Jace Everett has never performed in central Arkansas. Still, there is an Arkansas landmark he came to appreciate.
“There’s a Back Yard Burgers in Benton that’s about halfway,” he says, referring to the midway point between where family lives in Texas and his home in Nashville, Tenn.
Everett, 41, started life as a Midwesterner: He was born in Evansville, Ind. He grew up in St. Louis and Grapevine, Texas, before settling in Nashville in 2001 to attend Belmont University, and has since stayed put, even though he doesn’t consider himself part of the country music establishment. And yet, neither does he think he fits in over in East Nashville, home to lots of the roots rockers and alternative types. His music has ranged from country to blues, gospel, rock and boogie as he continues to elude pigeonholing.
“I’m not quite cool enough for East Nashville,” he jokes. “I’m only occasionally cool.”
In 2005, Everett released a debut single, “That’s the Kind of Love I’m In,” and soon was co-writing “Your Man,” a No. 1 single for Josh Turner. In 2006, Everett released his self-titled debut album on Epic Records. Two years later, he changed labels and released Old New Borrowed Blues, followed a year later by Red Revelations. In 2011 he released Mr. Good Times.
His song “Bad Things,” although not played or much noticed when it first came out on his debut album, was discovered three years later by HBO and chosen to be the theme for the series True Blood, based on the vampire books of author Charlaine Harris, who lived in Magnolia with her husband and three children before moving to Texas.
“I’ve met her and she’s a really sweet gal,” Everett says. “She’s a very genuine, good mother and wife.”
He’s now poised for the Oct. 29 release of a new CD, Terra Rosa, a song cycle based on the Bible. Everett was raised as an Episcopalian, but his folks - who were, he says, in search of “peppier music” - moved on to a more evangelical approach to religion when they moved to Texas.
“I grew up in the early years of the megachurches in Texas,” he says. “That material is really potent stuff, and while I’m not really into that anymore, I wanted to revisit some of those stories, so I open the album with ‘In the Garden,’ about Adam and Eve, but I didn’t want to just retell the story, so I have Adam singing a love song to Eve. Then there’s ‘No Place to Hide,’ about Cain and Abel, and then there’s a song about Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah.
“It’s in chronological order, with the first half Old Testament stories and the second part New Testament.And even for folks who don’t get into religion, I wrote or co-wrote the songs in such a way that hopefully they can enjoy them.”
For his first central Arkansas show, Everett is bringing a band - a drummer, bassist and a “real” guitar player.
“And I play the guitar also,” he says. “I’ll bang on anything, acoustic or electric.”
Jace Everett Opening acts: Rodge & the Dirt Road Republic, Zach McKenzie 9 p.m. today, Juanita’s, 614 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock Admission: $10 (501) 372-1228 juanitas.com
Weekend, Pages 32 on 09/12/2013
Print Headline: Everett not passing through