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Singing and strumming stories from the heart

By on May 25, 2016 in Articles, Arts with 0 Comments

Eden Moody: A beloved guitar, cowboy boots, “Americana” voice and plenty of dreams that the best is still to come.

By Susan Lagsdin

“This is me in all of my passion and all of my gladness.

This is me and a few pleasures in life that are precious to me…

This is me in all of my madness and all of my badness…”

Eden Moody doesn’t just wear her heart on her sleeve, she writes it, plays it, sings it, tells the whole story.

Her lyrics are intensely personal and universal at the same time. “I only write when I can’t get an idea out of my head,” says the Wenatchee musician. “I don’t write to change the world or even ‘work through something.’ I write in retrospect, to gain perspective on my experience.”

That personal point of view and a fine, clear voice she says people have called honest, healing and relatable have attracted an appreciative circle of listeners in the area who’ve been touched by her lyrics and her musicality.

That ever-widening circle is what a performer dreams of, especially one who feels her singing and songwriting are destined to go way beyond hobby or avocation to become a professional livelihood.

Eden works part time for the school district assisting with the Mariachi Huenachi program, but calls music-making a full time job. She sings, plays, sells CDs and makes friends at venues like Mission Ridge, Pybus, Tastebuds, Icicle Creek Brewing Company, Upper Eastside Coffee Company, Campbell’s and Mountain Springs Lodge.

She sometimes employs Mike Johnstone on the box drum (cajon) and African djembes, and an accompanying fiddler. Otherwise she relies on her own voice and lyrics and the sound of her beloved Ovation guitar.

“I’m still not a trained musician,” she said frankly. “I’m really only good enough to accompany myself.” But the sound is verifiably lovely.

This is a second-wind musical career for her.

In Brazil, where she was raised, Eden and her popular trio played on national TV and toured major festivals and cowboy gatherings. When she moved to the U.S. 10 years ago, Wenatchee was intended only as a brief stopping-off place — she’d aimed at a larger city, but this area suited her needs just fine.

With two kids to raise on her own, Eden was glad to live with her mom (who’d resettled here years before) and found that after living in Sao Paulo, the world’s third largest city, she reveled in the pure silences of nature.

Even so, the first few years were a struggle.

She’d moved money-less. She had cut ties with the church. Her uprooted children (then 9 and 11) had a rough transition in school, boyfriend and buddies were left behind in Brazil. Then she spent a few frustrating years here working a string of jobs that weren’t lucrative enough for independence.

College was a lifeline — Eden had no formal foundation for her guitar playing and singing, so she studied music theory at Wenatchee Valley College (“it was like learning Chinese”) and by 2008 upgraded her skills with an AA degree, the first ever awarded from the music department.

And then her music life started falling into place, but not without some career hiccups, false starts, dead ends and logjams — the metaphors for struggle abound.

But Eden assertively promoted her music through social media, an active website and live performances of all kinds. Early on, she even played in the door of the decorated Happy Bus at the Classy Chassis parade.

Her successful online crowdfunding campaign in 2013 was a big boost, yielding a demi-album of five songs with a strong country sound.

The recent deaths of both her mother and brother set her back badly, but she’s persevered since then. She remained committed to the fans who first financed her and brave enough to take her next big steps all the way to Nashville’s Music Row, where her current music video and full album have just been released. (Find out more at edenmoody.com)

For this album, Eden naturally wrote songs from her own life and moments that have touched her, like awkward budding relationships in The Friend Zone and military wives in The Hero in Me.

And she was pleased to find a producer who valued her distinctive voice above the almost-literal bells and whistles of studio bands. “My music needed a genre, so I guess it’s called ‘Americana’ — a blend of pop, country, South American sound, folk…”

Eden’s decade-long sojourn in Wenatchee could serve as a primer on resolve and dedication. But now spring is blooming, the kids are grown, she’s buying a condo, she’s in a solid relationship, and her booking calendar’s filling up.

What about the pain that supposedly drives art?

Eden has plenty of reflective songs still to write, but they may have a different tone.

She said, “I think if we get stuck on one accomplishment, one event in the past, then it’s all downhill from there. I like to think the best is yet to come.”

These new lyrics tell that story well:

“I don’t want to skip a second, I don’t want to miss a beat

Of this time here and now with you…

All I never knew I wanted, more than what my heart could ask for

The heavens have designed and delivered here in you…”

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