Serendipity has been a key factor in JD Eicher’s life over the last eight months.

Eicher plays Club Cafe on July 14.

He found out he would be working with popular author Nicholas Sparks writing a song for Sparks’ latest book, “Two by Two.” The novel is about a father and daughter, which made for an interesting experience for Eicher as he and his wife were about to welcome a daughter into the world.

That was just Eicher’s October. To say that he has kept busy since then is an understatement. A book tour with Sparks, some touring on his own and a newborn baby have Eicher’s plate very full.

Eicher took time out of his busy schedule to talk with The Swerve Magazine about the whirlwind that has been his last year.

The Swerve Magazine: You’re out on the road in July, most of July.

JD Eicher: I took it a little bit lighter in June and will do the same thing in August. We are putting it all in July. Hopefully, the weather will be the best.

Put in a lot of miles driving. Got a little baby at home and trying to balance the two right now.

SM: How is it going balancing the music and the baby?

JE: It is tricky. Luckily we live in the same town as my parents and my wife’s parents. They help out a ton. When I’m on the road, my wife leans on them. When I’m home, I do the Mr. Mom thing quite a bit through the day while she is at work.

It works out.

SM: Having the baby, also, helps set your touring schedule now, doesn’t it?

JE: It does. In fact, I used to tour as much as possible without any real breaks. In the summer I might have played 25 dates a month straight through all three months.

Now, I’m trying to be a little more intentional of how I do it. I tend to be out now for two-week chunks. And then home, or at least regional with my shows. It is nice in a way as I am able to focus in more on the tour dates now that they are grouped together.

SM: Yes, you have a schedule-setter now.

JE: Yeah, that is the truth (laughs). It is not like I’m dictating it too much. It is a bit to juggle.

SM: You’re in the learning curve phase.

JE: Yes. It is a difficult time to be on tour. My wife is not always thrilled when I let her know my schedule. But it is good. We still have not got (the baby) to sleep through the night. So, the challenge is, one of us is always up.

SM: Touring, the long drives and those sleepless nights have prepped you for the sleepless nights with the baby.

JE: That is true. I’m not sleeping consistently at all. I’ve been joking that I sleep better on the road now just because of the hours we spend on the road.

I can’t complain. She is healthy, and we are ecstatic about the whole thing. It has been a great experience so far.

SM: You have been busy since the last time we talked as you also collaborated with Nicholas Sparks on his latest book, providing the soundtrack to it.

JE: I did. It was last October; he put out a new novel called “Two by Two.” It was his 20th book in 20 years. He wanted to do a musical piece as a free download of a song based on the novel to give away to his fans. He asked me to write the song inspired by the book. He, then, picked out three other tunes from our past albums and put together a little EP, which we called the soundtrack to the book. It came out as a free download to the people that bought the novel.

I got to go on the book tour with him and travel all over the place. It was a really cool experience. It was such a blessing. The book is about a father and daughter, and the oppo
rtunity came right as my wife and I found out we were having (a girl). It was the perfect time for writing that kind of song.

SM: Wow. It all just happened at the right time.
JE: I’ll tel you it felt really serendipitous. The book came out on my wife and I’s wedding anniversary. The baby was born two or three weeks later. It was crazy. I don’t know what my stance is on miracles, but it certainly felt like one. It really did.

SM: If you are not a believer in fate that might sway you one way or the other.

JE: It is the strongest argument I’ve come across. It really was a special thing.

SM: How did the collaboration with Sparks come together?

JE: It was through the grapevine. Our record label happened to be connected to the label that does movie soundtracks. He has had 11 movies based on his books. So, through that connection, he would reach out and say that he wanted a song by an unknown artist for this next book and did they have anybody. So, they reached out to our label and asked for us to send something in. There were other artists too, and we were lucky to be in that consideration pool. Thankfully, it all worked out.

It was crazy because I didn’t even know it was happening. I got the call after the decision had been made. It really did come out of the blue. I never believed in that idea that you have to just know the right person or you got to get lucky. I always thought you just had to grind it out. I still think that is true, but man, this was totally one of the moments. I’ve never really had any real break before, this really felt like one.

SM: Yes, his books and movies have really connected with people.

JE: This particular book sold around 100,000 copies in the first week. The guy is so well established.

SM: And to be attached to that, it has to get you out into new ears.

JE: Some folks in the major cities have come out. It has been great as it has opened so many doors. Now that I can say that I’ve worked with him, it has opened up some opportunities on the business side too.

I keep thinking that he is big enough that he could have had some famous singer/songwriter write this song for him. He chose to work with an unknown, which I thought was cool. He figured it would be a good way to help out an unknown. It was a really lucky thing.

SM: You don’t see or hear of people doing that too much these days. People don’t seem to be too keen on helping out once they're established.

JE: I feel like normally he would have an Ed Sheeran write that song, and then he chose little old me—which I’m grateful for, so it worked out.

SM: You got to tour with him.

JE: The tour was brief. It ended up being a week, or maybe nine days. It did go across the country. It was really fast-paced. There was one day that we did a book signing in Pittsburgh and New York City. It was pretty high speed.

There was a lot of promotional stuff going on around it. But yeah, the actual, formal tour was only about a week.

SM: Both Pittsburgh and New York in the same day, I know that flight is not that long, but still.

JE: That particular flight was a private flight, just because they couldn’t route it and guarantee that we’d be on time. I think one event was at 12:30 p.m. in New York City and then 6 or 6:30 in Pittsburgh. I remember when they said that, thinking that is not possible, but they had everything lined up.

I’ve never been on any tour before in the book world, but I can tell you no musician could coordinate something like that. They had it really well oiled, and the machine was moving. It was a whirlwind; I was just basically following along and pinching myself as it went by.

SM: With that under belt, the baby and all the life changes that have happened over the last year, have you had a chance to work on anything else?

JE: I put out an EP connected to “Two by Two” this past February. It was five songs. I did a lot of touring before and after that.

I am currently writing my next album. I have a couple of singles I’m working on, but I haven't set a date for any record, just kind of getting together.

SM: You have a full schedule right now.

JE: I’m a little overwhelmed, but it is a good problem. I can’t quite get it all down right now, so I’m focusing on the baby and touring.