August 21, 2011
By Giovanni Gallucci
Singer Songwriter Comes Full Circle with TV Show Troubadour Tx
Dallas-based producer/singer/songwriter Cary Pierce, half of the acoustic pop duo Jackopierce stopped by the Troubadour, TX Studios to entertain an appreciative crowd at a private event in Dallas on a hot August night last week.
Pierce, an SMU alum, founded the alternative rock band with fellow musician Jack O'Neill while both were attending Southern Methodist University as theater majors. Jackopierce was signed by A&M Records, and for the next ten years, both as a label act and independent artist, toured the world with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Alanis Morissette and Semisonic,
The pair ended their decade-long association in 1997 with a sold-out farewell tour, and the release of Decade, a retrospective double-CD that included new and live material. After the breakup, Pierce began a solo career and continued to play across the United States, opening for John Mayer, Matchbox Twenty, Vertical Horizon, Mat Kearney, Lyle Lovett, No Doubt, Collective Soul, and Train. He released four solo discs and created his own label, Foreverything Records. The musician also began producing artist. In the past he has worked with Graham Colton, Jack Ingram, Creed Williams and others.
Jackopierce reunited for sold-out shows in Dallas, Austin and Houston in November 2002. Since then they have continued to play 15–20 shows a year. A new studio CD, Promise of Summer, was released in September 2008. Several live albums were released in 2009 and 2010 including Mile High: Live from the Soiled Dove in Denver and Live from Atlanta as well as Acoustic Summer. Jackopierce is currently working on a new album to be released in late 2011. The improbable staying power of the act has even surprised them 23 years later.
"Gratitude," replied Pierce simply. "We had that very same attitude from the very beginning. Sometimes I go back and listen to the older albums and just shake my head. Our label paid us hundreds of thousands of dollars to record our music, then go on the road and promote it. Frankly, I don't know why they did. We didn't appreciate it. We took it all for granted. It's cliché, but you really don't know what you have until it's all gone."
Pierce acknowledged that years of playing alongside major recording acts like Jewel, Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews as well as huge festivals, had gone to their heads. "At some point," he said, "we just sort of thought, 'Oh yeah, we deserve that. It should keep coming.'"
The end of Jackopierce, says Pierce, was akin to a car stopping while the body was still traveling at 65 miles an hour through the windshield. It was a big wake up call. Even today, when the musician plays a local show, he's blown away by the crowds he draw.
"One of our destination shows, we had a dinner and everybody got a picture taken for a record. And I'm looking through those pictures and realize, "I don't know any of these people! That's awesome!"
Catch Cary on the docu-reality television series, Troubadour Tx, premiering next month in Dallas on CBS.
Troubadour TX is a one-hour episode television series following talented singer songwriters as they chase their dreams across the Lone Star State. The Dallas-based show will offer an inside look into the lives of the singers and songwriters traveling the Texas highways. It is not a competition show, but rather a showcase of all that is great about Texas music from blues and gospel to rock and country.