“These are the songs, this is the show” so begins tonight’s performance with Jace Everett thanking the enthusiastic audience for coming out to see him and Dan Cohen deliver a compelling show. Cohen’s electric guitar adds both grit and textural depth behind Everett’s rhythm guitar and strong vocal presence. The songs came from the new album Terra Rosa with a couple of selections from Red Revelations and the somewhat inevitable Bad Things. Everett explained Bad Things had been on his first album and he’d fought for it to be released as a single only to find that the powers that be at radio were not duly impressed. It was not until HBO came knocking and it was chosen as the theme for True Blood that it found an appreciative audience.
Throughout the show there was some playful banter with the audience. After playing No Place to Hide he asked if anyone understood what the song was about. “Having No Place to Hide” came the reply. To which Jace responded that it was like doing stand-up in Letterkenny! One front row member was celebrating his birthday and on being asked his age said “22”. ‘You look like shit then’ said Jace to the obviously somewhat older man. "Mind you I’m 24 and I look shit too" the over forty Everett joked.
The music, considering there were only two players on stage, had a edge due to both player’s strong delivery. Dan Cohen’s effects pedal and skill allowed him to give many of the songs different settings; from slide guitar ridden blues to more reflective tones. Though little in the set could be labelled country, there were elements of that part of Everett’s career in his singing and delivery. One of Them, from Red Revelations, was a particular highpoint. The stripped down songs from Terra Rosa also worked well. from. The songs, based on Biblical stories and parables, were far from gospel in attitude but maybe not in spirit. Lloyd’s Summer Vacation, In the Garden and the title song were all highlights in a strong set.
It’s a real shame that many more didn’t get to experience this fine duo. Dan Cohen played two songs acoustically from his new solo album Bluebird; I Want You and Love Is Gone proved to be bitter sweet, sweet in their delivery but bitter in tone as they were written following a break-up. These two men play music that has life experience, something that the audience appreciated throughout the evening with Everett’s introductions and general good humour. They closed the set with an extended version of Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away the left the audience with a feeling that tonight’s show would follow that particular song’s title
Review by Stephen Rapid. Photograph by Ronnie Norton