SAN ANGELO, TX — The Green Apple's San Angelo 2023 Concert Series wrapped up Saturday night at the Brooks and Bates Theater at the San Angelo Performing Arts Center with a lively song-swap featuring Courtney Patton, her husband Jason Eady, and Jamie Lin Wilson. The trio, known for their storytelling through music, shared anecdotes behind each song, weaving a narrative that connected one piece to the next.
Wilson's quick wit shone as she and Patton playfully name-dropped, recounting a songwriting session at Cody Jinks' home or about writing a song with the front man of the Turnpike Troubadours. The rule for the night was that each song must segue into the next, creating a thematic link between the pieces and the trio passed the microphone.
While Eady played the straight man, Patton and Wilson kept the audience entertained with their humorous banter. They even joked about the segue rule, leading to a light-hearted debate over the fate of the Segway's owner (not the inventor, as they humorously misrecalled... Well, Jamie instructed the crowd to Google it).
Each artist shared personal stories about songwriting under pressure. Patton recalled pulling over in a cotton field to finish a song, while Wilson's deadline-driven creativity struck in a Kohl's parking lot.
Eady's performance of his newest single, "Mile Over 45," was a highlight. The song, co-written with an Alabaman named Adam Hood, is on Eady's just-released album, "Mississippi." The record reflects his journey to understand his home state's history. He explores the Mississippi Delta, known for its fertile soil and harsh labor conditions historically borne by black tenant farmers and sharecroppers as most Delta Blues music describes.
"Mile Over 45" delves into the complex socio-economic dynamics of the Delta. It is played to a hard-driving blues rhythm, tells a poignant story of a sawmill worker's struggle, a metaphor for the wider hardships of the Delta. It's a similar narrative and typical blues themes of "ramblin'" and escape from "the man".
He paved every road in the county
He owns all the land on both sides
But don't take your paycheck for freedom
'Cause that's when the two worlds collide
'Cause Mr Abrams can do what he wants to
But I may not come out alive
It's a long stretch of highway but you better not go
A mile over 45.
Listen on Spotify.
Eady's new record also touches on the broader context of the Mississippi Delta sound, its influence on the Blues, and the cultural impact of migration and economic change. He said it was influenced by a long stay in Clarksdale, home of the Delta Blues. He may have even written a song or two on his visit.
The next season of the Green Apple San Angelo Music Series starts early next year and 2024 season ticket information will be posted on Green Apple Music's website.