In February 2014, Ben Eppard released his first full-length solo album. A Hollow Note was recorded live in an old house in Charlottesville, VA using little more than a 60s Yamaha guitar his grandfather had given him and a field recorder – a device generally employed by bird watchers and NPR journalists.
“It’s not a perfect album,” said Eppard of the release. “If you listen closely you might hear doors closing or stairs creaking, but these are sounds that surround us. Life isn’t flawless. Why should music be?… On the contrary, I think the best music sounds like life. I wanted this album to sound as though you walked into my living room and caught me playing.”
And so it does. The CD release at C’ville Coffee in Charlottesville drew a capacity crowd and was followed by a tour through the SouthEast. Several radio stations picked up the independent release.
In April, Eppard began hitchhiking between concert dates as research for a book concept called The Hitchhike Interviews. The tour concluded in June, but Eppard continued hitchhiking. Along the way he attended open mics in the NorthEast, eventually thumbing more than 4,400 miles with 143 drivers along the United States East Coast.
In October, Eppard returned to Charlottesville to produce the follow up to A Hollow Note. WORK was released on January 6, 2015.