Eden Brent is an award-winning blues musician from Greenville, Miss., but her new song “Better This Way” sounds like it could’ve come out of 1970s Nashville. A throwback to Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis, the weeper will be featured on her upcoming album, Jigsaw Heart, arriving May 6.
Brent wrote the tune in her sun-filled music room while reflecting on a 15-year romance that had just ended, despite a host of happy memories.
“The song is very honest and almost wrote itself,” she notes. “As sad as endings might seem, new beginnings are hopeful. I did cry a little before I had finished the song, and that is the only time that has ever happened to me — that writing a song brought tears to my eyes. But it’s one of my favorite songs on the album and one that means a lot to me.”
Although she says she’s been influenced by a variety of music, blues-influenced country artists like Lewis and Rich are indeed part of her musical history.
“I remember being thrilled by that piano introduction to Charlie Rich’s ‘Behind Closed Doors’ the first time I heard it. I listened to that record over and over again until I could play it myself,” she says.
“Of course, I always wanted to boogie and make people dance like Jerry Lee Lewis could do. My father played me Hank Williams’ ‘You Win Again’ and then played me Jerry Lee’s version just to show me how a good song can be played more than one way. Developing my own style is a lifetime pursuit, and it continues to develop.”
She also balances her melancholy songs with rip-roaring piano solos and a keen sense of humor.
“Sure, I love sad songs. Sad songs help me grieve and give me comfort that I am not alone in my sadness. I like a song that can make me cry when I need to,” she says. “But I love happy songs, too. In my performances, I nearly always follow a sad song with a funny one. After a good cry, a hearty belly laugh is in order!”
Grab a tissue and enjoy the CMT Edge premiere of Eden Brent’s “Better This Way.”