With the massive success of charity records like “We Are the World,” the power of music to create tangible, positive change in the world is well documented. On the East End, the Songwriters Share series, founded by Reverend Nancy Remkus, has been making an impact with a lineup of local musicians crafting musical storytelling experiences to raise money for the charities closest to their hearts. Next up in the sixth annual series is western expat Inda Eaton, who will perform her Solo Acoustic Ideas to benefit Project MOST, an enriching East Hampton after-school and summer learning program, on Friday, February 7 at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse in Bridgehampton.
Born and raised in the Southwest, Eaton embraced her long-unfulfilled wanderlust after college and began her journey as a globetrotting troubadour strumming across Latin America, Europe and Australia. On one fateful tour in the early 2000s, she performed at the Stephen Talkhouse for the first time and knew she’d found a place where she belongs. She relocated to nearby Springs soon after, where she now spends much of her time writing her next country rock album and enjoying the serene Hamptons atmosphere with her wife, Annemarie. “I’ve never lived in a community, as an adult, that has such a strong connection,” Eaton says, clarifying that as much as she loves living on the East End, she’ll never abandon her roots. “I’m a Westerner through and through, there’s no doubt about that. I feel like I’m on loan from the West, but home is where the heart is.”
Eaton has worked with Project MOST for over 15 years, helping provide East End children with vital after-school songwriting programs, in-depth music workshops and education initiatives such as her Ideas to Inspire, which teaches kids the basics of audio recording and live performance. “There’s not one aspect that doesn’t touch our neighborhoods,” she notes. “Project MOST is really teaching these kids—the next generation—what it’s like to be part of a community.”
Considering her long, fruitful partnership with Project MOST, it was an obvious choice for Eaton’s Songwriters Share nonprofit. The series, which she describes as “heartfelt, genuine and authentic,” brings the community together in support of numerous life-saving organizations—including ARF, Soldier Ride, Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, The Retreat and Maureen’s Haven. “This series has a lot of integrity, and to do this six years in a row…” she says, pausing for a moment. “God only knows how much money and awareness have been raised for these groups, but six years in a row is huge.” She credits much of the series’ success to its founder and jokes that Remkus probably wakes up each morning wondering what good she can contribute to the world.
Eaton describes her Songwriters Share set as “a concert meets a TED Talk,” where she performs an intimate one-woman show and shares stories of wanderlust, human connection and adventures in resilience. One such tale she plans to share involves a trip to her home state of Wyoming, where in today’s political climate, she felt she no longer had anything in common with its residents. She was surprised to learn through open dialogues with these people that the stereotypes don’t ring true. “We all challenge each other with our belief systems, but music is the great leveler. Working in music is a great door to have these conversations and connect on the most authentic level,” she explains. “When you have an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart conversation and learn from others, you’ll find that we all have these common vulnerabilities and backgrounds, and that’s just Heaven on Earth.”
Join Eaton in raising money for Project MOST on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. The next concert in the Songwriters Series features Black and Sparrow, who will raise proceeds for ARF on Friday, March 6. To learn more about Eaton and to listen to her latest album, Shelter in Place, visit indaeaton.com.