Jake Eddy and Steve Hussey are Americana musicians based out of Washington, WV. The duo just released their critically acclaimed debut, “The Miller Girl.” (Photo by Michelle Waters)

Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy Explore Americana in 2017

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Earlier this year Americana duo Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy released their debut effort, The Miller Girl. The album calls to mind the works modern art country rockers such as Ryan Adams, Old Crow Medicine Show and the earlier, muted albums of Wilco. The album has been played all over the country on various independent radio stations, as well as internationally in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

The Miller Girl has been lauded by the likes of No Depression, the Nashville Music Guide and others. The album was stitched together over the course of several years, but that isn’t even the most interesting thing about the relatively new country folk rock outfit.

One can sense the chemistry between Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy immediately. Hussey, who has been a part of the Washington, WV region music scene for decades, met Eddy, a 17-year-old aspiring musician, almost by chance.

“I was 14 at the time, and I put an ad out on my Facebook page expressing that I wanted to get hired for studio session work. I wanted to freelance, and I was trying to get on some albums and play in a studio setting,” said Eddy. He received a message expressing interest in his offer from Hussey, whose music Eddy had been formerly acquainted with.

(Photo by Michelle Waters)
(Photo by Michelle Waters)

“Steve told me that he was trying to get some songs recorded for his wedding, and he invited me out to try and record some of those,” said Eddy.

“When I got hired, I was not listening to bluegrass at all,” said Eddy. “At the time I was neck deep in Miles Davis and hard bee bop, so the last thing I was thinking about was playing my banjo.”

Eddy expressed that, in retrospect, it almost seems crazy that Hussey would trust some one that he had never met – especially a teenager that he had never met – to come into his home and record songs that would be given to all of his friends and family on one of the most important days of Hussey’s life.

Hussey laughed when he heard Eddy say that.

“Well, I saw the videos of you playing online, and I knew that you were good,” said Hussey.

“Well, shoot,” Eddy responds. “Well, I came out for those initial sessions, and after we were done with it, Steve mentioned trying to do an album at some point, and I really wasn’t that invested in that idea at the time. To me, it was just a gig. But then we started in on a few more sessions, and we became good friends and really developed a great chemistry, and the music was good.”

Hussey said that Eddy is what he calls an “old soul.”

“You would never know talking to him that he’s a kid; the way he plays, and the way he holds himself, it seems like he’s been around the block already,” said Hussey. “He kind of feels like my little brother or something.”

“That’s weird Steve,” said Eddy. “If anything, you can say I’m like your son or something.”

When asked if the duo was aware of their chemistry from the beginning, despite their considerable age difference, they have very different answers.

“Well, Steve is gonna say it was great from the start. But during the first session, I was horrified, I was scared to death of this man. He was very serious about making music,” said Eddy. “At the time, I felt really out of my element. But once I figured out the dynamic of how we were going to work, and how to work in the studio and what Steve’s vision for the project was – it was great, it was perfect.”

“Jake and I just make a good team,” said Steve. “We just really hit it off, and it worked out great because I just had this huge back catalog of songs that I wanted to try out. In a lot of ways, this project is one that I have always wanted to do; but the opportunity to do it just never really came up.”

Hussey said that the general sound that he was aiming for on The Miller Girl echoes what he likes best about Wilco’s 1996 album, Being There.

“I was fascinated by the acoustic songs on Being There, like if you listen to “Forget the Flowers,” you’ll hear all these bluegrass instruments and no twang,” said Hussey. “I just thought that was the coolest thing, and that sound stuck with me for a long time.”

Hussey said that the title track of the album was inspired by the nearly universal experience of developing romantic feelings for someone who lives in your neighborhood as you are growing up; someone who rides the bus to school with you as a child.

“That song in particular is extremely autobiographical,” said Hussey. “It probably took about 15 minutes to write; and we just used a simple melody, we weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. I kind of wrote the song for Jake.”

Hussey said that The Miller Girl consists of songs that he’s written over the past 15 years, some of them being previously recorded by other projects that he is associated with.

“The album, as a whole, tells a story,” said Hussey. “It’s the story of a guy who feels lost and directionless at the beginning of the record, and then through the power of love he finds himself at end of the album in a really good place. Hopefully the listener ends up in a really good place, too.”

Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy are currently touring with a full band throughout the region. For more information, visit their website.

(Photo by Michelle Waters)
(Photo by Michelle Waters)