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Country/rock singer Jace Everett returns with new album (Includes interview)

Indiana-born Jace Everett, a regular and very welcome visitor to the UK, released his sixth studio album, Dust & Dirt, on May 5. The 44 year old’s new record is made up of 10 exciting new tracks. I put some questions to him.

How are you? What have you been doing recently?

“I’m well, thank you. I spent most of last year writing and recording Dust & Dirt and producing some other projects.”

Where did the title of the new album come from? What else can you tell me about it?

“I have a habit of naming my albums not after a particular track, but after a particular line in a given song. Lines including ‘dust and dirt’ appear in two different songs – ‘Woke Up in This Town’ and ‘Rescue Me’ – so it seemed inevitable!

“This record is typical of me in some ways. There’s the swampy/edgy stuff. But there’s also a nod to actual country music that has been absent in my last few records.

“I think, in general, it’s a little more accessible both lyrically and musically than anything I’ve done in some time. That wasn’t a conscience choice; it was just where the songs found me.”

Which of the songs on the album particularly stand out for you? What themes did you address this time around?

“Well, there’s the usual stuff I like to mine: religion and politics. But this go round it’s, I hope, a little more subtle. ‘Love’s Not What We Do’ is obviously political on its face, but hopefully it’s as much heart as head. ‘Woke Up in This Town’ and ‘Lowlands’ are the backbone of the record.

“I did delve into romantic love in a way I haven’t in at least a decade. Songs like ‘Golden Ring’, ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Green or Blue’ are very overtly about my wife, Nicole. Her influence on the record is undeniable.”

You seem to have quite a following in the UK, and it seems as though that’s something you’ve nurtured from day one. Was it always your intention to create and nurture a UK fanbase?

“I was lucky enough to be brought over in 2005 by the CMA gang. Then again in 2006. Following that up with a month supporting Guy Clark in 2007, I had a pretty decent foothold when True Blood took off.

“I owe a lot to my friends at Wrasse Records. To say nothing of Paul Fenn, early on and, more recently, Chris Metzler. The fans enable me to keep coming back, and I appreciate them putting up with my, at times, idiosyncratic musical adventures!”

Why do you think the UK has embraced your music?

“Well, obviously ‘Bad Things’ being on the telly didn’t hurt! But I think my personality works well with the UK audience also. Brits enjoy my self-deprecating humour, I think.

“They give me a chance each album to state my case. We’ve had some barn burner tours over here, and I think the audience recognises my respect for them and my gratitude. That goes a long way.”

What do you consider to be your proudest career achievements to date?

“Proudest ‘career’ moments are usually financial milestones, I guess. And some of those have been brilliant: awards, songs cut by others, playing on big TV shows…

“But I’m kind of an idiot when it comes to the ‘career’. My proudest moments in pursuing my craft are those tiny moments when a song really comes together – or a show goes off for us on stage.

“The actual process is what I live for in the end. Awards and such just mean you made somebody else some money and so they give you a trophy!”

What are your plans for the rest of 2017 and beyond?

“Try and make America sane again. Love my wife and children better. Fall in love with music any chance I get. Stay out of jail. The usual.”

Dust & Dirt is out now.

For more information on Jace Everett, visit his official website.

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