somebody isn’t everybody… but close


concert review:  sam quinn and the japan 10 – the visulite – charlotte, nc – march 5, 2009

i spent most of my life growing up in a town called snellville, a part of the suburban atlanta sprawl, whose town slogan was “snellville…where everybody is somebody”.  every year there was the “snellville days festival” which might be how you picture it:  a parade of the local cub scout and beauty pageant celebrities followed by rendezvous at the local park where vendors sold everything from homemade soda can airplanes to official festival t-shirts imprinted with the slogan.  i thought those shirts were the ultimate of tacky, because i thought snellville to be the ultimate of lame.

flash forward to 2007:  while attending tosco music party in charlotte, a duet takes the stage:  two quirky-with-a-twist-of-country looking twentysomethings who sound like they were coming out of your 1930s country radio station- beautifully twangy bluegrass, slowed down a bit, with a mournful fiddle to create, as they call it “toe tapping and cheek salting…” music.  since then, i’ve been hooked on the everybodyfields from johnson city, tennessee.

i’ve probably seen them 7 times now and own all the albums.  imagine my dismay when they announce by email that they are taking a break  (we all know what that really might mean- see ‘fleetwood mac’) and the the male lead, sam quinn, is now touring with a newly formed band  sam quinn and the japan ten.  the female lead, jill andrews, heads in a solo direction. my dismay slightly subsided when sam’s project listed charlotte as one of their first stops.

so i went, pensively and with low expectations.  part of the distinguishing charm of the everybodyfields is their quirkiness.  sam and jill play off of each other well, albeit at times in some tense/awkward moments.  sam’s the wild card and jill’s the straight; or so it appears from the barstools.  my biggest fear, was that sam, left to his own creative devices would turn out some odd, experimental, new age shenanigans.  i pictured him walking out onstage in all black, hipster clothes having left his plaid shirt with sleeves too short, brown polyester pants and amazing beard behind in the e-fields van.

i cannot be more happy that i could not have been more wrong!


sam walks out with a kickin’ beard, twice the size as last time, and not only brown pants but a full brown poly suit; which at somepoint in the night he shares with the crowd that wearing this brown suit has been a long time dream of his, finally fulfilled tonight.  sam appeared to be resting in the comfort of this new polyester covering; in the previous few shows, his demeanor resembled a ticked-off/lovelorn school boy on the playground, but tonight looked more like a man who has brushed the dust, and spite, off himself and emerged with some grace to share.  even if it is polyester.

not to worry, he’s not all mush and maturity.  there were some fine sam-ism stories in the set:

sam describes sitting at a bus station, when someone asked him “hey man do you need a ride?”  sam replied, “i am at a bus station, i’m not just here to collect allergens.”  then launches into the hygenic properties of bus stations:  “bus stations are so dirty.  people on buses just eat cheetos and touch your shirt and it’s gross.”  haha.  so true.

and “the internet is changing all of our nouns into verbs.”  ponder that for a few…

they played some of my favorite everybodyfields songs and some stellar new ones.  here are clips of two of those, ‘i can’t sleep’ and ‘gun’, respectively:

the evening was a delight to my ears, so much so, i might just drive to greensboro to see them in a few weeks.  it appears the individuals of the everybodyfields are each, in fact, somebody.  and i’ll enjoy seeing where these ventures take them.  however, you can’t replace jill andrews with a fiddle.  and if jill ever graces charlotte with her presence, i’ll certainly be there.

oh, and i’ve been looking for a snellville t-shirt for about a decade now.  the one with the stick people and the slogan on it.  if you see one, let me know.


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