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Mitch Easter is a songwriter, musician, and producer. As a producer, he is probably best known for his work with R.E.M. from 1981 through 1984, though he has also worked with many other acts including The Hang Ups, Pavement, Suzanne Vega, Game Theory, Marshall Crenshaw, The Connells, Velvet Crush, and SalemSpeaks.
As a musician, Easter played with the Sneakers during the late 1970s; was the frontman for the band Let's Active during the 1980s; and more recently, has been a member of quasi-supergroups The Orange Humble Band and Coronet Blue. His first solo album was released in 2007.
Born as Mitchell Blake Easter November 15, 1954, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Mitch Easter was deeply involved in music from an early age. He played in a number of school bands, some of them with his childhood friend Chris Stamey. The two eventually formed the Sneakers, who released a number of singles and an album in the late 1970s. Stamey and bandmate Will Rigby eventually formed The dB's and moved to New York. Easter did likewise, but soon returned to Winston-Salem to set up Drive-In Studio in his parents' garage.
Drive-In Studio became an integral part of the local indie-rock scene, recording a number of bands at knock-down rates. It was at this time that Easter formed Let's Active with then-girlfriend Faye Hunter and drummer Sara Romweber. Around the same time, Easter worked with R.E.M. to record their debut single, "Radio Free Europe". This initial work led to a number of collaborations with the band, with Easter producing their debut EP and (with Don Dixon) their first two albums. Let's Active toured with R.E.M., which led to a recording contract with I.R.S. Records.
Weathering several line-up changes, Let's Active released an EP and three albums before splitting up. Easter had by then become known primarily as a producer, and worked with a number of artists, some of them perhaps because of his influence on the early R.E.M. His production credits include recordings by Pavement, Helium, Pylon, Suzanne Vega, Game Theory, Marshall Crenshaw, folk duo John & Mary, and Ken Stringfellow (of The Posies).
Easter's current recording studio is The Fidelitorium, near Winston-Salem. He currently plays under his own name. His first solo album in 18 years, Dynamico, was released on Electric Devil Records on March 13, 2007.