Session 206: Tim Easton // Lou Shields<- Back
September 26, 2018 | SOLDOUT!
To celebrate thirty years of traveling with and writing songs on his black
Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar named Paco," Nashville based songwriter Tim
Easton recorded an entire album DIRECT TO LACQUER at The Earnest
Tube Studio in Bristol, Virginia. This performance based method of
capturing songs leaves no room for manipulation or overdubbing, therefore
conjuring the roots of American Music. Each track was recorded via
portable lathe which cuts a mono signal directly to a lacquer acetate disc,
much the way The Carter Family or Jimmie Rodgers would have made
their first records in Bristol over 90 years ago. In as much time as it takes to
listen, Easton recorded nine original songs and one cover using a single
1940s RCA 74B ribbon microphone, alternating between the rapid fire flat-
picking and steady Travis-style thumb picking technique that he has been
streamlining all these years, coupled with his Country Blues style rack
harmonica playing. The occasional foot stomp can be heard as well,
vibrating through the floors. Easton sings songs from the personal
experiences and observations of man who has spent a few decades on the
road. His folk music is not always the gentle kind. His authenticity is
pervasive. This is what the tradition of the troubadour sounds like.
This LP serves as a love letter of sorts to Eastons trusty Gibson acoustic
guitar, which he purchased in 1987 for one hundred dollars plus two cheap
electric guitars on trade. Leaving Ohio and exploring Europe on and off for
seven years, Easton traveled extensively by train, bus, and thumb, learning
to write songs along the way. Soon after a Deadhead in Paris named his
guitar Paco, Easton made his very first recordings just a short walk away
from the Charles Bridge in Prague, where he had been busking in the
Summer after Czechoslovakias Velvet Revolution. After returning Stateside
and signing with EMI Music Publishing, he released several critically
acclaimed albums with both New West Records and Thirty Tigers.
His last album, 2016s American Fork (LAST CHANCE RECORDS),
reached #11 on the Americana Music Association Radio Charts. Easton
continues to travel the world and perform while also delving into film score
work done at his home studio in Nashville. He has scored two feature
documentaries, The Power Of Two (2012), and The Bullish
Farmer (2017) and also placed original songs in film and television.
Paco & The Melodic Polaroids harkens listeners back to a simpler and
more direct era by capturing the sound of one man and his acoustic guitar,
plus a seasoned voice with occasional harmonica. The album opener Old
New Straitsville Blues, is a flat-picked Bluegrass flavored original that
delves into one of the albums central themes of paying the travelers dues.
The character passes through the landmarks of two small towns in
Eastons home state of Ohio before settling in a Southern town. Never
Punch The Clock Again is a metaphorical romp through one mans life on
the fringes of the music business, starting out in Defiance, Ohio and
winding up in Louisiana. Another stand out track is Broken Hearted Man,
which employs a rapid-fire, flat-picked open C tuning, and ferocious
bottleneck slide playing to tell the story of a man wandering through the
hills, searching for peace of mind. The American South has left its
emotional and sonic mark on many a traveler, and it shows in Eastons
range of performances on this unique LP.
The ten solo acoustic tracks will be available on Vinyl, CD, iTunes, and
traditional streaming services on April 13th, 2018 via Campfire Propaganda
Records and Books.
Americana, Old Time Blues, Folk and American Roots.
Lou Shields continues the tradition of American music with a solo-performance that pulls in styles of days-gone-by. Using his National Resonator Guitar or Banjo accompanied by a unique front porch style of foot percussion and harmonica, he uses his voice as an extension of the past. Lou carries a full sound during live performances while sharing stories, thoughts and experiences with the audience. He has toured throughout the United States and Europe for over 8 years and has released 4 full-length albums and 13 EPs.
Lou grew up in Chicago, living downtown or in the South Suburbs his entire life. While downtown he owned an art gallery in Pilsen at 18th and Halsted. Lou often creates his art from experiences on the road. He will take a picture of an old home in Mississippi and then draw it later. He exhibits his art in Gallery shows or sells prints out of his merch box. He often blends his art and music by creating album art and show posters for himself and other musicians. In addition to being an artist, Lou is also a Professor of Art at a college in the Chicago-area. He enjoys teaching young students about art appreciation and art history a few days a week.
A few years ago, Lou purchased land and a salvaged wood cabin in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin (near Viroqua) where he is setting up an off-grid homestead. Lou loves working with wood and reclaimed materials due to his deep connection to the past. The homestead is filled with antiques he found on the road from stopping at roadside estate sales and thrift stores. In addition to the cabin, Lou has built an outhouse and amazing reclaimed shed plus a screened-in porch. Lou hired the Amish to build a barn on his homestead for woodworking and eventually to have community music gatherings. Lous current projects are to build a tiny house for guests to visit his property and share in the enjoyment of the outdoors and get his well working to create a bath house. Lou enjoys playing his banjo on the front porch of his Kickapoo River Valley Homestead.
In addition to living in the Chicago-area and Kickapoo Township, Wisconsin he also lives in Madison with his wife who resides and works in the area. Lou has no problem splitting his time between three areas after all they are not that far apart and it gives him a balance of city and country life. Lous heart is on the road and he loves the ability to spend his time in different areas.