JD Eicher to Release First Novel, New Album

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Singer-songwriter JD Eicher will add another title to his name on Friday: author.

The Youngstown-based artist will release his first novel, “The Lights Along Majesto,” that day and also a new 10-song album, “The Majesto Sessions.”

The project was a long time coming for Eicher. It all began back in 2016, when he wrote songs to accompany famed novelist Nicholas Sparks’ novel “Two by Two” and joined him on a national book signing tour.

Eicher performed at each stop. But he also heard the lessons Sparks delivered to his fans about his writing process and started thinking about trying his hand at it. He already had a passel of songs that he had not yet recorded and decided to intertwine them with his novel.

“I had been writing songs [at that time] that felt like not me but alter egos, different personalities and different messages,” Eicher said. “I got this idea: what if I assigned characters to these songs and told stories through them?”

That’s what he did, fleshing out character profiles and the plot in the process.

Eicher wrote the novel in 2016-17, typing away in his free time while on the road or at his home.

After finishing it, he sent it to friends and colleagues but wasn’t sure how to proceed next, so he put it on the backburner. When the pandemic arrived, that further delayed the effort.

Eicher drew on his own experience in writing “Majesto.” The story is about the manager of two very different musical artists who are touring together. 

“It’s a character-driven story that is about people more than music,” Eicher said. “It’s a little bit about what life on the road is like.”

The story takes place in the present day, with some of the action in Youngstown. In fact, the title refers to Majesto Street, a fictional street in the city.

The songs, which sonically illustrate the novel, were recorded over the past several years and Eicher planned to release them as an album this month. Then, in November, he again felt compelled to get his book printed and release it in tandem with the album.

Finding time to polish his prose was a problem that took care of itself when Eicher came down with a case of COVID-19 around Christmastime. He spent his quarantine days hunched over his computer.

“I did this marathon couple days of editing,” he said. “Then I got in touch with a printer and put it together.”

Those who preordered the album from Eicher’s website will get a copy of the 213-page self-published novel with it. Both the book and the novel will be available Friday at JDEicher.com.

While the two works are related and fit together, they can stand alone from a listener’s standpoint, Eicher said. In other words, you don’t need to consume them both in order to appreciate either one.

Eicher will present a record release show Feb. 19 at Soap Gallery in Youngstown. The show is already sold out.

Pictured: The cover of JD Eicher’s new novel, “The Lights Along Majesto.” (Image: Jack Karson)

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