"Flowers on The Wall" was moody, quirky and also retro-cool similar to its singer Eric Heatherly. Maybe that was too lot to sustain for country music circa the year 2000.

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Cover songs can be a risky relocate in just around any genre. Deviate too lot from the original, and you run the threat of alienating fans of the original; as well little, and also people may question why you even bothered in the very first place. This specifically holds true for new artists, together they might not have fully discovered their very own sound yet, much much less their ability to interpret someone else"s. One artist who managed to gain the "cover" business right — yet still finished up with claimed cover gift his just hit — was Eric Heatherly.

Heatherly, a aboriginal of Chattanooga, had functioned several gigs starting as a teen, and also his very first breakthrough was once he play in Shania Twain"s tape on the 1997 CMA telecast. He also played many gigs in ~ Tootsie"s Orchid Lounge before signing with Mercury Nashville in 2000. Heatherly had already collected a solid picture of himself together a 1950s-era country-rocker reminiscent of Elvis or Roy Orbison.

And in keeping with the retro image, Heatherly"s very first single choice was a sheathe of The Statler Brothers" 1966 breakthrough struggle "Flowers top top the Wall." currently a solid and also time-tested track in its own right — it obtained a renewal in popularity after it appeared on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in 1994 — that was revolutionized by Heatherly together a thumping rocker billy number v a tight etc solo. The new coat of paint that Heatherly offered the song kept the 1960s flair intact, however gave that an undeniable edge and swagger at the very same time.

As I"ve said countless times before, 2000 was one of the many boring year in nation music, with practically every act jockeying for position on the pop charts as lot as the country charts. Resultingly, very little of what surrounded Eric on the charts that summer had any kind of sort of timeless footing, exterior Alan Jackson"s smooth cover of Don Williams" "It have to Be Love" (the third single from the reverent however surprisingly potent 60s and also 70s consists album Under the Influence). Otherwise, the peak 20 boasted the likes the wrestler rotate pretty boy Chad Brock"s "Yes!"; the newly-defanged, poppier, man Rich-less Lonestar on the verge that a hat trick through "What around Now"; a slick, mostly spoken-word song from Collin Raye ("Couldn"t critical a Moment"); a share love ballad native Keith urban in the form of "Your Everything"; and also neo-traditionalists Brooks & Dunn languishing v the tired-sounding "You"ll always Be loved by Me."

Not to say the the charts were colorless in ~ this point; Toby Keith"s "How perform You choose Me Now?!" to be cool and also cocky, if Phil Vassar and also Brad Paisley displayed solid storytelling prowesses on "Just one more Day in Paradise" and "We Danced" respectively. In addition, Clay Davidson (whom I extended in a previous installment of this column) included an edge not unlike Heatherly, and also Steve Holy had actually a comparable old-school soulfulness at times. (In fact, I might easily see "Don"t do Me Beg" as having been dropped indigenous Eric"s album in ~ the critical minute.) and the album, outside a couple clumsy repeated novelties like "Let Me" and "She"s so Hot," had plenty of product that could"ve worked in any type of generation while still being "different." The next single, a smooth ballad referred to as "Swimming in Champagne" (also the location track), boasted more of a shimmering popular music edge, balanced by one off-kilter time signature, a beautiful falsetto, and evocative lyrics about falling in love. V these ingredients, the should"ve been a substantial hit. (And it most likely would have, too, if it weren"t up against Steve Holy"s really similar-sounding "Blue Moon.") v its failure at #46, "Champagne" conveniently sapped all of Eric"s momentum, although he did barely retun come the optimal 40 v the happy "out last night" tale of "Wrong five O"Clock." (It was additionally around this time the I had actually two other memories of Heatherly: among hearing "Wrong five O"Clock" ~ above the vehicle radio in ~ Walmart, and the various other of him playing a scorching solo of some kind on Austin City limits while channel-surfing.)

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Heatherly also had a 2nd disc for Mercury in the hopper (at least according to Allmusic), yet the label"s loss of A&R/producer Keith Stegall in 2002 placed the kibosh top top that. He moved to DreamWorks in 2002 and recorded periodically It"s simply Your Time. Lead solitary "The Last guy Committed" to be every bit as passionate as any kind of ballad off his very first album, and practically even far better with that is warm, bluesy production and also relatable tale of commitment to the one friend love. But for part reason, the stalled at #36 — and also while advance copies that the album were sent to stations, periodically It"s just Your Time was not released. (He has since gotten the rights back, and also now sells it because that $15 top top his website.) The other two singles didn"t also chart, and also Heatherly eventually left the label. By 2005, Heatherly had actually gone the live independence route, through four an ext discs — The Lower east Side of Life, 2 High 2 Cry, Painkillers, and also The Goats the Kudzu. Native what small I can find of the song on this discs, he seems to have actually ditched the cool 50"s trappings in donate of a grittier, an ext "singer-songwriter" sound that suits him same well. Nation Weekly likewise reported in 2009 the Heatherly was selling guitar straps for a living, and also that he videotaped a song for an illustration of Grey"s Anatomy.

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Heatherly arrived on the majors through a finish package: a unique yet conveniently marketable musical image; a passel of good songs; an excellent vocals; and great guitar playing. It seems that his short shelf-life ~ above the charts to be due virtually entirely to brand circumstances beyond his control. However, similar to many other one-hit marvels that obtain shafted by executive meddling, ns can constantly take lull in the reality that the independent course is together a fruitful one. Some artists produce their best and also most introspective work-related when they"re fully unfettered by label mandates, and also from what I"ve heard of the since, Eric Heatherly is no exception. And considering how strongly he started out, that"s really saying something.