Friday, October 30, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 163 - Everlast - Whitey Ford Sings the Blues

By: March

Album - Whitey Ford Sings the Blues
Artist - Everlast
Key Players - Erik Schrody, aka Everlast - vocals, guitar(s), dj scratching
Produced By - Everlast, Dante Ross and John Gamble

Release Date - September 8, 1998

What caused me to blow off the dust? I've been singing "Ends" for a few weeks now off and on.

Overview - This is the second solo record from Everlast. Previously Everlast was a member of the rap, hip hop act "House of Pain" and left to work on other projects. He released a solo record that didn't do much commercially then worked with House of Pain before they disbanded in 1996. A popular record when it was released (it would go on to sell more than 3 million copies) Everlast was well on the road to personal recovery after suffering a heart attack before the albums release. Everlast was in such demand he actually worked with Santana on his smash release "Supernatural" when he performed on the track "Put your Lights on" and it would win a Grammy award. Everlast would continue to release solo records, tour and even record the theme to the television series "Saving Grace".

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album starts off with a short "skit" called "The White Boy Is Back". Its just a toy organ sounding groove with some back beats and backing singers singing the title. "Money (Dollar Bill)" follows seamless after the intro. Everlast has a deep voice that blends a growl with a whisky soaked hoarseness. The track follows the traditional feel of a rap track with strong back beats over a standard looped track. Rapper Sadat X tosses in some call and response verses with Everlast as the song expands. Everlast is actually rapping pretty quickly as the tune fades. The second single of the record follows in "Ends". A much more laid back affair with Everlast and an acoustic guitar being the focus, with some samples tossed in from time to time. It is a big step from the prior track and his work in House of Pain. I think many folks were surprised this was the same person. The albums first single, and most notable popular song is "What It's Like". Also utilizing acoustic guitars and some scratching the song weaves in and out of moods. This song is still a staple on rock radio stations and it still seems to "work" fine. "Get Down" has a dj scratch right at the start and "get down" is sung over an echo. Everlast locks in to a more straight forward rap on this track. "Sen Dog" is a short phone message recorded skit before "Tired" beings. Keeping with the rap feel the song uses a little more full of a sample. The back beat still drives hard and Everlast goes at it pretty hard lyrically. "Hot to Death" is the first track that seems to use live electric instruments. The drums may be canned, but the guitars and bass feel live. In the liner notes, it appears only the bass was given credit as live instrument. Everlast seems to be on to something here, a little more urgent and grinding of a track it stands out amongst the straight up rap tunes, or acoustic ones. Using the feel of a plane arriving "Painkillers" begins. Everlast raps about being over tired and ready to use some "enhancements" to wake up. There is another short skit/phone message in "Prince Paul" before. "Praise the Lord" begins. The track uses samples from the Gang Starr track "Dwyck". Everlast name checks Darryl McDaniel (Run DMC) and settles in to a tight lyrical delivery on the track. The acoustic guitar returns, but is buried on the mix some, but still offers that punch. "Today (Watch Me Shine)" returns to more of the roots acoustic guitar style found earlier on the record. Everlast keeps an even keel on his vocal delivery and this is a front porch, foot tapper from the first verse. "Guru is another short skit that leads to "Death Comes Callin'". Everlast is even more laid back at the outset but as the first verse kicks off it locks in to a tighter groove. Casual fans would find this track easy to get in to, even with his break beat rapping and dj scratches. "Funky Beat" follows suit of the prior track, with a little less aggressive back beat. There is a little more of a bounce in the loop that is used. On this track Everlast uses another rapper (Sadat X) and he seems to take more of the lead on the track, but he and Everlast compliment each other nicely. "The Letter" is more of a heartfelt slower rap tune that uses the back beats, but with piano over the top. A full horn section is used on the intro of "7 Years" before Everlast comes in. Again, Everlast seems to be breaking out of the mold. With the piano and horns being as strong a focus as the lyrics. The album closes out with "Next Man" another darker, deeper track. Ends on sort of a low note, but still a solid collection.

Where are they now? - Everlast continues to write and perform. He has released a total of five solo records, the most recent being
Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford that was released in the fall of 2008.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- The only time I saw him live was May 28, 1999 at the Tweeter Center. He was the support act on the Lenny Kravitz tour (that also had the Black Crowes opening). I recall catching the later part of his set, but recall the stage being very full with musicians.

FDF Overall Take - There are some real shining moments on the record and I can see casual fans being really sort of hit or miss on his work. Either they'd like the rap stuff, or the acoustic stuff. Although they mesh well I can only assume that people bought this record and were sort of surprised with the content.


Everlast on myspace.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.

Seven Years
Death Comes Calling
What It's Like

All tracks taken from "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 5:07 PM, Blogger Jenny G said...

I still hear What It's Like on the radio from time to time.


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