Episode 317. Everette- Country Music Artists-Hometown Rising
*Due to the live nature of our Hometown Rising music festival coverage & external circumstances beyond our control, the audio production in the following MoxieTalk cannot be brought to our normal MoxieTalk listening and viewing standards. We apologize for any inconvenience.*
“At an after-party one night, we watched a video of The Band’s “The Last Waltz” over a bottle of Knob Creek. It sounded like the dirt I grew up in. That moment musically changed my life.” ~ Brent Rupard of Everette
Like the great American bands before them – the new Broken Bow Records duo Everette doesn’t follow trends. Instead, the guys of Everette write what they live, weaving gritty tales of struggle and heartbreak alongside fun-loving stories of escapism and mischief. Often their songs are written while touring – sometimes during sleepless nights as an odometer tracks the miles or on a day off in a dingy motel room off the beaten path – but always organically and always from the heart.
Hailing from humble beginnings, Brent Rupard and Anthony Olympia unknowingly went to high school a mere eight miles apart in rural Bullitt County, Kentucky. Brent spent much of his youth on his family’s horse farm and even dabbled in barrel racing. Anthony’s grandpa was a hall of fame quarter horse trainer and, although their families were friends, the two musicians wouldn’t meet until the age of 21 when Brent took a guitar lesson from the classically-trained Anthony.
Their friendship and musical chemistry were immediate. The pair soon moved to Bowling Green, KY, where the duo cut its teeth playing originals and covers four nights each week while finishing their degrees at Western Kentucky University. First, however, the burgeoning Bowling Green music scene that Brent and Anthony credit for shaping them into the songwriters and artists they are today, particularly at a venue called WHA bah.
“Once we started playing music at WHA bah, the crowd wasn’t just college kids anymore – it was people of all ages and all walks of life. They taught us how to have a good time and not worry about proving ourselves to anyone. They taught us to be true to ourselves,” says Anthony.
After graduation, the two friends moved to Nashville to “chase the dream” together. Brent started a solo career. Anthony began working as a musician to pay the bills while still playing in Brent’s band. The roommates continued to write and record demos together throughout this time until the day the two collaborators decided to form the duo Everette during a writing session – and an American band was born.
They were named for George Clooney’s character in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” the duo of Everette is a bonafide triple threat. Brent and Anthony co-write almost all of their songs and play many of the instruments on Everette’s studio recordings. The two young artists are also co-producing their debut project, and experience Brent calls “spiritual” is critical to the authenticity of Everette’s brand of Country music.
“We have a certain type of rhythm, and we get into a symbiotic zone together in the studio that makes the song work,” explains Anthony. “We have mutual respect’s talent and each other’s feedback when we disagree. Trying to redo a song in someone else’s studio – it just isn’t the same.”
Everette’s brand of country music is filled with swampy harmonicas and bluesy guitar licks mixed with a knack for melodic hooks not unfamiliar to fans of the 80s and 90s. Citing diverse influences ranging from Tom Petty, The Eagles, and Randy Travis to Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and John Mayer, Everette’s honest and relatable music exudes a crossover appeal that would have fans singing along at Bonnaroo as well as at CMA Music Fest.
Everette’s “Slow Roll” is a rollicking, carefree number inviting the listener to escape from the trappings of city life into an afternoon of leisurely possibility. With a dance-friendly beat and an infectious chorus, “Slow Roll” showcases the duo’s creative songwriting abilities, including a nod to pop culture classic “Dazed and Confused.”
Hips will immediately begin swaying to Everette’s intoxicating “Mugshots.” At once dangerous and fun-loving, the duo utilized a steel resonator to add a “Tarantino soundtrack vibe” to the song. That unique element, paired with the song’s arena rock chorus, is sure to make “Mugshots” the universal anthem of wild summer nights.
The duo switches gears with the dark and gritty “Relapse,” which showcases an intensity and depth to the young artists’ songwriting abilities. Everette credits the “magic” of the heart-wrenching lament to writing it while on the road without time limitations or constraints.
Everette often describes its brand as “bonfire music” because of its communal nature, which relates directly to the Country music genre. “It’s the same thing we love about Country music and Country radio,” says Brent.
“Just like everyone’s involved at a bonfire jam,” says Anthony. “When we’re on stage, we don’t want any separation between us and the audience. We want our shows to be an experience. We write songs about us, but they’re really about everyone.”