Interview with Jace Everett by Monica L. Yasher Pittsburgh, PA

Posted on 7/09/2009 by Monica Yasher

I found Jace Everett out on myspace sometime last year. I happened to come across his music and made him one of my best friends. Now, Jace didn't know who I was before I interviewed him. But, I could click on him pretty easy if he was one of my best friends on my myspace page, just to listen to his music. Not that Jace needs my click on myspace; he has over 350,000 profile views with over 4 million plays! My kids are always amused when I listen to Jace. I dance around the house and get an “Awe Mom”! My kids are embarrassed for their dancing mom, even behind closed doors. He also inspired one of my songs that I wrote. Thanks Jace!

Jace Everett is an Americana, Blues, Alternative artist who is also influenced by Christian and country music. When I asked Jace who he was, he was quite honest and told me that it depends on what day and the time of that day for him to answer that question. Can’t imagine why he would apologize for that answer. As an aspiring songwriter, I felt what Jace was saying right away. How many times have I written a song and it took a left turn and became something different-a perceived fast song to a ballad…..a country song that went rock? As an artist, you can’t be tied down to painting in red, when your mind is thinking blue that day. That’s just how it is.

Jace is an artist who is not a fan of industry labeling of a person’s talents. As I spoke with Jace, I could understand why he would say that. He has a lot of talent, which you’ll see as you read! He went on to say that he has a lot of musical interests as a songwriter, bass player, harmonica player, and performer.

From a blues perspective, he grew up with Stevie Ray Vaughn. Jace grew up in Texas during some of the SRV days. But, he challenged that one could argue if SRV embraced Texas Blues or Chicago Blues. That’s why he dislikes labeling an artist; it could distract a potential listener from listening. Could you imagine if SRV only appealed to Texas blues fans? What a loss! Jace has been influenced by Albert King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker as well as some nontraditional blues artists such as Tom Waits and Chris Whitley. Today, when Jace buys music he buys the blues. And, he feels that country music is the white man’s blues. If you listen to Jace’s songs, you can see the blues entwined in his country songwriting.

Jace has completed 3 albums thus far on a 2 year cycle, starting in 2005. Not that every album initiative is the same, but Jace typically writes fifty to sixty songs per year. He also mentioned that not all of them are good. They are practice. From his writing, he is then able to develop a themed CD of 15 to 20 songs that work well together. His efforts are a collection of what he wants to say. He mentioned that the record industry is a tough place to be today. At the same time, he feels blessed with the success he has had.

Let’s talk about Jace’s success. Jace co wrote the country blues song performed by Josh Turner called, Your Man. However, Jace’s success did not come without some disappointments. But, it is this disappointment that led to one of Jace’s biggest successes. In 2006 Jace wrote Bad Things for Sony which failed miserably on country radio. He had feedback that the song was too creepy and disheartening. For those songwriters out there, how many times have you gotten a critique that didn’t meet what the music industry thought would be saleable? I guess we should all try to turn negatives into positives. That’s what Jace did. He did not give up on his song. His next step was to have his song as a free itunes download. 200,000 people downloaded the song.

Fortunately for Jace, one of the individuals that downloaded the song was an executive for a new HBO series, True Blood. He brought the song to the studio and said let’s roll with this song. The song stuck. Jace has a lot of hits on myspace as a result of a gone bad to gone good situation and now feels blessed to be an accomplished songwriter.

Jace is also an accomplished performer. He uses Hohner golden melody harmonicas. Jace told me that he doesn’t think he is a harmonica player by any means. I personally been trying to learn harmonica for about a year. I’ll be honest. I’m not getting too far with it. But, what I learned from Jace is that he doesn’t think of himself as an accomplished harmonica player. But, he is out there doing it. I think I have to learn a couple of lics and get out there to an open mic and just do it. But, then again, it could be a Bad Thing? Jace feels he is a solid bass player. He feels his strength is in composing, arranging, producing. He usually has an idea of what he wants to hear. But, he knows to let someone else play it even better. That’s what true artists do. It’s all about the music and getting the best song out there. Thanks Jace!

I finished up by asking Jace the differences between European audiences and American audiences, since he’s been to both places. I read this over and over again on the message boards here in Pittsburgh where musicians aren’t respected. Jace sort of confirmed this for me. In Europe, people are there to listen to the music. They aren’t hitting their cell phones or talking. They are listening. Here in America, musicians tend to be background sound. And, this holds true from the guy playing his lowly guitar in some bar to U2 in a stadium. I asked Jace where his favorite place to play was, thinking he would give me some great place in Europe. But, Nope. His response, “The Next Place”. So, catch Jace when he comes to your town. I read he is working on it.

I Gotta Have It!!- Bedford, UK 2007

Jace’s newest album, Red Revelations, offered a new opportunity for some bluesy ideas. Jace feels this is his biggest artistic impression yet and is very pleased with his efforts. He has also taken his music to vinyl. Jace seems to be a savvy business man stating that vinyl has increased in sales 12 to 17 percent last year. Though an expensive process, he has two efforts in this arena. One is a collector’s version done in red. The other, should I say, just vinyl? He says it is great to get back to the artwork on the covers. Apparently, many agree. The albums are selling great! Better get your copy quick.

You may like these acoustic acts: Izzy and Chris
Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.
Jace Everett. Photos by David McClister (used with permission)

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