On June 9, 2008, while Heath Eric was working as the director of marketing at the Executive Inn Rivermont in Owensboro, Ky., life as he knew it came to a sudden end. He learned that the hotel was closing, taking away his job of more than four years. “I was scared. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” says Heath, who spent the following weeks seeking a job.
Finding the brighter side of unemployment, Heath spent some quality time with his then 14-year-old son, Turner, who helped his father discover a new path for his future. “We were kayaking at Elkhorn Creek (near Frankfort, Ky.), and I looked down at Turner and he was smiling. This made me realize the importance of the simple things in life, and it inspired me to write a song that day, titled “Fishin’ in the Creek with My T,” says Heath, who has been singing and playing the guitar since he was a child. “It was magical. That song led us to where we are today in this journey.”
The journey began later that evening, when Heath realized what he needed to do. He immediately began building a studio in his home in Rumsey, Ky., and started recording his first album, “Finally Gettin’ It.” The following year, he met Molly Troutman, whom he later married. “She had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard,” says Heath, who asked her to sing backup on his first album, a singer/songwriter collection of his recent experiences. “Music has always been a huge part of my life,” says Molly. “I come from a family of musicians and have been singing since I was 6 years old.”
Heath then released his second album, “39,” in April 2011, which also featured Molly singing backup. That album includes live versions of songs from his first album, as well as a few newly recorded songs. Since then, the duo has traveled the Midwest together, playing at cafes, music festivals, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Derby festival events; last year the duo covered 60,000 miles. “We are on the road a lot,” says Heath, “but I am happier now than I ever was wearing a suit and tie.”
Heath and Molly released their first duo album on July 13, titled “Truth?” It offers a roots-rock/Americana sound, with Molly on djembe drums, adding to the already rich sound of their harmonizing vocals and guitars. The message in this album is what is most important to the couple. “Peace, love, joy, and diversity” has become their motto. The title track, “Truth?” features the lyrics, “…That’s the reason life keeps growing; so we can open our eyes and see.”
“When people tell us how much our music moves them and touches their hearts,” says Heath, “that is what makes it all worth it. That is what keeps us going.”
Familiar fans of Heath and Molly will be pleased the duo added to “Truth?” two folk standards: “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (the latter is the first single from the album released to
local radio stations and already is in play rotation on WITZ AM/FM Radio
Station in Jasper, Ind.).
“Our versions of both songs are quite different from any previous versions that we are aware of,” Heath says. “We felt giving them our own special feel and groove did the songs justice.” Plus, Heath adds of “Jet Plane,” “When I hear Molly sing that song — and most songs — it takes me to another world.”