11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Tim Easton

Tim EastonThere are a lot of Nashville artists that can be labelled as folkies. However, for me, no one better lives and portrays the part better these days than Tim Easton. Channeling the spirit of Hank, Woody and Doc Watson, we are so lucky that Tim’s travelling troubadour lifestyle finally found some rest here in Music City.

Easton is also of the most ambitiously-creative singer-songwriters you will come by. I remember back in the late 90s that Tim was one of the first artists to offer free mp3 singles at his website. More recently, in addition to the cool Bristol Sessions Pledge Music recording project he mentions below (the digital version of which drops this Friday), back in October 2015 he started the remarkable 100 Days 100 Songs project. Here at his website, there are You Tube links for the entire run of Tim’s daily video performances of these published original songs.

A friend of mine who is a passionate Tim Easton fan calls him “a Nashville real deal.” I couldn’t agree more. Start listening to this amazing repertoire that he makes available for free. Then go see him live as he plays around town, the US and the world. Then, go buy all nine of his great solo records!

Thanks Tim for keeping it raw and real and for giving us 11 great answers!


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I was born in Upstate New York, right on the Canadian border, and lived in Japan for a while as a kid. That was because my Dad worked for Goodyear which is based in Akron, OH where I learned to drive a car. So that’s where I tell people I’m from. I first came to Nashville in the late 90’s to make a record with my college band, The Haynes Boys, but didn’t move here until 2011, from Joshua Tree, CA, after the birth of my daughter.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them?

The first single I bought was Paul Simon’s “Slip Sliding Away,” in Akron.  The first LP I bought might have been Some Girls by The Rolling Stones when it came out in the late 70’s.  It was either that or a Beatles album. The last album I bought was a Roger Miller “best of” on vinyl.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen? 

The first big concert was Seals & Crofts at Blossom Music Center outside Akron, OH.  I remember topless hippy girls dancing in a line, smoking joints.  My last concert was The Last Waltz benefit at The Basement East. 800 people were there so it would have to qualify as a “concert.”  I sang an Elvis tune with a great backing band Jon Latham put together. It was so great to see Nashville come together to support the Music Health Alliance. I also saw Tom Petty on his last tour, which was incredible of course.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price.  John Prine is on there right? (editor: sadly, he is not) Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?   

I go all over for coffee, but find myself at Sip meeting friends a lot.  Five Points Pizza is the best in my opinion, but I’ve given up pizza.  (Whatever you say buddy!).

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville? 

I immediately want to say any record made by Hank Williams, but sometimes you’ll find those records were cut in Cincinnati or some road town studio they were in.  My next go-to would be Blonde on Blonde, because it’s just such an amazing collection of songs and studio wizards.  It is certainly a masterpiece just on vibe alone.  Icky Thump is pretty good!  I have most all of the Chet Atkins records from way back. I listen to those a lot around the house because they all just sound so good.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Five Points Pizza!  

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you. 

Interesting, because I actually had this job and curated a few nights. I had so many good ones.  Aaron Lee Tasjan, Margo Price, Patrick Sweany, Brian Wright, Sally Jaye, Megan Palmer, Erin Rae, the list goes on.

Today, I’d like to get Joshua Hedley because that dude would give the tourists their money’s worth for sure. Ray Davies and Randy Newman would be the other two!

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?   

The Basement and The Basement East.  I’ve never played the Station Inn and don’t know why.  I’d like to do something about that. Perhaps with this new solo-acoustic album I’ll get a chance to do it.  There, and next would be the Ryman!

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

Randy Newman and Tom Waits, on the same day.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?   

I just recorded 10 songs, solo acoustic, in Bristol, VA, at a DIRECT TO LACQUER studio called The Earnest Tube. That album will come out next spring. It’s a love letter to my Gibson Acoustic J-45 guitar, which I’ve played for many years.  It’s quite the old school recording project, because I was supposed to just do whatever strikes me as fun. I’ve also got a decent home studio going these days and am doing bits of film scoring work and helping produce other writers too.

I’ll play a show this Sunday, November 19th, at The Basement with Malcolm Holcombe and Rorey Carroll.


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