Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Troubled Times” by Tim Easton from the 2013 album Not Cool on Thirty Tigers.
Nashville-based songwriter Tim Easton has been crafting songs that document his journey through American roots music genres for nearly two decades. Born in Akron, Ohio, Easton first cut his teeth as a busker in Europe after graduating college, eventually returning to America in the mid-90s. By the tail end of that decade, Easton had set himself up in Nashville with a publishing deal, and starting in 1998, he began releasing solo albums on a fairly regular basis while keeping a role as one third of Easton, Stagger, and Phillips. Easton’s latest disc, Not Cool, is a throwback to the rockabilly sounds crafted 50 years ago in Sun Studio, but with a distinctly unpolished edge that would’ve been a worthy soundtrack to the revelrous nights that followed those legendary sessions. Cruising through two minutes and thirteen seconds, Easton taps into a “Rolling and Tumbling” vibe as he offers sound advice to a conflicted friend: “For someone who doesn’t know a lot about maps, you sure know your way around this town/all that traveling and you barely learned to walk, now it’s time to lay your weary blues down”. Vintage without being nostalgic, “Troubled Times” doesn’t make any qualms about its roots as Easton lays it down with the gusto of the man who once led the Tennessee Two.
Tim Easton is on tour in the Midwest through the end of the year, so if he makes plans to head west in 2014, those dates will be on his website and Facebook. Watch the video for his 1998 track “Just Like Home” below.