There’s a place in everybody’s heart that has been blocked off with a wall. It’s a place we don’t let anyone into, the darkness of buried memories and the corner where we hold onto the dissolving optimism that somewhere along the way life is gonna get good. Or decent. It’s a mixed up word.
The Everybodyfields penetrate that wall. They exist in that corner of your heart by making the kind of country music that mainstream Nashville no longer produces. Remember when country was about telling honest, heartfelt stories, sometimes sad, but tinged with the hope that life will be better? Singing about the things that matter like friendships, home, losing a loved one. Somewhere Nashville forgot that and everything became sugary sweet and glossy.
Somehow, armed with only a piano, slide guitar, bass and acoustic guitar, this Johnson City, TN four-piece soar on the backs of their harmonies, tight songwriting, deft instrumentation, funny stage banter and maybe in Jill Andrews the best set of pipes in music.
To reduce her voice to hyperbole is to do her a disservice. I have no idea how she does the things she does, easily swooning from upper octave high notes to low notes. That she does so without sliding between the octaves is a testiment to how amazing she is.
Quinn, on the other hand, has that sort of perfect country twang. It’s not pretty, but it sure is effective and emotive.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, the band made up of Jill Andrews (vox, bass, guit), Sam Quinn (vox, bass, guit), Tom Pryor (slide guitar) and Josh Oliver (piano and electric guitar) held a crowd of 200 or so people in rapture. Half weren’t even there to see the band play, but I’ll sure as hell bet many of them went out and picked up their sublimely good album Nothing Is Okay (2007) afterwards.
They played lots of choice cuts off their 2007 album and several more from their two previous albums: Plague of Dreams and Halfway There: Electricity & The South.
Quinn kept the crowd entertained throughout with his witty quips, deadpan humor and knowledge of local hoops team The Trailblazers, constantly asking if Clyde Drexler was coming to the show. It was the kind of show you might not be telling people you went to in five years, but it was certainly the kind of show that makes you want to grab your friends and have a time and tell them about the band you just saw.
On another note, it’s always great to know that true country music is alive and well, even if we call it alt country to make ourselves sound better, The Everybodyfields are the real deal.