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Reviews: Don Everett Pearce ~ Hope & Anchor EP|
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 @ 23:23:12 UTC
Artist: Don Everett Pearce
CD: Hope & Anchor EP
Home: Los Angeles, California
Style: Urban Americana
Quote: "He tells so much by telling very little. I can imagine the rest."
By Jennifer Layton
Don Everett Pearce has always had a gift for people-watching, having someone catch his eye, seeing that person as a flower growing out of cracked, dry ground, and writing a song. And what a song. He’s soulful and bluesy, with New York City grit in the sound and a more coherent Bob Dylan in the vocal.
Hope and Anchor is a taste of a full-length project we’ll hopefully be getting from Pearce before the end of the year. These five songs are poetic and so well-produced, it sounds like he’s singing in my living room. The people he sings about are also here. I’m people-watching right along with the artist.
We get two female characters, one in the title track and one in “Rose of the Lower Eastside.” The latter is so descriptive – we see a girl’s hair, clothes, and the colors swirling around her while she walks down grimy streets where bikers take refuge and “brick and stone are stacked up to the sky.” She seems to exist on a different plane from her surroundings. “Who gave her any right to hold her head so high?” her silent observer wonders.
The title track shows what makes Pearce such an arresting storyteller – he picks the right moment. We meet Amanda the waitress, a woman who left a home filled with alcoholism and chaos. Most songs would focus on the drama – the loud scenes at home, or the terrifying escape. But here, we meet Amanda in the quiet after the storm. We see her home and her dreadlocked, guitar-building boyfriend, and then as she’s opening up the house one morning, Pearce tells us:
When she opens up those iron-shuttered windows
and touches up the empty, rusted shelves
She’ll look back on this silly little crisis
As the year she learned to trust herself ...
The images may be dark and rusty, but the vibe is pure hope and freedom. There’s so much going on in this song in which not a lot happens.
“Bonneville” made me desperately wish I hadn’t been such a goody-two-shoes during my high school years. I could have skipped class and had adventures in a big classic car. I should trade in my Saturn SL2 and visit the local cemetery at 2am. I was also drawn into “World’s Gone Mad,” a delicate, hypnotic moment in a crazy, murderous, unstable world. It will make you sit very still and quiet your breath.
My favorite, and one that’s been my favorite track of Pearce’s for quite a while, is “Looking for Water (in Joshua Tree).” A few of Pearce’s NYC friends have recorded their own versions of this song, and it was also on Pearce’s debut CD a couple of years ago. It always sends a tingle down my spine. This is a rugged, sexy, ominous blues-moaned story of seeking that human touch.
It’s been feeling like a desert inside of me
So I come looking for water in Joshua Tree ...
He meets a woman, he finds a small hotel with a vacancy. We don’t know if he spends the night with her or alone. I’m kind of glad I don’t know. That’s something else I love about Pearce’s storytelling – he tells so much by telling very little. I can imagine the rest.
Artist Website: http://www.everettsville.com
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