Angela Easterling: Earning wings as a top performer

“…They say every time you hear those fiddle strings, a honky-tonk angel is earning her wings.” Lyrics from the song “Earning Her Wings” by Angela Easterling

Singer/songwriter Angela Easterling returns to Beaufort this weekend for a concert at ARTworks.

A veteran of the Paris Avenue Street Music series, Angela draws from both her southern heritage and wide-ranging interests to create original songs that music professionals describe as “literate, modern Southern music for the ages.”

Singer/songwriters Brandon Turner and Angela Easterling.
Singer/songwriters Brandon Turner and Angela Easterling.

This woman is more than your average “Honky Tonk Angel.” In fact, she recently released an album, Mon Secret, performed entirely in French, which she co-wrote with her friend Marianne Bessy, an assistant professor of French at Furman University.

What makes Angela Easterling so special is the mix of musical and cultural influences that she draws from to create her songs. In one album (Black Top Road) she performs a cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless,” in another (Earning Her Wings) she sings an original tribute about the passing of Johnny Cash, and in the latest (Mon Secret) the French lyrics reference Barbie dolls and taillights fading into the distance.

When asked about her need to try new styles and express new ideas in her music, Angela says, “Imagine if all you ever ate was spaghetti, wouldn’t you want some tacos or sushi or a steak sometime?”

Joining Angela onstage at ARTworks will be Brandon Turner, a resident of Spartanburg who is a talented guitarist, singer/songwriter and the producer of several songs on her Mon Secret album.

Aside from playing in Angela’s band, The Beguilers, Brandon is a musical luminary in his own right. He has recorded studio sessions with Emmy Lou Harris, David Ball, Ricky Skaggs, Lloyd Green, and other notables. He also performs and tours with several bands. Brandon draws from many musical influences as well, citing “Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Toy Caldwell” to name a few.

A product of their diverse influences, together Angela Easterling and Brad Turner produce “songs that are sure to get your toes tappin’, whether they’re in cowboy boots, business shoes or flip-flops,” according to the Montgomery News Ticket.

Like fries versus pomme frites, the essential themes of love, friends, the joy of a fast car on an open road, or the beauty of the ocean transcend all languages and genres, and translate into pure enjoyment.

The performance is Saturday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults with discounts for students, children and active military and may be purchased online at www.beaufortcountyarts.com or by calling 843-379-2787. ARTworks is located in Beaufort Town Center on Boundary Street in Beaufort.

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Eric Thibault and Mary Thibault, left and right, of Thibault Gallary, and Greg Rawls, center, said