“I’ve known Wyatt since he was a teenager and even helped him make his first album way back in the 80s, so a few years ago, I was delighted to hear that he’d stepped back over to the other side of the microphone after years of success as a writer and producer in Nashville! Even as a youngster I loved his songwriting and smooth vocal style but now he has matured into a legitimate triple threat – producer, writer and performer. Goodbye/Hello, is a peerless collection of songs sung with quiet conviction and effortless style.” Don Dixon
Growing up in Chapel Hill, NC, Easterling released his debut album, Both Sides of the Shore, on Moonlight Records (Warner Bros.) in 1981. With his album tucked under his arm, he moved to Nashville and began striving to make his way in the music business in whatever way he could. While looking for another record deal, he wrote for various song publishers.
In 1990, he became head of A&R for Atlantic Records Nashville. That same year, he wrote and sang on This Time I’m Takin’ My Time for Neal McCoy’s album At This Moment. This collaboration launched more than 2 decades of gold and platinum winning releases with Easterling acting as songwriter, producer, executive and/or session player.
Wyatt’s partnership with Miles Copeland (The Police & Sting) Bugle Publishing Group and Firstars Management occupied him in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Leaving Bugle/Firstars, Wyatt’s next step was to work on his own writing with songs like his title track for Dierks Bentley’s chart-topping, million-selling album Modern Day Drifter, followed by his critically acclaimed album Where This River Goes released on High Horse Records on May 4, 2009.
“In Nashville, there’s nothing a songwriter likes better than a co-writer with a broken heart.” A quote Easterling laughingly coined. “You can really mine that for great stuff. That said, I’ve been going through some major life changes so I’ve had my own stuff to mine lately. In the process of writing these songs I discovered, for the umpteenth time, that life is about facing change and embracing it. As the new album began to come into focus, it dawned on me that I’d been writing songs about my own transitions – some good moves like kicking the smokes and the booze, some happy times and some sad goodbyes,… songs about people coming and going, songs about living and one or two about dying.” The songs and performances on Goodbye-Hello are rich with wisdom, acceptance and optimism. “I must say it’s the most personal album I’ve recorded to date.”
“Recording an album is an all-encompassing process. You’re holed up in a windowless lab for days on end creating what you hope will be well-received music, all the while learning to trust the mad scientist in the room pushing all of the buttons and pulling the levers, or in this case, my Producer Bill McDermott.” McDermott and Easterling are both seasoned record producers. McDermott has arranged more number one charting songs than he can count and Easterling has racked up more studio hours than he can remember including time with John Michael Montgomery, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy and Keith Urban, to name a few, so it was important that they agreed to check their egos at the door and allow the songs to take themselves where they needed to go when creating and producing Goodbye-Hello.
Easterling’s career has been full of chart-topping songs including cuts with Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy, Sons of the Desert, Robbie Hecht and others, but these days Easterling is embracing the life of a troubadour, focusing his energy on bringing his music and his stories directly to his audience. He’s put together some of his favorite songwriters (who collectively have won 18 Juno and 35 Canadian and U.S. country music awards between them) and created ‘The Troubadours’ tour. The Fall of 2013 saw them completing their 2nd Canadian tour with another planned for Spring 2014, as well as plenty of solo touring. “Playing for new audiences reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place.”