Erath Old (pronounced Air- Rith) is an American singer-songwriter based out of Nashville, TN. If you’re into the kitschiness of modern “pop” country, you may be surprised by what comes out this Birmingham, AL native.. Despite his familiar funky beats and country music “twang,” Erath will most certainly keep you on your feet more for his unique range and gravelly vocals; not-your-grandma’s sensual hometown lyrics, if even for his charismatic stage presence.
I grew up in a small blue collar town on the outskirts of Birmingham, AL, called Hueytown. I’ve been playing music since I can remember. It started there. Both of my parents were musicians and they came from musicians. My earliest influences were from my dad. Groups like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac got my attention. Some of my favorites (in spite of my father) were Garth Brooks, Black Hawk and Mellencamp. My first song was Achy Breaky Heart. Dad, who swore he wasn’t much of a country fan, sure did have a bunch of Willie Nelson on vinyl and cassette. I got the bug early; that’s for sure.
After High School I moved to Atlanta, GA where my brother, Sean, soon joined me. We started the power-pop band, Loverush, which was influenced by some of our favorite artists, such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Greenday and Cheap Trick. In 2009 that ended abruptly when our grandparents died, then our father just a few months later. Sean moved 3000 miles away and joined the military. I tried to continue but just didn’t have it in me to do alone. Although, I never stopped writing, my passion for pursuing music as a career faded. I went on to work a landscape job and didn’t know if I would ever go at it again. I did, however, meet the woman of my dreams. She would later become my wife and inspire a change in me I never knew could emerge.
In 2012, my wife and I moved back home to Birmingham. I found myself performing covers for the first time, learning how to make a living just playing music. For almost six years I’ve performed over 200 shows a year. Who knew playing other people’s music would be a platform for finding my way again? I’ve learned more about song craft, my voice and how to love on a crowd than I ever did with original music. I also learned a lot about life during that time. The booze, the partying, the late nights, even the pride and selfishness that grew inside of me, it got the best of me and, therefore, my relationship. At the time of releasing, “Hey Y’all” (2015), my first single and music video as a returning original artist, my wife left. I was on the road and we separated. I found myself alone in an empty apartment. I fell deeper into my lifestyle and into a depression. After a four-day binge and an episode where I thought I might die, I finally asked for help. Tired of trying, tired of pushing, tired of losing it all to a dream; motivated by my own ego, I got down on my knees and gave it all to God.
It started with giving up my obsession with alcohol. On my road to recovery God has renewed my mind and my spirit and He has rejuvenated my since of self-worth. In fact, in only about three months into my sobriety, I started to see God working behind the scenes. I got a place in Nashville and cautiously went into the studio with a new vision and new songs, inspired by truth, honesty and the parts of life that grieve us all. Life ain’t easy; that’s for sure! But sometimes it ain’t about us. We do have a purpose. We aren’t alone in our walk. We all share some of the same pain and desires. The songs off my new album (release TBA), are about some of the truths in my life, some that I’d like to be able to share with you. I still have a long road ahead of me, sure. But, I have hope again and I have some joy. I pray that, through some of my stories, others can connect and find some hope and joy in their own lives.
(By the way, you will find in my new music, that my wife was my muse. She had been all along. God bless her!)