Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Venerable Video: the everybodyfields - "Can't Have It"

How awesome is this picture? I cannot find who to credit it to. I remember it from their website back in the day.

Before The Civil Wars there was the everybodyfields. Before The Civil Wars broke up (or whatever is going on with them) the everybodyfields broke up. And it seemed to occur right when they were on the verge of very big things. Their slow but steady rise in roots music seemed to follow a similar but softer trajectory as then label mates The Avett Brothers (Ramseur Records). I am not saying they were destined to be as big as the Avetts, but the potential and talent was certainly there. Even Jill Andrews' solo project The Mirror seemed to be marketed in a manner such that she would find a home perhaps on VH1 among rising female pop stars like Sara Bareilles.

The musical and songwriting chemistry between Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews was always undeniable, even as behind the scenes turmoil was apparently brewing. Earlier this year the group performed at the Rhythm 'n Blooms festival in Knoxville, TN and filmed a few excellent live videos with the team at Live and Breathing. I don't want to venture into hyperbole and say that it's almost too difficult to watch these videos, yet watching one can't help but feel like some great magic was lost when they decided to go separate ways. Watching them it is obvious they've still got that nameless thing many other bands (even good ones) lack, and I can't help but think that one day they will record and tour together again. We can only hope. If not, I guess that's what albums and performance videos on the internet are for. They last forever.

"Can't Have It" is the eighth track on the group's second LP Plague of Dreams. In the video they are backed by a great band that includes frequent collaborator (with both Quinn and Andrews) Josh Oliver on electric guitar. Jill Andrews is as stunning vocally and visually as ever and Sam Quinn's strangeness is as apparent as ever (well, there are some other videos on the internet that might take that cake, but still, check out those socks). And nobody does harmony quite like the everybodyfields. The Civil Wars comprises a couple of vocal powerhouses, to be sure, bending notes around impossible corners--and I enjoy some of their songs--but give me these two (Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews, if you aren't paying attention) any day of the week. Or of the year. Or of my lifetime. Just get back together already (respectfully). I'm confident that after you watch them perform this great song you will see why I'm so keen on a band that has been broken up for years.

Walk walk white sock to sock, I wonder why these people all deceive me again

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