For the past five or so years, Tim Easton has been channeling his inner Gram Parsons out west in the solitude of the Joshua Tree desert, but regardless of his address, he’s still a favorite son of Ohio. Easton formed his first band while a student at Ohio State, sharpened his performance edge as a street busker in Europe and returned to Columbus to add his spin to the garage-soaked Roots Rock of The Haynes Boys.
In 1998, Easton dropped his debut solo album, the exquisite Special 20, and never looked back. He hooked up with some of the boys from Wilco for his 2000 sophomore album, The Truth About Us, followed by the contemplative Break Your Mother’s Heart and the expansive Ammunition.
Two years ago, Easton felt the need for bleed, and recorded the needle-pegging anthemics of Porcupine, proof positive that he hadn’t lost his electric edge.
This year, Easton seems bent on proving the validity of his dual musical sides simultaneously (as if he — or we — had any doubt at all) with the summer release of the acoustic, Folk-tinged Since 1966: Vol. 1 and the electric Roots Pop tumult of Beat the Band. The heart of both albums is Easton’s magnificent songcraft, which triangulates his unplugged heart-sleeved troubadour (so brilliantly displayed on Since 1966), his rootsy/poppy Ryan Adams shit-kicker and his Jeff Tweedy/Jay Farrar/Neil Young/Francis Dunnery Americana experimentalist (propulsively and elegantly presented on Beat the Band).
Even though Easton will be alone in the spotlight with
just his acoustic guitar when he hits the MOTR Pub stage, he’ll be
accompanied by one of the most impressive song catalogs in contemporary
music, which he delivers with a visceral sense of drama, a perfect rasp
and an infectiously melancholy joy.
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