By Greg Cahill
The San Francisco Bay Area duo the Easy Leaves—Sage Fifield, playing a 1965 Gibson ADJ-45 and singing lead and harmony, and Kevin Carducci, playing an old German-made upright bass and singing lead and harmony—share songwriting duties and a love for the outlaw California-country tradition echoed in the music of Merle Haggard and resonating in the hard-scrabble life found in Fresno and the Central Valley music mecca of Bakersfield.
The Easy Leaves are no strangers to the road—the duo has appeared at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and Pickathon, and opened shows for Dwight Yoakam, Billy Joe Shaver, and other top touring acts.
Their blue-collar songs—which evoke images of cowboys, cattle drives, campfires, and truck stops—are the perfect soundtrack while barreling across the High Sierras to Reno, Nevada, or tooling down I-5 past miles of drought-choked orchards, dead coyotes, and hand-written signs decrying the US government for its less-than-farm-friendly water policies.
The Easy Leaves visited the AG studio to share two tracks—”Highway Men” and “Eleven Hours”—from their new self-produced album The Wheels.
The duo will perform its 4th annual Winter Formal on Monday, January 2, at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.