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The eighth full-length from singer/songwriter Jason Eady, To The Passage Of Time first took shape ina frenetic burst of creativity back in the doldrums of quarantine. Over the course of a three-dayperiod last August, the Fort Worth, Texas-based musician wrote more than half of the album,locking himself in his bedroom and emerging only when he felt completely burnt out. “I went inthinking I was going to write just one song—but then the songs kept coming, and I didn’t want tobreak the spell,” he recalls. “I’d go to sleep with the guitar by the bed, pick it back up when I wokeup the next morning, and do it all again. I’d never really experienced anything like that before.”With its nuanced exploration of aging and loss and the fragility of life, To The Passage Of Time arrivesas the Mississippi-bred artist’s most lyrically complex and compelling work to date. As Eady reveals,the album’s understated power stems in part from the intentionality of the recording process, whichinvolved enlisting Band of Heathens’ Gordy Quist as producer and gathering many of Eady’sfavorite musicians he’s played with over the years (including Noah Jeffries on mandolin and fiddle,Mark Williams on upright bass and cello, and Geoff Queen on Dobro, pedal steel, and lap steel). “Ireally love egoless players—people who know how to serve the song,” notes Eady, who recorded atThe Finishing School in Austin and made ample use of the studio’s goldmine of vintage gear. “Westarted every song with just me on guitar, and if someone felt like they had a part to add, they had tocome forward and say what they heard there. Everything was built from the ground up, and becauseof that there’s no filler—nobody playing to show off or take up space.”The follow-up to 2018’s I Travel On—an album that “overflows with enough spontaneous energy topower a fleet of Ford pickups,” according to NPR’s glowing review—To The Passage Of Time showsthe full force of that approach on the hard-driving lead single “Back to Normal.” Like all of thealbum, “Back to Normal” was recorded live with no overdubs, bringing gritty guitar work andgalloping rhythms to an urgent meditation on the inevitability of change. “I wanted to write abouthow, when things get disrupted, you can never really return to the way they were before,” says Eady.“No matter how big or small that disruption is, you have to accept that change is a fundamental partof life, and just keep moving forward.” The result: an immediately catchy track that’s pragmatic buthopeful, proving Eady’s gift for turning uncomfortable truths into songs with a potent impact.On the album’s exquisite centerpiece “French Summer Sun”—a devastating epic astoundinglycaptured in the very first take—Eady shares one of his most riveting pieces of storytelling yet. “Mygrandfather fought at Battle of Anzio in Italy in World War II, and a few years ago on tour I went tovisit the beach where the battle took place,” says Eady. “I was struck by how small the beach was—Irealized that if my grandfather had made one wrong move he would’ve been killed, and I wouldn’tbe standing there thinking those thoughts. I ended up writing this song about how when someonedies in war, it isn’t just killing that person: it’s killing the generations of people who would havecome from them.” Building to a shattering plot twist in its final moments, “French Summer Sun”drifts between its somberly sung chorus and spoken-word verses, attaining an unlikely transcendenceas Eady sheds equally poignant light on the horror of war and the ephemeral beauty of everyday life.One of the more lighthearted tracks on To The Passage of Time, “Saturday Night” muses on the earlydays of Eady’s career, when he and fellow Texas-based country artist Cody Jinks spent many a nightplaying sparsely attended gigs at Lil’ Red’s Longhorn Saloon in Fort Worth. “When you’re justgetting started as a musician and nobody knows who you are, there’s a lot of nights when you’remostly playing to the bar staff,” says Eady. “I was trying to set the scene of playing to an emptyroom, and what that really feels like.” Co-written by Eady and his wife Courtney Patton (also a singer/songwriter), “Saturday Night” channels that spirited frustration in moody guitar riffs andsoul-stirring vocals, subtly taking on a momentum that’s undeniably exhilarating.In a particularly meaningful turn for Eady, To The Passage Of Time closes out with its confessional titletrack, a piece he regards as the album’s most personal offering. “I turned 40 a few years ago, and thissong is me talking directly to time about some of the realizations I’ve had since then,” he says. Butwhile the lyrics to “To The Passage Of Time” reflect a rueful awareness (“I still remember when Ithought you were my friend/You made me feel like this never would end/Now I am older and Ifinally see/That you’re a little indifferent to me”), the song’s dreamy steel tones and luminousharmonies ultimately summon a certain quiet glory.A near-lifelong songwriter who names Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, and Willie Nelson among hismain inspirations, Eady grew up in Jackson and got his start performing in local bars at age 14,showing his natural grasp of everything from soul and R&B to blues and country. After some timein the Air Force, he moved to Fort Worth and started playing open mic nights, where he quicklybuilt up a devoted following. After independently releasing his debut album From Underneath the Oldin 2005, he expanded his touring radius and continued turning out critically praised work, including2012’s AM Country Heaven (a top 40 debut on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart), 2014’sDaylight/Dark (an album that “belongs on a shelf next to Dwight Yoakam’s Buenos Noches from aLonely Room, Joe Ely’s Letter to Laredo, and yes, even Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages,” according toAllMusic), and his self-titled 2017 effort (hailed by Rolling Stone as “[h]eavily steeped in hisstoryteller lyrical style and cleverly framed by uncluttered, acoustic-rich arrangements”). Through theyears, Eady has also made his name as an unforgettable live performer, sharing stages with the likesof Sturgill Simpson, Band of Heathens, and Reckless Kelly.In creating To The Passage Of Time, Eady incorporated several songs born from a songwriters groupthat started up during quarantine, including Patton along with artists like Brent Cobb, Adam Hood,and Jamie Lin Wilson (who also joined Patton in contributing harmony vocals to the album). “In theearly stages of quarantine we realized that nobody was getting any writing done, even though we allhad so much downtime,” he says. “We started this group and gave each other prompts to try to turnout a song a week, and it really helped get rid of that paralysis we were all feeling.”Looking back on the making of To The Passage Of Time, Eady points to such unexpected moments asthe recording of the album-opening “Nothing On You.” “Apart from my guitar, the only twoinstruments on that song are cello and steel guitar—which is a combination I’d never heard before,and gave it a whole new character that took my breath away,” he says. But for the most part, Eadyachieved a rare outcome in the album’s production: a direct expression of his deep-rooted andhighly specific vision. “I write my songs on acoustic guitar, so sometimes in the studio things takedifferent turns and end up not really matching with what you had in your head,” says Eady. “Butbecause of the approach we took with this album, there’s hardly anything that came out differentfrom what I’d envisioned. This is 100 percent the album I hoped I would make.”

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Event Location

Directions

Capricorn Sound Studios

540 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Macon, GA, 31201

Talent

Jason Eady