The Argotist Online
Van Eaton is a singer, songwriter, and musician. His eponymous debut CD was released in 1997. It featured members of Nancy Griffith's band and was recorded at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The CD attracted attention inside the music industry and expanded a growing legion of fans for his authentic American roots songs and passionate voice. In 2001 he recorded a set of songs in Nashville with members of Johnny Cash's legendary band. One of the tracks from that set, ‘It's Just The Night’ was recorded by the Del McCoury Band and became the title cut of their 2003 CD. Both the song and the album won multiple awards. Eaton is currently recording new songs and performing regularly in his hometown Knoxville, Tennessee and across the southern U.S. His songs also continue to be recorded by major artists in country, folk, and rock music.
Do you think of your lyrics as poetry?
Yes, I do.
Do you think it is important that songs rhyme and if so why?
isn't that important although it is the norm.. I guess... however… how many
jazz songs without words rhyme?
Do you think song lyrics must conform to recognised song structures such as
clear rhyming schemes, choruses, refrains, hooks and bridges or that songs can
also be like free verse?
It is easier for me to follow schemes but I am working to get above that... I am not
as broad reaching as more experienced writers such as Jake Berry ...who can
avoid schemes and still produce a great song ... for folks of my level we
generally color within the lines but no they do not have to conform.
When you read poetry in school or elsewhere did you recognize any connection to
the music you enjoyed?
Sometimes but not in the sense of rhyme or meter but more in a sense of it
generated a feeling or evoked something within me maybe an emotion sometimes
it's hard to explain but it moves you in some way.
Was there anything about poetry in books that influenced your songwriting?
I'm sure I have been influenced and corrupted by many things in books.
Why do you think songs are more popular with people than poetry is?
Because people are sometimes so shallow (no
offense meant to anyone) that they need a
beat or a groove to feel what is coming out of an artist's work. However I know
the pen can be so powerful that it will knock you down in cold silence but the
beat makes it easier for people to feel, and move too.