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The American

From Bad Things To Good Book:

The Jace Everett Interview It’s a good bet you have heard Jace Everett’s distinctive southern baritone. Maybe on his eponymous album, or Red Revelations or Mr Good Times, or his theme tune for the hit TV vampire series True Blood. His latest album, Terra Rosa, is out now, he tells The American.


orn in Evansville, Indiana in 1972, Jace was on the move from an early age. His father’s work kept them place-hopping, and at the age of one the family moved to Indianapolis, then St. Louis, Missouri, winding up in Fort Worth, Texas by the time he was six. That’s a very formative age. Does Jace think of himself as a Texan? “I try not to!” he laughs. “There’s a lot about Texas that I really love, but if you’re not born there, you aren’t a Texan to the native Texans. It’s such a jingoistic environment. A lot of people from Texas out the Texan flag above the US flag, and flag waving has always been something I’m not particular good at. So, yeah, I grew up in Texas, I consider myself a Texan, but I don’t say that to folks simply because you can get slapped around for it! It is a very musical place. A lot of that Texan arrogance is founded on facts. There are some amazing things about that culture, and music is right there at the top of the list.” The wander-bug must have bit. In 1990 Jace attended Belmont University in Nashville for three years, then found himself in Europe, then back to Nashville. “I was practising being homeless,” he jokes. Did Jace’s various locations affect his musical outlook?

30 January - February 2014

“Definitely. The Texas thing, particularly the outlaw country and blues and rock & roll aspects, those are really strong in Texas music. I don’t think I’m very Nashville sounding, although the record I made for Sony had some of that, because it was made by a Nashville committee. But once I broke free on my own, what Nashville did for me was to let me sit at the feet of some of the great songwriters here and learn at least a few of their tricks. I believe my song writing has gotten better because I live in a community of very competitive and very skilled songwriters.” Nashville itself has become a much more varied musical environment. “Oh man, it’s almost unrecognizable from when I moved here in 1990, and pretty much in only positive ways. It’s become the place to move if you’re in the arts. The cost of living is manageable, and the community is incredibly varied. There’s a lot of film and television stuff going on, visual arts, and there are several universities so there’s always an influx of young people with new, rebellious ideas, ‘kicking against the pricks’, which is imperative to keeping a place happening. I’m a very liberal guy from a

political standpoint, and it’s good to have in these two very conservative states, Texas and Tennessee, hotbeds of liberals and conservatives and minorities and Caucasians slammed together in the relatively small areas of the state capitals.”

“Americans think I’m a cynical bastard whereas Brits tend to think I’m just being rational” In the early days, to pay the bills Jace had a series of odd jobs like digging ditches, washing trucks and waiting tables, the classic route for aspiring artists. But within a year of his European jaunts he landed a record deal with Sony Nashville. “An overnight sensation!” he chuckles. “But I was so damn tired by the time I got the record deal that it was hard to get overly excited about anything. I’m a fairly skeptical person. I

The American Issue 729 January-February 2014  

The American has been published for Americans in Britain since 1976. It's also for Brits who like American culture.

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