*Please allow a few short seconds for you two free listening tracks to download then turn it up and Jump Around!
Everlast has come a long way.
Remember that tattooed, goateed MC who jumped to the top of the charts with the multi-platinum rap group House of Pain? Well, the shamrocks-spliffs-and-beer shenanigans have come to an end it seems and on his new solo album, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, Everlast’s born again with a bluesy, hip-hop hybrid sound, a new alias (Whitey), and a new introspective attitude that’s still rough around the edges.
House of Pain’s members were white and used their Irish roots to establish ethnic solidarity with a black scene. Having exhausted the possibilities of that conceit, Everlast is now doing what white musicians have done throughout American history: borrowing from a wider variety of black styles, and some white ones, to brew up their own distinctive version on those genres.
Track 07: Smokin’ and Drinkin’ / 3:41
Track 12: Break It Down / 3:32
Whitey Ford is, of course, the moniker that the man born Erik Francis Schrody started using when he went the blues route on his second album, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. Two decades have passed since that record, and he has grown immensely as a songwriter and all-a round artist since those shanty shakin’ Jump Around days.This self-penned solo album, drawing on inspiration from artists including Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and, of course, hip-hop. “We’ve come up with names to describe the sound, like hick-hop,” says Everlast. “I basically said fuck the rules and took everything I’ve ever liked in my life and threw it all together like one big bowl of soup.”
House of Pain’s members were white and used their Irish roots to establish ethnic solidarity with a black scene. Having exhausted the possibilities of that conceit, Everlast is now doing what white musicians have done throughout American history: borrowing from a wider variety of black styles, and some white ones, to go beyond minstrelsy.
Keeping it real, a major highlight on the album comes with the cut “The Climb,” a magnificent piece of music illustrating Everlast’s ability to bring about the feelings in us that he has in himself. Much like “It Ain’t Easy,” it is a song about a tough life, being a slave to the grind, and having nothing to show for it, but worse of all, not understanding why you are in this grind in the first place. Like all of us, Everlast has built up a stone wall around his heart and is just trying to make it through this maze we call life.
Later on comes “Summer Rain,” a lovely song that is sure to fit perfectly snug into Everlast’s setlist for years to come. About how all the worries in life, all the pain, all the sorrows, and the stains they leave can all eventually get washed away. Then, on “Break it Down,” Everlast explains how all he needs is his ride or die partner. No doubt with a certain girl on his mind, the song paints a picture of him driving with his memories in his blue Chevrolet pickup and how all he needs is for his girl to be there to help him break it down. In reality, aren’t we all just looking for someone to help us break it down?
Not to be overlooked, “Smoking and Drinking” and “Slow Your Roll” bring you back to that grimy Everlast Hip Hop flow that everyone loves and look forward to every time this cat drops an album. That in mind, it is his diversity that really makes him special, and closing out the album is a brilliant dream-like hypnotic vibe on “Dream State.” With a great string section and an easy, chilled-out beat, it wraps up a well-composed, storytelling album.
Well this savory bowl of tunes is one meaty batch of rich Irish stew brimming with tasty cuts from first track to last and we recommend you order it now.