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Everlast 

Saturday, February 3, at the Odeon.

Shortly after leaving rap/rock hybridists House of Pain in 1996, rapper/songwriter Everlast (Erik Schrody) found some inner peace and ended up a believer in the Islamic faith. That spiritual journey became fairly evident when the rapper, who had turned out a pumped-up smorgasbord of testosterone on House of Pain's Same as It Ever Was, released his second solo disc, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. Unlike his former band's music, Whitey Ford was an odd mix of acoustic blues strumming and meditative rhymes. Schrody, it seemed, had found a voice that promised to become unique and lasting. But on the last day of recording for Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, Schrody was struck down by a torn aorta and rushed into emergency heart surgery. The near-death angle catalyzed his ever-changing life and faith, and Schrody hit the road in support of Whitey Ford, making a few new friends along the way (he toured with Grammy king Carlos Santana and collaborated on a handful of tunes scattered across Santana's Supernatural and Everlast's last two albums). With near-tragedy, religious fulfillment, and a Grammy in hand for the song "Put Your Lights On" (found on Supernatural), Schrody found the time to put together his most soulful and pensive songs yet on his latest, Eat at Whitey's. While other rap/rock bridge builders wind up either opting for shtick (Beck) or faux pissed-off adolescent angst (Limp Bizkit, etc., etc.), Everlast attempts to neither merge nor connect the ideals. He just plays the blues the only way he knows how.

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