When Angela Easterling posted late this fall that she was putting out a record in sung in French on Valentine’s Day 2012, I thought she was kidding. Beguiler was still fresh–less than a year since its release. Mon Secret is not a hastily conceived album, though. It has been three years in the making, and the circumstances simply converged to make the record itself happen rapidly. Easterling and her dear friend, Marianne Bessy, a professor of French at nearby Furman University, had tossed around the idea for years, and even included one song in French as a bonus track on a previous release.
Angela Easterling left her family farm in the Upstate of South Carolina at 17, heading to college in Boston to pursue a career in musical theatre on Broadway, but an acoustic guitar and the popularity of female singer-songwriters like the Indigo Girls and the Lilith Fair festival captivated her. Despite the vibrant folk scene of Boston and successful open mic nights at Club Passim, Easterling left for Los Angeles, finishing college out there. In southern California, Angela discovered what she had not been open to finding in South Carolina: country music. The more she cruised through Laurel Canyon, the more the Carter Family pulled at her musically. When she finally returned to her family’s historic farm, they nearly lost the property from which she had previously escaped. Development boomed, and farmland was in its path.
Once back in South Carolina, Easterling began to appreciate what the Palmetto State offered for independent musicians: a very affordable cost of living and easy travel for East Coast and Deep South touring, making it possible to make a living as a musician without a “day job.” While the talent pool is smaller than LA or Nashville, there are individuals on par with the greats in their skills, those people are just rare gems that one must snag quickly. Now cruising the foothills, Angela finds the California sounds of Laurel Canyon’s heyday calling her. With two albums released in the past year, though, she finds that she is suddenly prompted to write, now that her mind is clear after those projects.
Songs in Episode 1214 include:
- Angela Easterling, “Jouet” from Mon Secret
- Angela Easterling, “Truck Drivin Man” from Earning Her Wings
- Angela Easterling, “Happy Song” from Beguiler
- The Carter Family, “No Telephone in Heaven”
- Tim Easton, “Festival Song”
- Daddy (Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack), “Glory Be”
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash, “Long Time Done”
- Indigo Girls, “Tried to Be True”
- Next Week’s Featured Artist, Episode 1215 Ha Ha Tonka, “Usual Suspects”
Several great outtakes right here: