:35 $0.89
3. AP Carter's Blues
Share this song!
X
3:28 $0.89
4. BlackTop Road
Share this song!
X
3:58 $0.89
5. The Picture
Share this song!
X
3:53 $0.89
6. Field of Sorrow
Share this song!
X
3:52 $0.89
7. One Microphone
Share this song!
X
3:49 $0.89
8. Helpless
Share this song!
X
4:11 $0.89
9. Birmingham
Share this song!
X
4:03 $0.89
10. Big Wide World
Share this song!
X
2:41 $0.89
11. Stars Over The Prairie
Share this song!
X
2:46 $0.89
12. Just Like Flying
Share this song!
X
4:29 $0.89
13. Un Microphone
Share this song!
X
3:47 $0.89
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Angela Easterling

BlackTop Road – Out July 14 – Produced by Will Kimbrough

The genesis for Angela Easterling’s new album, BlackTop Road, actually started in 1791 in Greer, SC. That’s when her mother’s family started the farm that eventually, as farms go, was cut by a road that now bears their name. It’s not a new story, but it’s a personal story, acutely told by the angelic singer who started writing her second record when she returned home to South Carolina, and began putting together the pieces of place and family to better steer the future by. And, Easterling had only one producer in mind for the project --Will Kimbrough, a multi-award winning artist, musician and producer, known for his solo work and with folks such as Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Kate Campbell, and Jimmy Buffett just to name just a few.

It was a shift from the shoestring budget of Easterling’s debut, Earning Her Wings, even though the record won raves - named the top Americana CD of the year by Smart Choice music and emerging on many top-ten lists, landing her on stages with music legend Ray Price, Suzy Bogguss, Radney Foster and Lori McKenna.

But on BlackTop Road, Kimbrough assembled an A-list team -- including Al Perkins, Fats Kaplin, Ken Coomer, Anne McCue and Dave Jacques, with Kimbrough filling in the gaps.

“I was very nervous about working with such an esteemed gathering of musicians, but Will was careful to make sure I was at ease and had fun throughout the whole experience,” shares Easterling. “He has great ideas but is always open and willing to try my ideas too, bringing out aspects of my songs I never would have even known were there.”

About the sessions, Kimbrough says, "I produced Angela Easterling's record, but all I had to do is show up for class and play along. She is a powerful, focused artist who has done her homework: rock-n-roll, country, bluegrass, literature and French pop."

Easterling’s songs run the range of emotions of a woman fully assessing her family’s past and present with a new life perspective, juxtaposing the personal with outside forces. Anger and fear of the mistreatment of her family and farm sear through the title track, and “The Picture” acknowledges remnants of America’s shameful past. “Big Wide World,” while playful, is an expression of a modern woman’s frustration, and the book The Lovely Bones provides the backdrop of the haunting “Field of Sorrow,” underscored by banjo and fiddle.

She also explores place and heritage in terms of musical roots, finding kinship with both the famous and familial. She captured the spirit of the wandering soul of A.P. Carter after visiting his home and graveside -- tying it in with her own searching on “A.P Carter Blues,” and takes on Neil Young’s “Helpless,” with a sweet mountain vocal. And she updates “Stars Over The Prairie,” not a famous song, but penned by her great-grandfather in the 40s.

“This is a very personal album for me,” says Angela. “There is so much of my family in it. The themes are family and home and looking for a home. I think there is also a theme of where the past, present and future intersect and have an effect on each other. Sometimes it seems like the future is trying to destroy the past. But we can’t escape the past; it still haunts us.”

There is joy here, too, both in love (“Better” and “Just Like Flying”) and in finding oneself exactly where one wants to be (“Birmingham.”) And where she wants to be -- is onstage performing. “As much as I love writing, a song doesn’t seem real until you have shared it with others. Then it takes on a life of its own and doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to everyone. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to make my way through the world by sharing my music and my stories.”

Easterling was selected as a New Folk Finalist at this year’s Kerrville Folk Festival and will be touring up and down the eastern seaboard throughout the summer.


Reviews


to write a review

J. Bonich

Surpassed my already high expectations
Ever since I first saw Angela play at the Birchmere in Alexandria and picked up her first album, Earning Her Wings,it has been a staple of my listening diet. I just recently received Blacktop Road. I wasn't sure it would live up to EHW, but after a first listen I knew I was proven wrong. Every song was overflowing with emotion. AP Carter's blues sent chills down my spine! I loved American ID when I first read the lyrics in her blog and was real happy to see her include it on the album. As for Blacktop Road - loved the vocals, but the music wasn't angry enough, haha, though I have to admit it would have been weird to hear an angry metal song on a folk/country album :) My uncle had to sell what was left of the family property because all the Mcmansions and high income Gov't officials in the county drove his taxes too high. So I know where she's coming from. Strong musicianship, strong songwriting, and gorgeous vocals make this album a must have for any country music or singer-songwriter fan.

Bruce MacGibbon

Black Top Road
Angela is working with some real interesting people in the industry now and even has an excellent recommendation from the Byrds Lead Singer Roger McGuinn! I have all her CD's I do believe and this is the best even though I love everything she sings because before Angela Easterling I was not interested much in Country Music! She sold me on it! Her songs are all quite interesting and true to the heart! Her voice is wonderful not obnoxious and I love to hear her sing!

Bruce MacGibbon

Black Top Road
I was never a fan of country western music till I heard Angela Easterling sing!
This new CD of her's "Black Top Road" comes from the heart and comes highly
recommended by the Byrd's lead singer Roger McGuinn! Having been a big Byrd's fan,
and heard other Angela Easterling CD'sm I knew this one was gonna be a good one.
I did not go wrong and I assure you if you love country music, you will not go wrong either!

Easy Ed

She's Got The Gift
I stumbled onto Angela through the No Depression alt-country/americana community several months ago and was struck not only by her incredible voice and songs, 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. She's a tireless troubadour with a true gift, and I think her music and story is very special.

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

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.

Daniel T

Wonderful sophomore effort
No 2nd release let down here folks. Great songs. More eclectic than " Earning Her Wings" but still strongly rooted in country. I've seen her perform and this young woman's voice is the real deal. Like spun gold. She's also smart enough to surround herself with some very talented people. Will Kimbrough does great double duty as producer/player. Although he says all he did was let her go at it in the studio she was so well prepared. When your band consists of people like Anne McCue, Fats Kaplan, Al Perkins and Dan Coomer it's going to be a great piece of work. Highly recommended for fans of Country/Folk/Americana or great music in general. And by all means if she's playing near you go see her. She really connects with her audience. "Blacktop Road" will be in heavy rotation on my CD player for quite a while. Guarantee you're gonna love that voice.

TwangNation.com

a great Summer soundtrack
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’s 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’s 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 wiazardry.

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 (not a cover of the Lost Trailers crappy song by the same name), and 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 bitterweet 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 is 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.