When Tri-Cities transplants the everybodyfields finally got settled in Knoxville in 2008, they seemed to be on the verge of breaking out of the regional circuit to some real national acclaim. The band had survived the break-up of its two singers and songwriters, Jill Andrews and Sam Quinn, whose romantic relationship ended a couple of years before that, and the 2007 album Nothing Is Okay got critical raves and attention from NPR and Harp and Paste magazines. (They were also named Best Americana Band in last year's Metro Pulse Best of Knoxville poll.) But the title of that disc foreshadowed the band's fate. In the summer of 2009, the everybodyfields announced their split.
The group's appeal had been its synthesis of folk, country, and rock, with high mountain harmonies backed by twang and reverb. It was an accomplished sound, but its component parts have served Andrews and Quinn well over the last year. Andrews released her stunning self-titled solo EP, a collection of sparkling Laurel Canyon folk rock, last fall, and Quinn's fine new album of brooding Ryan Adams-style dirges, the fake that sunk a thousand ships, is out this week. Breaking up is never easy, but when it pays off like this it might be worth it.