Nashville songwriter enjoys getting back to basics

Jason Kerr
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Wyatt Easterling spent decades working behind the scenes in the Nashville music business, but always felt something was missing.

Singer/Songwriter Wyatt Easterling will be making his first appearance in Prince Albert for a concert and songwriting workshop on April 23-24.  The concert costs $20, with the workshop costing $35.

After roughly 30 years working in the city as a producer and songwriter he felt it was time for a change.

“I wasn’t even really sure what it was for a long time until I was invited to go out and do some songwriter circles around Nashville,” he recalls.  “I hadn’t done it in about 10 years, so I was really nervous to get out there and do it and I had so much fun.  I thought, wow, I’d forgotten what brought me to this town in the first place.”

Having found that revitalization he was looking for, Easterling is devoting more time to the performing aspect of his craft, and he loves it.

“It’s always great to connect with the people and to see them, especially if they know your songs and are familiar with them,” he says.  “It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Originally from North Carolina, Easterling moved to Nashville in the ’80s to pursue a career in music.  By 1990 he was the head of the Arts and Repertoire Division for Atlantic Records Nashville.

He says he enjoyed that time of his life, but wants to get back to performing, as well as his other passion, teaching.  In fact he’ll be doing both when he visits Prince Albert in April, performing on the 23rd, before teaching a songwriters workshop on the 24th.

“I really enjoy teaching,” he says.  “I come by it naturally.  My father was a medical school professor and then my older brothers are all college professors.  “My mom was a teacher, so I enjoy passing on what I’ve learned and what others have taught me.”

Easterling says he leans more towards the songwriter side of the singer-songwriter pairing.  He calls songwriting an adventure, which he puts to good use with his mixed style of music and country music.

“I think it’s always a challenge, and man, when you really hit a home run and you feel like you’ve done your job, it’s a wonderful feeling,” he says.

Easterling says a lot of people grow up listening to music, but still struggle with songwriting.  He tries to get them to focus on form and technique before branching out into more difficult compositions.

“Basically I kind of equate it to building a house,” he says.  “You’ve got to start with the foundation.  You’ve got to put the floor down and so on and so forth.  It’s always great fun.  I enjoy doing and the students seem to get a lot out of it.”

This will be Easterling’s first trip to Prince Albert, although he’s been to Saskatchewan before, and he says he’s looking forward to the trip.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he says.  “I love Canada.  Off all the places I go it’s one of my favourites.”

Easterling can be seen in concert at the Mann Art Gallery on April 23 at 7 p.m. He hosts a songwriting workshop the next night from 8:30 - 10 p.m. at the gallery. Tickets are $20 for the concert, $35 for the workshop or $50 for both. They are available at the gallery.


Organizations: Prince Albert, Arts and Repertoire Division

Geographic location: Nashville, North Carolina, Saskatchewan Canada

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