Some kind of Soul Mining: The music of Tim Easton

Take any John Prine song, A myriad of guitar riffs rooted in blues and folk, some early Dylan, and some plum picking for good measure  and  you  get Ohio-born, Joshua-Tree-living Tim Easton. ”

Easton, driven westward both geographically and musically since his college days in Akron Ohio, finally settled one hundred and forty  miles east of  Los Angeles in the sweet little outpost known as Joshua Tree.  A place where the work of contemporary artists can be found among cactus and creosote, where eclectic and soulful music  is made among the  Ocotillo and the yucca.  Though his  home base is admittedly Joshua Tree honky tonk watering hole Pappy and Harriets, Tim’s toured extensively in support of his four albums to date, landing in Europe and Asia in addition to a myriad of cities in the United States.  A 2006 tour opening for Lucinda Williams landed him at the Pabst theate in Milwaukee, the Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford Oregon, and the Paramount Theater in Austin Texas expousing revealing his soulful influences of Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie.

Easton’s Folk Americana vacillates between the low down bluesey  growl of “Burgundy Red” from his 2009 release “Porcupine” to the  gospel meme hootenanny of “carry me” featured on 2001’s “The Truth about us” “Get What I got” also off Porcupine, offers a post punk downtempo vibe, with a slight nod to CCR  hiding quietly in plain view.  “Porcupine” combines Easton’s exploratory past while welcoming an edginess,that compounds all the elements digested by Easton over the years.

As if making  cathartic blues Americana wasn’t enough, Tim creates inspired folk art paintings that are currently centered on the motif of ‘the guitar.’  Certainly the god’s cannot be so indulgent! as to afford an already great musician an outstanding talent in a second craft,  But oh yes the god’s gluttony exposes them.  Easton’s paintings turn out not to be sophomoric indulgences by any means, in other words, they are not musings stretching weakly into another creative genre. They are  inspired and informed.  True pieces of mature art.  If you ventured out to SXSW in 2009  Tim’s visual representations were on display at the YARD DOG  gallery, as will several pieces from the 500 Individually painted vinyl jackets supporting”Porcupine.”  The vinyl jackets for this album were  paintings combining wood stain and designs of guitars and porcupines.  Tim’s other folk art uses found wood, oils and acrylics, chalk and pastels, and mostly features the guitar as it’s main subject.    If Musician, visual artist, aren’t enough to fill one’s creative palate, the “creatively-voracious” Easton also writes and is the founder and publisher of a community newsletter and ‘zine called The Joshua Tree Republic.”

A Video snippet of Tim Live in Bucyrus, Ohio exposes Easton telling the crowd that ‘the song he’s going to play next is called, ‘Carry Me’ at which time  very drunk woman whom has apparently been very disruptive during the show with a raspy voice finally yells, “SLAYER!!!, SLAYER!!!”  Tim isn’t caught vulnerable, instead he capitalizes on the situation with a deadpan and swift response by saying, ‘the day I play a Slayer song, is the day you get married.”   Easton comically takes interruptions, hecklers in stride.  and with humor, marches on, no bother and begins picking.

This is Real Folk music, an undeniable a romp  through the desert. It’s music about relationships – both coveted and lost.  The beauty and the tragic things too.  This is Americana,  This is the real Hootenanny, this is some kind of rave up, this is Tim Easton.

Find Tim Easton at: http://timeaston.com

~Chrissylong

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