A few years ago Jace Everett’s career left him in a familiar artist’s quandary: that of a struggling musician. His debut was a mainstream country album, a sound that didn’t completely reflect his style.
Flash forward a year and Everett was on the brink of his big break even if he didn’t yet realize that was the case.
“I love country music with all of my heart, but I thought ‘My career’s over, so I might as well do what I want,” Everett said.
“Bad Things,” a rockabilly track off of his 2005 self-titled album caught the attention of Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball who, in 2006, was scouring iTunes in search of a track to accompany his treatment of the now hit HBO series “True Blood.”
In an age when much of television programming has discarded the use opening credits, “True Blood’s” main title montage has captivated its viewers as well as critics.
“The opening sequence was recently nominated for an Emmy,” Everett said. “I can’t take in credit for that, but it’s cool.”
The now highly recognizable song has afforded Everett the opportunity to continue to making music his way.
Red Revelations, Everett’s third and latest effort, was released on June 23. The album boasts 11 new tracks in addition to his hit “Bad Things.”
“The music came last summer. It was pointing me in a new direction,” Everett said. “Well, at least I know that I’ll have some kind of audience.”
Available on vinyl as well as on CD and in digital format, Red Revelations is inspired in part by “True Blood” but even then the songs display a reflection on relationships. The lyrics speak of both conflict and desire.
Everett explained that tracks like “Damned if I Do” and “Burn for You” could have been influenced by viewing the show.
“When I sing ‘Burn for You,’ I think of how the character [vampire Bill Compton] runs out into the sun to try and save her [Sookie Stackhouse],” Everett said. “I think, ‘he really likes her.’”
A successful songwriter (he also wrote Josh Turner’s No. 1 hit “Your Man”), Everett explained, however, that he doesn’t apply boundaries to his creative process.
“I’m writing the song for the songs sake,” Everett said. “There’s not a process; it’s always different. I may start playing or have a melody in my head.”
The musician who began playing bass professionally at 15 works closely with a group of collaborators that he considers friends.
Everett, who played guitar on the record, was joined in the recording studio by drummer Eric Dixon, bassist James Cook, guitarist Dan Cohen and keyboardist/guitarist Chris Raspante.
“They are four of my closest friends and great musicians,” Everett said. “They all be playing with me at the show in Salem.”
The unique mix of blues, rock, and country music will be performed live on August 1 at 9 p.m. as part of the lineup during The Bite of Salem.
Though Everett and his band have played before in Portland, this is their first trip to the capital.
Nashville-based Everett promises to bring his fans a high energy show.
“I grew up in church. Even though I don’t attend anymore, some of the fire and brimstone approach rubbed off on me,” Everett said. “ I try to reach and have a lot of fun. We play hard, sweat and get after it.”