Evan in NYC!!!!
I got a chain email the other day from this band--a fan letter of some sort announcing dates for shows and all that and I was so happy to get it because I was actually thinking about interviewing Evan and presto! Wow, the mind is a powerful tool: if you think it, it will come. Anyway, so I did a phone interview with Evan and in the middle of the conversation he actually started to remember me. I went to two of his shows: one in Springfield, MA and one in Boston, MA. This guy's got thousands of fans and knows thousands of people. I feel so special that he actually (very vaguely) recalls speaking with me for 1.2 seconds...what can I say, I'm so cool.
What do you do?
I write music, I do everything around that, record music, play music, play instruments, book gigs, promote, manage, do interviews (laughing)...
Speak about your music.
Any style of music that has soul in the traditional sense: blues, Jazz, Motown, Funk brothers...
So, aside from playing with BB King himself, what other well-known musicians you play with?
Um, well, Jimmy Buffet, Buddy Guy, Peter Frampton, Susan Tedeshi.
Who is she? I never heard of her.
A pop blues singer from Cap Cod, she won a bunch of Grammies, she's the wife of Derrick Truck from the Derrick Truck Band and they're a huge Jam band.
GE Smith from the old Saturday Night Live band (1980-1990), those are the big ones.
Very cool, I heard a lot about Buddy Guy and Peter Frampton lately...what were your early influences?
Pretty broad spectrum, just a lot of genres, a big one would be Ray Charles or Jon McLaughlin, there's also Hendrix, Oddis Redding, Donny Hathoway...
Where did you get your roots and begin to play?
Big band music like Duke Ellington, Count Bassie from listening to my grandfathers' music when I was four.
And when did you learn to play?
When I was eight, I learned how to play the piano...and now guitar, piano, bass and I sing.
What are some places EGB has taken you?
England, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France...
And of all those places you've been in the world, New York's still the best, right?
Absolutely, but I think Japan would be cool, I really want to go there, I hear it's crazy.
When did your band get started?
Back in 2001, when I was in another band I decided to start my own and went to different gigs to hear different musicians play and well, the rest is history...
When do you play?
That's awesome, um, I meant when do you perform? Sorry I make this up as I go along.
It gets busy and it gets slow, could be 7 days a week or only twice a week, really depends.
Ever do weddings?
We did some for our fans.
(laughing) No, not free, that really all depends...we don't really have a standard price.
Do you currently have an agent?
I have a few I work with but I'm not exclusive with anyone.
Got a lot of groupies? I've read "I'm with the Band" by Pamela Des Bares, good book by the way.
Yeah, about two million, I never read that book, I did see "Almost Famous" though, about another famous groupie.
Ever been with a famous groupie?
No, never and I don't have any groupies either, I was just joking around.
Sure...I believe you. Oh, I saw a UTUBE clip of you and your band recently where a fan got up and proposed, it was so sweet!!! You guys are great.
That couple meet at that same venue and became our fans two years prior. The guy just called me up one day and we planned the whole thing, she never suspected a thing.
She was totally freaked out, started crying, she was in such shock.
That's so sweet, I love that stuff, that's so romantic.
Yeah, it was great.
So, Sony contacted you?
There's been interest but everything is just talk..it's just talk for now. The shape of the music business is so dyer, they're not really signing bands...
I don't want to criticize...the shape is different from the old model to continue the way it was..all the channels of money are different and it's changing the way music gets done, even the everyday person is seeing this.
Tell me a little about your audience.
We have a great fan base, I'm not waiting for anyone to sign us, we're fine either way.
Is there a typical EGB fan?
No, age demographics is just too wide. We cator to all age groups, our music appeals to a very vast population, the spectrum is just huge, our music is very unique.
Any cons you face with such a range?
The only con is having it marketed. Every musician, every group out there has a category or a fan base; Christiana has the younger girl population, etc, with us the audience is too wide, it's hard to market that.
I wanted to ask you about the hat?
Oh yeah, I love these hat questions. The hat is made by Designer New York. I wore it once back in 2003 at a gig and never took it off...
I found when I wore it, it was something that changed my personality.
Kind of like an actor, there's a difference when I'm wearing it and when I'm not wearing it.
So, when the hat does come off?
What's the pay split with your band?
All my guys work on a standard rate, it's not fickle, whatever's more gets put back in the band.
Ever play for a festival like a Guniss Fleah?
Not yet, looking forward to it though.
How many records?
There's just too many to list.
Favorite place you love to play?
Well, Boston is my home base, I love playing at the club Tommy Doyle's, the old house blues, it's a very cool vibe.
You a Red Sox fan?
Yeah, well no, I'm not really a fan, I'm just not really that into that stuff.
So, besides music, what are your other interests?
That's bad, I know, I'm just very focused. I write movies, wrote a movie for Maramax but it hasn't been released and I can't really talk about it, signed papers.
Just tell a little of the plot then.
Just a love story about a couple who keep coming back to each other and are always getting separated and this goes back and forth...
How sweet, when was the last time you wrote something other then music/songs?
Last night...working on a music business plan for a friend of mine, I do a lot of other things but ultimately it always comes back to my music.
Who you voting for?
Can't say, I never mix music with politics...but I can tell you I've had enough of the Republicans.
Been effected by the recession?
Oh sure, everyone has, I think it's all across the board.
Well, Evan, thanks a lot and hopefully I will see you in New York soon.
Power to the People!
Recent Article on Evan Goodrow:
By CLARA ROSE THORNTON Herald Correspondent - Published: April 2, 2009
Although southern Vermont has a vibrant music scene, by percentage it can be somewhat limited to similar, Eurocentric genres: folk, roots rock, hard rock. And of course, there are classic evenings of contra and New England fiddlers. It is rare that down-home, messy, slinky soul music finds its way to this trickle of the Appalachian Range.
Though Vermont is statistically both the second least populous and second least ethnically diverse state in the Union, musical energy does not have to suffer proportionately. Through fresh circulation of and open ears toward global sounds — as well as those of American pop music's back porch — Vermont can creep toward the wild diversity needed in entertainment to maintain that distinct hum of bluesy deference.
A way to begin with good marks on a "Vermont dirty soul music" report card is with the Evan Goodrow Band (EGB) this Saturday at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro. Evan Goodrow and his trio of bluesy, funky, old-soul aficionados answered a call to bring a little "shake" to the hills.
Hailed by blues-circuit partner B.B. King as "exceptional," young Boston-based guitarist and vocalist Evan Goodrow is not exactly from the Delta, but his sense of the rawness of expression at the root of soul is evident.
"I would have to say that the essence of blues and soul music is specifically about feeling," said Goodrow in an early-morning interview from his hotel room in Miami. "I think there's something genuine about it, a certain honesty in expression that makes blues and soul good. I don't always see that honesty in pop music."
As a child Goodrow was steeped in the sounds of Ray Charles and Solomon Burke, then integrated a passion for Jimi Hendrix's electric mayhem into his burgeoning style. He pursued formal jazz training in Boston, though quickly took to the streets of the college town's underground cafés and clubs instead, honing an unidentified hybrid sound that would aptly become described, simply, as modern soul.
"If you're playing to jazz or blues purists that means you're recreating," Goodrow said. "And once you're recreating, you can't be creating and recreating at the same time. When you play something that's resurfacing a style or a genre — something that's already happened — you're actually making it worse. Because you can't necessarily make it better than it was. So the only way to make it relevant is to do something else with it — try to bring it to the next step. I think you pay homage to the musicians who come before you not by recreating their work but by creating new pieces that are inspired by them."
While opening for legend Buddy Guy in Lowell, Mass., last year, EGB was "discovered" by Gail Nunziata of the Brattleboro Arts Initiative and Latchis Theater, who decided that bringing him to southern Vermont was an imperative. Currently EGB is touring as a trio with drummer Phil Antoniades and keyboardist John Cooke, downsized from their previously robust four-piece.
Goodrow feels that the stripped-down aesthetic allows for less of a veil, less cushion for extravagance. There's "an honesty. It's that thing again about blues, soul and jazz. There's something so honest in it that I love. And I think that's what makes music timeless."