Written by Jim G. Miller Photograph by Jen Heimbaugh
I first saw Adam Faucett perform at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock with another celebrated musician and songwriter named Damien Jurado. Wearing small round prescription sunglasses Faucett has the quiet demeanor of a folk genius. Through his songs he delivers both wondrous and imaginative musings on Central Arkansas and whatever else his imagination cares to regale listeners with. The societal commentary that’s especially unique to his experiences is voiced in Faucett’s signature bellow. With a somber and Southern Gothic finesse to many of his best songs Faucett reflects on his youth growing up in areas like Sparkman and Benton, both cities featured in songs on the most recent album, Blind Water Finds Blind Water.
Just as rewarding of a listen as his first album, Blind Water picks up further and delves deeper into the vessel of Faucett’s mind and the small facts and fictions conveyed by his music. Faucett’s brand of folk blends characters into a southern backdrop that rests between the raw streets and unrefined rural landscapes of Arkansas. “I don’t try to sound Americana. I play the guitar like that because that’s just how I play it and it just makes the chords sound less boring,” explains Faucett. “Lyrically I’m not trying to be country. I grew up on the freeway as a mystified kid and everything was about ghosts and spirits. I don’t care about the patriotic white South, but it plays into it. I was raised here and generations of my family are here. I grew up fishing, riding four wheelers and going to churches that were a step away from breaking out the snakes.”
Faucett’s throat-ringing holler fills up a room and demands attention from even the most oblivious member of the audience. Wearing a large beard that customarily covers his entire face Faucett has a quiet and calm presence upon meeting him. But when he erupts with song he truly becomes a listening spectacle. It is his modest stage presence and unequivocal songwriting ability that enlightens those to his genius like moths to a summer flame.
With pockets of support now throughout the country Faucett plays a uniquely genuine and homespun style of music that is very Arkansas at its roots. His dialect and the background of his song writing translates easily to Arkansas natives, but it has taken him quite some time to gain the support that he now has. “I’ve played to the floor or to peoples backs even in places like White Water Tavern for a lot of years before people started taking notice,” says Faucett.
“It took me about six years for people to really start listening to me—the people who are now my biggest supporters wouldn’t give me the time of day.They’d keep booking me because I at least had enough friends who would come and drink beer,” says Faucett.
Living in Little Rock, Faucett is originally from Russellville and experienced a brief stint in Hot Springs where much of Blind Water was written before globetrotting around some of the best venues in Arkansas and the rest of the world. Playing occasionally as a solo artist he also travels with his band, the Tall Grass, and has enjoyed sharing the stage with many talented artists and musicians such as Lucero, Chuck Ragan, and Jason Isbell. Faucett will be touring throughout the summer with King Buzzo, guitarist for the Melvins, and will be returning to Arkansas sometime mid-August.
Recently listed as one of the top southern recording artists to be listened to by Southern Living magazine Faucett has been showered with recognition and praise by Paste magazine and numerous other media outlets. Critics and fellow musicians have praised his abilities throughout the course of his solo career, which began only about seven years ago. Faucett’s recent praise and esteem as of late has not made him pretentious, it has simply led to him having more tour dates.
You’ll see him bar side or center stage at just as many local Arkansas venues and clubs — sharing thoughts and telling stories — with his wailing soulful voice. A twinge of country and a touch of blues, his Americana folk musings and guitar strumming emanate something that is both original and uniquely Arkansas.
Faucett strums along to well-written songs that are played to the tune of a blissful harmony. Ciphered through a warm and colloquial voice, like many great singer- songwriters he takes you by surprise if you have not been fortunate enough to hear him. It’s perhaps like hearing the echo of a fierce balladeer while traveling through the hillsides and forests of Arkansas. Drudging up the thought of a lost love or communicating a devalued sense of purpose. It is a voice of passion only divulged in the echoing of his soul.
Faucett leaves tendrils of thoughtful homespun melodies that convey the same type of heartfelt and provocative beauty that could only otherwise be illustrated by the best imaginations born from somewhere beautiful.