Gig review: Jace Everett at the Jazz Cafe, Camden, London
"What I'm doing isn't exactly Brad Paisley, but I figure he's got that covered," says Jace Everett, before embarking into a version of Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?" that certainly won't be finding its way into any sugary Nashville productions any time soon. Everett's is a down and dirty, solid rock 'n' roll at its very best and if he's unexpectedly picked up a new following from having his song "Bad Things" chosen as the theme tune to the TV series "True Blood", then all good luck to him.
Everett, his band and their instruments arrived safely in the UK in time for his London gig – sadly their luggage didn't, forcing them to play without tuners and other auxiliary equipment and to be forced to check out the delights of the Hounslow branch of Asda for emergency supplies and underwear. "I've got my eye on a sweat suit" Everett joked, comparing the experience to a visit to a suburban Nashville mall "but a lot more expensive."
With his wife Stefany Delray on bass guitar, Dan Cohen on lead guitar and Derek Mixon on drums, Everett stuck mostly to the material of his 2009 album Red Revelations – the new album is finished but it didn't make it in time for this tour. He did preview his new single, "Good Times", as well as a couple of other new songs.
Everett may never be able to play a set again that doesn't include "Bad Things", but it was far from the most captivating performance of the evening. That honour arguably goes to "Little Black Dress" – a song that's a whole new experience when heard live compared with the album track – though it's always hard to discount the dramatic "Possession", a co-write with Chuck Prophet that is the opening track of Red Revelations. Everett also gave an outing to Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy" and, for what was effectively a second encore, produced a version of "Not Fade Away" that Buddy Holly wouldn't have recognised but would surely have admired.
Jace Everett puts on a show, never lets up on the energy, and also writes fantastically good songs. He's the complete package.
After some shows in Norway, Jace Everett returns to the UK for four more dates. Full details here.