Make us your home page
Instagram

Jennifer Nettles talks 'Coat of Many Colors,' rap crossovers before Clearwater show

Jennifer Nettles returns to Clearwater Saturday for her second concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 20 months.

Getty Images

Jennifer Nettles returns to Clearwater Saturday for her second concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 20 months.

Here's your early Christmas present from Jennifer Nettles: a whole bunch of Jennifer Nettles.

"There'll be a lot of me on your television throughout the holiday season," Nettles said by phone this week en route to a tour rehearsal in Nashville. "So keep an eye out."

On Dec. 3, the Grammy-winning Sugarland singer will return for her sixth stint hosting CMA Country Christmas, a star-studded holiday special on ABC. One week later, she'll play Dolly Parton's mother, Avie Lee, in NBC's Coat of Many Colors, based on Parton's autobiographical song of the same name.

You'll have to wait until spring for Nettles' second solo album, Playing With Fire. And you'll have to wait longer still for new music from Sugarland, as both Nettles and bandmate Kristian Bush seem content going their separate ways for a while.

"We're still doing our solo projects," Nettles said. "He just put a record out and has been touring wildly for that, and seems to be enjoying it very much. We're both enjoying figuring ourselves out from a solo perspecive."

In the meantime, Nettles returns to Clearwater Saturday for her second concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in 20 months. This week, she talked about Playing With Fire, her secret love of hip hop and more.

You have new music coming out next year. How much will we hear at this show? How much will your show change?

The good thing is, sonically, the music itself sort of dictates each show. This record is much fuller, I would say, so it's going to allow for a lot more fun from a production standpoint. That Girl was a wonderfully organic and intimate record. And this new album, Playing With Fire, is going to be a much fuller sound. I think it's much more indicative of my voice and where I want to be and where I find myself now as a solo artist.

How is production going on Coat of Many Colors? Has it wrapped filming?

Oh, yeah, it's wrapped, it's done. It was so cathartic for me. I feel so super-spoiled for it to have been my first experience from a full-length film standpoint. From the perspective of a storyteller, it was amazing, because as a singer-songwriter, you have the opportunity to tell a story, in modern pop music, for three and a half minutes. You get to be that character for that long to try to connect with an audience. I love, from the standpoint of an actor, to really dig into a character, to get to play with more nuance and subtlety, to get to know her so much more than three and a half minutes, to know so much of her story.

As someone who's straddled the worlds of pop and country, how do you view Taylor Swift's career unfolding over the next five to 10 years?

Clearly, that young woman is navigating it all very well. She has navigated her transition from being a girl, really, when she started out, into turning into a young woman, and that is not an easy transition. She has navigated it with grace and continues to remain true to herself, continues to be able to provide music that her fan base relates to, while at the same time growing and getting new fans who not only evolve with her, but who are of her age or older. She's doing just fine, honey. She doesn't need any advice from me.

Do you have any favorite pop songs to cover these days? The last time you were here, you covered Imagine Dragons' Demons.

Without giving away all of the surprises in the show, I definitely have pop songs that I love listening to on the radio. Interestingly enough, when I came into rehearsal yesterday — I also love rap music very much, and I love Jay Z and I love Kanye — and I was saying, "Who is current that fills that same sort of space for me, that lyrically has that same type of content, that's also sonically of that nature?" I'm interested. If any of you young people out here reading this article want to pass on via Twitter or otherwise who might be good in the rap world right now, I'm looking for new inspiration.

Have you ever been asked to sing the hook on a rap song?

No, I have not. Though I would love to. That would be awesome.

That's suddenly all I want to hear right now, is you singing with, like, Kendrick Lamar.

Make it happen! Put it out in the universe!

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Jennifer Nettles

The singer performs with Brandy Clark and Ryan Kinder at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $43.75 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Jennifer Nettles talks 'Coat of Many Colors,' rap crossovers before Clearwater show 10/20/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 2:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Craft beer of the week: Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing

    Bars & Spirits

    Traditionally, a shandy, like its German cousin the radler, is a simple combination of beer and a soft drink, such as a citrus-flavored soda or fresh juice. These drinks are low-alcohol, fruity and highly refreshing, making them ideal candidates for summertime sipping.

    Justin Grant/Special to tbt*
  2. Can you feel the heat? Indie rock gifts dynamite playlist for summer

    Music & Concerts

    For most of June, there was precisely one song by a rock band in the top half of Billboard's Hot 100: Believer by Imagine Dragons. (If you're feeling generous, you could count Something Just Like This by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay, but c'mon.) On the list of America's hottest singles, there were more …

    Arcade Fire performs at the Panorama music festival on Randall Island in New York.
  3. Bar review: Sample whiskey, vodka, rum, absinthe and more at Fish Hawk Spirits in Ybor

    Bars & Spirits

    While craft brewing has firmly entrenched itself in local drinking culture, craft distilling is still a very niche market. Part of this is due to outdated and arguably unfair distilling laws, and part of it is because successful distilling can often be a lot tougher and more time-consuming than brewing up a few batches …

    For $10, you can sample four of Fish Hawk Spirits’ fruit-infused vodkas, as well as its molasses-based rums, tangerine brandy and more. Old whiskey barrels lend a rustic vibe to the Ybor shop.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 30

    Events

    Into the Woods: St. Petersburg Opera presents Stephen Sondheim's musical featuring a cast of storybook characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. 7:30 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$67. (727) 823-2040.

    The cast of the St. Petersburg Opera's production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods includes (from left) Caitlin Mesiano as Little Red Riding Hood, Caroline Tye as the Baker's Wife and Clayton Brown as the Baker. Photo by Jim Swallow.
  5. What's Dar Williams reading?

    Books

    Nightstand

    Dar Williams

    For our Independence Day Nightstand, we caught up with Williams, a singer-songwriter (The Christians and the Pagans and The Beauty of the Rain) and author who is well-versed in the highways and byways of America. By phone recently, she shared how her newest …

    Dar Williams performs at the Opening Night Party of the 2016 Greenwich International Film Festival in Greenwich, Conn. Her newest book is “What I Found in a Thousand Small Towns.”