Muddy Bottom Blues
Program #262 (September 24 at 8:00pm and September 25 at 3:00pm)
A champion of the Texas honky tonk tradition, Jason Eady is different than most Lone Star singer/songwriters in one important respect: he was born and raised in Mississippi.
Known for songs about the tougher side of life played with heart, soul, and a rootsy atmosphere, Eady's music combines contemporary country with traces of bluegrass and Americana, and he found an eager audience for his work after settling in Texas.
While Eady enjoyed regional success with his first three albums (released between 2005 and 2009), it was with 2012's AM Country Heaven that he first hit the Country Albums chart and made a major impression nationwide. Fan support and positive reviews continued to grow, and with 2018's I Travel On he took his music and songwriting in a more organic, personal direction.
Jason Eady was born outside Jackson, Mississippi, in 1975. Though his earliest love was country music, he was exposed to a wealth of sounds from the lower Delta region: blues, soul, vintage R&B, and swamp rock.
At 14, he began singing and playing guitar in cover bands, and was soon writing songs. His early original efforts were greeted with apathy by audiences in his home state, who were more interested in hearing performers sing current hits. At 18, Eady moved to Nashville to seek a recording contract. Despite market interest, he quickly became disillusioned with the business and culture of the mainstream music industry. He decided to return to Mississippi. On the drive home, he encountered an Air Force recruiting station and went in. He enlisted and served for the next six years as an Arabic translator, which left little time to play guitar or write songs.
After leaving the Air Force, Eady moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and got a day job working in a bank's IT department. As an outlet, he began playing open-mike nights and developed a local following. A transformative revelation from this experience was learning that Texas audiences differed considerably from those in Mississippi: they wanted to hear original music, not covers. He began to work on his songwriting, and soon thereafter quit his day job to devote himself to music full-time.
Eady's first album was 2005's From Underneath the Old, followed by 2007's Wild Eyed Serenade. He met veteran songwriter Kevin Welch in 2008. Welch had made a career as a recording artist and songwriter; he'd penned songs for Don Williams, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, and many others, and he'd done it all without making aesthetic compromises. This inspired Eady, who asked Welch to produce his next album.
Their first album together was 2009's When the Money's All Gone. The critically acclaimed AM Country Heaven was released in 2012, and landed in the Top 40 of Billboard's Country Albums chart, as well as reaching the Top Ten of the Heatseekers chart. In 2013, Eady and Welch collaborated again on Daylight/Dark. It was released on January 21, 2014, and hit the digital country charts the day after; it peaked at 45 on Billboard's Country Albums chart and 12 on Heatseekers.
Three years later, Eady returned with an eponymous album (hitting 18 on Heatseekers), and in 2017 Eady collaborated with his wife, fellow singer/songwriter Courtney Patton, on the album Something Together. I Travel On, an introspective work that saw Eady working for the first time in the studio with his road band instead of session musicians, arrived in 2018; it peaked at number 16 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
(provided by Allmusic)