Jackopierce’s lays laid-back music on Vail
VAIL, Colorado -Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce are just two Dallas boys who combined their guitars and acoustic voices to create their folk-pop band, Jackopierce, which plays in Vail Tuesday. Pierce claims that it was his mother’s influence that made him want to be a recording artist. “My mom was a trained pianist and she played the ukulele,” Pierce says. “She was always the life of the party and that kind of grew on me.” After his mom taught him to play the guitar he was hooked. The guys enjoyed local fame in Dallas and underground fame across college communities during the 1990’s, with their most popular song being “Vineyard.” This time around, Jackopierce has dropped a new album that yours truly thinks is just awesome. The opening song, “Everything I’m Not,” is a clap-your-hands melody that is a celebration of the differences between partners and a love of humanity. Experiencing their lyrics and instrumentation is a fantastic way to start the summer because these guys really know how to jam with an outdoor crowd. Q. You and Jack have been playing together since 1988, and you broke up in 1997, only to get back together and perform shows around the country since 2002. How has your sound evolved since the reunion?A. I think we’re better, our voices are deeper and better. We just came out with a live record, “Live From Atlanta,” and playing live has a whole different ambiance. Sometimes when you record in studio it can sound pretty lame. It’s refreshing to hear us in a different venue, like, wow, we actually sound pretty good. I don’t know how much we have evolved. Some bands’ MO is to re-invent themselves with every record. Like U2, they’re reinventing themselves and then they’re trying to get back to their roots. I think, with us, one day we’ll get back to just acoustics, but it just so much fun to make records. Q. Have you experienced a greater fame this time around than you did before?A. We’re always bigger together. I love playing solo but it’s just amazing how I might do 200-300 people on my own but Jackopierce together bring in 10 times that much. We’re not playing big venues anymore; we’re focusing on more boutique venues. We’re having a re-building phase in a way, and we aren’t trying to sell out the big theaters. We are more interested in the seated, small, listening venues. I want to sit and listen and watch when I go to see a show – arena shows are great but the connection through music isn’t as strong. We aren’t doing what we were doing before; we’re kind of doing what we did way back in the beginning. We have hand-picked the shows now and we only do 20 to 30 a year.Q. What would you say is your most popular song from the first half of your music career?A. Without a doubt it’s the song called “Vineyard” we did. It’s just a simple song about this girl that broke up with me. I was just finished college and this girl had me drive all the way back from SMU. During that time I just thought “man, I’m out here close to California, I’m going to go to L.A.” But then I got a call from the girl I was dating and she said that she really wanted to see me. After I drove all the way home and my car broke down right at her house in Austin she told me that she was breaking up with me. I was so bummed out, I had just finished college and I was miserable. I flew home to Connecticut where my parents were living. I asked my parents if I could borrow their car under the guise that I was going to go scout the vineyard where we were going to go play later in the summer. I ended up staying there five or six days and I met a ton of new friends and it was so much fun. It’s now just one of those tunes that is underground and has done the acoustic circuit. Q. Of all the famous artists you have played with, who was your favorite and why?a. I think one of the most fun nights was when Matchbox 20 opened for us for two weeks before they got big. John Mayer opened for me before he got big and it’s really been fun to watch those guys and see their rise.Q. What can people expect from your new album “Promise of Summer?” A. I think people that are fans of acoustic-based rock and that love harmonies with songs that are like stories that take you back somewhere will dig it. I think it’s very Colorado music because it’s so chill. We fly out to Snowmass a lot and Vail is like a second home to us. Our kind of music is the “cool singer-songwriter du jour” that fits right in with Vail. That record was our first recorded album in 12 years. 6. What do you wish I had asked you today?a. To experience the show after you go, Jackopierce has a CD titled “Live From Atlanta” that is a recording of our best live show to date.
What: JackopierceWhen: 6:30 p.m., TuesdayWhere: Gerald Ford Amphitheater, VailCost: FreeMore information: Visit http://www.vvf.org.
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