An intimate solo performance.
A champion of the Texas honky tonk tradition, Jason Eady is different than most Lone Star singer/songwriters in one important respect: he was born and raised in Mississippi. Known for songs about the tougher side of life played with heart, soul, and a rootsy atmosphere, Eady’s music combines contemporary country with traces of bluegrass and Americana, and he found an eager audience for his work after settling in Texas. While Eady enjoyed regional success with his first three albums (released between 2005 and 2009), it was with 2012’s AM Country Heaven that he first hit the Country Albums chart and made a major impression nationwide. Fan support and positive reviews continued to grow, and with 2018’s I Travel On he took his music and songwriting in a more organic, personal direction.
Jason Eady was born outside Jackson, Mississippi in 1975. Though his earliest love was country music, he was exposed to a wealth of sounds from the lower Delta region: blues, soul, vintage R&B, and swamp rock. At 14, he began singing and playing guitar in cover bands, and was soon writing songs.
For Eady—who names Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, and Willie Nelson among his main inspirations—instilling each song with so much graceful honesty proved to be his greatest achievement and thrill in creating the new album.
On his last two albums, Jason Eady earned major acclaim for his ahead-of-the- curve take on classic country, a bold departure from his earlier excursions into blues-infused Americana. Now with his sixth album, the Mississippi-bred singer/guitarist merges his distinct sensibilities into a stripped-down, roots- oriented sound that starkly showcases the gritty elegance of his songwriting.
The follow-up to 2014’s critically praised Daylight/Dark—an album that “belongs on a shelf next to Dwight Yoakam’s Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room, Joe Ely’s Letter to Laredo, and yes, even Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages,” according to AllMusic—Eady’s latest finds the Fort Worth, Texas-based artist again teaming up with producer Kevin Welch. Now longtime collaborators (with their past efforts including 2012’s AM Country Heaven, a top 40 debut on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart), Eady and Welch worked closely in crafting the album’s acoustic-driven yet lushly textured aesthetic. “At the beginning I told everyone I wanted to make a record where, if the power went out, we could still sit down and play all the songs the exact same way,” says Eady, who points out that steel guitar is the only electric instrument featured on the album.
Despite its subtle approach, the album radiates a warm vitality that’s got much to do with Eady’s gift for nuanced yet unaffected slice-of-life storytelling. “I’ve always been drawn to writing that’s got a simplicity to it, where you’re digging deep into real day-to-day life,” he notes. Here, that means touching on such matters as turning 40 (on the reflective, soul-stirring “40 Years”), his daughter’s growing up and going off to college (on the sweetly heartbreaking “Not Too Loud”), and the everyday struggle to “embrace the messy parts of life instead of trying to get the point where you’ve somehow fixed all your problems” (on “Rain,” a joyfully determined anthem featuring SteelDrivers fiddler Tammy Rogers). Throughout the album, Eady’s soulfully rugged voice blends in beautiful harmonies with his wife, singer/songwriter Courtney Patton. And on “No Genie in This Bottle,” the legendary Vince Gill lends his singular vocals to what Eady refers to as a “good old country drinking song.”