It’s the journey, not the destination. It’s sage advice. Throughout his new album, I Travel On, singer-songwriter Jason Eady offers up the time-tested wisdom with his latest song “The Climb” being the prime example. It finds Eady narrating the life of a battle-tested man who’s still pushing on despite knowing he’s probably not going to reach the top of his proverbial mountain.
“Anything you start out on, it’s to conquer it. That’s always the objective,” Eady tells Wide Open Country. “But as you get into it, you realize the journey is the fun part. That’s the whole point. You may not get to the end. You may end up taking a detour and getting somewhere else.”
Though he’s long in the tooth, “The Climb’s” character is chalk full of perseverance, grit, and determination—even if he’s a little worried. There’s a “beauty in the struggle” that Eady captures on the airy dobro-abundant country-folk song.
“He’s too low to reach the top, he’s come too far to go back down. He’s not lost, he just don’t know what to do,” sings Eady. In typical Eady fashion, it’s a gentle delivery that harkens back to the slow and steady stylings of Don Williams or Tom T. Hall.
It may be simple and straightforward, but other lines such as “I guess when you’re climbing, it’s what you do” are built around crystal clear seeds of truth that resonate with everyone.
“Your circumstances in life are always going to come and go,” says Eady. “You have to be steady on the path. You have to keep moving.”
Keep moving on. Much like previous storytellers “Calaveras County” and “Always A Woman,” “The Climb” hinges on characters in the midst of change and transition. Still, they’re able to appreciate the small things in life once they’re pointed out. They stop and smell those roses. They take in that view. Again, it’s simple, but also a necessary reminder.
“You can’t get so hung up on the end result. You have to enjoy the ride a little bit,” adds Eady.
I Travel On picks up right where last year’s critically acclaimed self-titled album left off. After touring for much of 2017, it found Eady and his band hitting a perfect stride and coming into their own as a force. For the first time, Eady was joined by his sharp touring band—Kevin Foster, Giovanni Carnuccio and Naj Conklin—in the studio for an album. In addition, he was joined by the pairing of Grammy-nominated musicians Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley and Eady’s wife, singer-songwriter Courtney Patton.
Much of the record’s charm and brilliance is built on that momentum and well-earned chemistry. They take their cues from on another seamlessly for a spontaneous feel that’s organic and robust. Eady and company recorded the 11-tracked I Travel On with only acoustic instruments with single-take sessions giving it a natural and easy groove-laden texture.
“I think everybody started feeling comfortable and started doing their thing,” says Eady. “I just knew that the band, we were on to something. Over time, it evolved into that space where everyone had settled into what they do best.”
I Travel On will be released August 10. Eady will tour throughout the rest of 2018 in support of the album.