Sunday, 6 May, 2007 9:55 PM
CMA's "New from Nashville"
in London, Dublin and Glasgow
BY DANNY CLINCH
Nashville recording artist Julie Roberts.
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
CMA hosted two of Country
Music's best and brightest artists - Jace Everett and Julie Roberts
- overseas in late January and early February as part of "New
From Nashville," with several high-profile showcases in London,
Dublin and Glasgow.
"Each year, CMA
brings artists interested in touring internationally to Europe on
a promotional tour as part of our 'New From Nashville' program,"
said Rick Murray, CMA VP of Strategic Marketing. "In the ever-evolving
world of technology, artists marketing in music delivery systems,
it is imperative that Country Music continue to build a presence
in the global marketplace."
"'New From Nashville'
was developed as a vehicle to introduce newer artists to audiences,
industry and media in the UK," said CMA International Director
Bobbi Boyce. "We couldn't be happier to welcome Julie to the
'New from Nashville' fold and to welcome back Jace for the second
year. We have already had positive support from the industry and
media for the shows and are looking forward to another successful
Music critics from The New York Times, People, USA Today, Vanity
Fair and more have raved about Julie Roberts and compared her to
Faith Hill and Bonnie Raitt - high expectations that she manages
to meet with panache on her sophomore album Men and Mascara on Mercury
Records Nashviille. The petite blond from Lancaster, S.C., made
an immediate impact with her 2004 Gold self-titled debut album and
hit single "Break Down Here." Her deep, blues-soaked voice
and honest music combined with her exuberant personality quickly
made her a fan favorite. Roberts co-wrote four songs on her new
album and already enjoys an international presence, with the release
of her music in the UK on Wrasse Records.
Growing up in Grapevine, Texas, the sounds of Guy Clark, Waylon
Jennings, Willie Nelson and other Texas legends were in heavy rotation
in Jace Everett's house. Everett's career took him from his hometown
church to around the world, learning about all styles of music and
languages in France, Italy and Spain. Everett, who is proficient
on bass, guitar, keyboards and harmonica, toured Europe as a bass
player where he garnered material for a wealth of songs. Everett
recently celebrated a No. 1 hit as a songwriter with "Your
Man," recorded by Josh Turner.
For Everett, who has
been playing European gigs for the past 12 years, the international
market has been a key part of his career strategy. CMA Close Up
spoke to the Nashville-based artist and hit songwriter in January
prior to his leaving for the UK to perform at the "New From
WHEN WAS THE FIRST
TIME YOU TRAVELED TO EUROPE?
"The first time
I went over there was in 1994, as the bass player in a cover band."
HOW IS A EUROPEAN'S
IMPRESSION OF COUNTRY MUSIC DIFFERENT FROM AN AMERICAN'S?
"There is definitely
the kitsch factor, especially in the non-English speaking places,
France and Italy and places like that. They love the 1950s era of
America and they love the cowboy thing. So yes, there are going
to be people who are into the very traditional, almost gimmicky
stuff. But they're not as likely to be swayed by some of the marketing
gimmicks we use here in the United States. Contemporary Country,
which is a lot more like pop music than Hank Williams, has a tougher
row to hoe over there, but there's a girl named Shania Twain who's
done pretty well in Europe and she's not exactly Patsy Cline-style
WHAT ABOUT THE DOWNSIDE,
WHERE AN AMERICAN ARTIST MIGHT MAKE THOUSANDS A NIGHT IN TEXAS AS
OPPOSED TO MAKING HUNDREDS IN EUROPE, LET ALONE THE TRAVEL EXPENSE?
"That probably is
true for somebody who is more of a star than I am, but I'm not a
headline act. I find quite the opposite. Traditionally, the European
markets actually pay really well or better. What's cost prohibitive
is actually getting over there. That's expensive, but I know what
I'm doing when I'm there."
DO YOU THINK THAT
OTHER ARTISTS MIGHT BENEFIT FROM TOURING OVERSEAS?
"I think artists
are crazy not to, especially if they're stars. Garth showed us something
brilliant back in the day when he went over to Ireland and just
exploded and did some of the biggest shows ever over there. Obviously,
he doesn't fit anybody else's parameters because he's Garth, but
I think a lot of artists could do really well. You can take chances
musically over there. Even artists who are really successful - the
Chesneys and the McGraws - could play some smaller venues and really
HOW DOES THE EUROPEAN
COUNTRY MUSIC LANDSCAPE COMPARE TO AMERICA'S?
"There's an incredibly
loyal fan base over there, much like the Country fans in the States,
but radio is vastly different in Europe than it is here. Playlists
are much broader. Even though there's not as much Country Music
on the radio, they will play a guy like me who hasn't had a lot
of airplay in the States."
YOU GREW UP IN TEXAS,
THAT MOST AMERICAN OF PLACES. WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR MUSIC WORKS
SO WELL FOR EUROPEAN AUDIENCES?
"They're not as
interested in celebrity as people in the States. If they dig it,
they dig it. It's not about who you're married to or if you've appeared
in Country Weekly magazine, and that's exciting for someone like
DO YOU THINK OVERALL
THAT YOUR CAREER HAS BENEFITED FROM THE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE?
"I've seen a lot
of Internet downloads come from the European market, and whatever
merchandise I have at every show sells out over there - every single
show. Whether I've brought 20 CDs or 50, I end up selling every
blooming one of them. They're really starved for quality American
music. If you bring it over there, just be yourself and don't try
to pull the wool over their eyes, they eat it up. It's a real joy
for me to be able to go, and I'm really grateful to the CMA for
BY TRACI GOUDIE
artist Jace Everett.
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