Angela Easterling | Arkansas Murder Ballad No. 1

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Arkansas Murder Ballad No. 1

by Angela Easterling

Thematically and sonically, Easterling’s new song is like a cross between such traditional 19th century murder ballads as “Omie Wise” and “Poor Ellen Smith” and more contemporary folk-rock material such as Neil Young’s “Down by the River.”
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
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1. Arkansas Murder Ballad No. 1
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

Sound Observations
Local singer-songwriter and birthday girl Angela Easterling releases new single, ‘Arkansas Murder Ballad’
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 1:44 by Dan Armonaitis

Greer-based singer-songwriter Angela Easterling is celebrating her birthday today, only she’s the one with a present to offer.

In celebration of her special day, Easterling has just released a new single, “Arkansas Murder Ballad,” which can be streamed for free at http://angelaeasterling.bandcamp.com/track/arkansas-murder-ballad.

If you like what you hear, there’s the option to purchase the tune as a digital download for only 99 cents.

Unsurprisingly, given its title, “Arkansas Murder Ballad,” is a hauntingly melodic song filled with stark lyrics that might be the best Easterling has ever composed.

It’s hard not to get goose bumps while listening to the chorus, in which she achingly cries, “Pay heed, that old north wind is howlin’ low/And she seems to say, ‘hey girl, where you gonna go?’”

Thematically and sonically, Easterling’s new song is like a cross between such traditional 19th century murder ballads as “Omie Wise” and “Poor Ellen Smith” and more contemporary folk-rock material such as Neil Young’s “Down by the River.”

Simply put, it’s a good – thankfully, fictional – song that any Americana/roots music lover should be delighted to hear.

“Arkansas Murder Ballad” was recorded at Matthew Knights’ County Line Studio in Chesnee and produced by Brandon Turner, who contributes guitar, bass, banjo, percussion and background vocals to the track.

The song is the first English-language release for Easterling since her album, “Beguiler,” came out in July 2011. Her most recent effort, last year’s “Mon Secret,” was written and sung entirely in French.

Bringing at least a small amount of added attention to her new single is my way of wishing Easterling a happy birthday and the best of luck with the upcoming birth of her first child, whose expected arrival is only weeks away.

Oh, if you’re reading this, Angela, allow me to give you a little parenting advice: don’t recite the lyrics to this song as a bedtime story for that little boy of yours! Read something nice to him, perhaps en francais – maybe something sweet about an adorable petit chien.

For those wishing to learn more about Easterling, here are a couple past stories I’ve written about her for the Herald-Journal and GoUpstate.com:

2012: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20120216/ENT/202161005

2011: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20110714/ARTICLES/110719825

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