Texas singer-songwriter Jason Eady has just released a performance video to go with the single “French Summer Sun” from his forthcoming album To the Passage of Time (out on 27 August). The video features Eady alone on an empty stage. He looks out onto the room through squinty eyes, as if he’s looking inward more than outward. The song’s narrative takes him into the past. It’s as if he remembers a life he never lived—that of his grandparents and then his parents Eady. Then he tells his narrator’s life story, a sweet one about teaching William Shakespeare and William Butler Yeats to suburban high school students, and then Eady pulls the switch. The instrumental music doesn’t change, which adds to the shock, but the words take one far away from where we’ve been. Eady has been playing all by himself. He never changes his vocal intonations.
The official video of “French Summer Sun” came out over a month ago. It includes documentary photographs of American soldiers and their families, past war footage, and foreign landscapes. The presumption is that these are real. They may be, but they are not of Eady and his kin. That is clear when one gets to the song’s end, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. The official video credits the following: Jason Eady: Vocals and Acoustic Guitar Geoff Queen: Dobro, Pedal Steel, Lap Steel Noah Jeffries: Mandolin & Fiddle Mark Williams: Upright Bass, Cello Brian Ferguson: Drums Courtney Patton: Harmony Vocals Gordy Quist: Harmony Vocals Jamie Lin Wilson: Harmony Vocals.
The point of the song is clear. War affects more than just the individual soldier. Whole (potential) families suffer when the tree is cut at the root. Eady sings the lyrics in a plain voice as if explaining the facts of life. It’s a lesson that’s never too late to learn.