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A MUSICAL JOURNEY OF LIFE, IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.
Scott Evans has come back from the dead. Twice. Not figuratively. He was literally medically dead twice before the age of 22. Certain that music is what he is meant to do, after two times dancing through the space between life and death, there are few who will doubt this sense of purpose. It is also no surprise that one who has been so close to death makes music that is so vigorously, pleadingly resolute about living life while we have it. Evans has this urgency of life latent in his work, and telegraphs this message with a sound akin to a meld of Ryan Adams, Pink Floyd, and Tom Petty.
To relay the significance of his art, and life itself, Evans has teamed with Grammy-winning producer Noel Golden (who has worked with Matchbox Twenty, Willie Nelson, Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain, and others) to produce the upcoming EP, CIVILIZED, due in early 2014.
"Noel paved the way as sort of a musical navigator,” stated Evans. “I would demo different ways of strumming or singing and he would hear something that resonated with him and plot the course accordingly. I could sense he had a vision and I was interested in seeing what a producer who had worked with so many iconic artists could do with my music."
A fated pairing (it was a right time, right place kind of situation), Evans fostered an immediate kinship with Golden and the two went to work in a Nashville studio to create CIVILIZED. A record that provides a cultural and introspective look on American life, the songs delve into Evans’ diverse and layered experiences and are brought to life by Golden’s expertise.
“The first thing I was drawn to was Scott's voice; he has a unique tone and I wanted to feature his vocals prominently,” recalled Golden. “Then, after listening to 20 or so of his songs, it was obvious that he was also a gifted songwriter with a message. Each song has something in it that most people can relate to and I wanted to help Scott tell his stories.”
The musical journey on CIVILIZED features “American Life” and “Hard To Believe,” which deliberately touch on society's daily running of the grind, as well as “Don't Give Up On Love,” which paints the various frustrations people face in life when it comes to love. Furthering this premise and charting a course through the human condition, Evans’ vocals and musicianship shine on “Civilized,” “All of This Living” (written by Donny Jones), “She Waits,” “Oxygen,” and “Interlude,” a harmonic instrumental that shows his prowess on the acoustic guitar.
"The music we ended up with was beyond anything I could have ever envisioned or planned,” stated Evans. “I felt that buzz you get when you feel like you have just created something magical and universal for the first time.”
A fixture in the music scene of Austin, TX, Evans is originally from Houston. An antique violin he found in a family attic became his first musical love until high school introduced him to bass, guitar, and hard drugs. Serious drug abuse led to his first experience with death, an overdose that left him trapped between death and life for 36 hours before he was found.
Four years later, finding his footing in life at age 21, Evans was in line for an Opera scholarship to the University of Texas in Austin. After an admissions meeting, he was visiting a friend 45 miles out of the city, when his lung collapsed. Rushed to a rural hospital, the staff administered 12 different meds before his heart stopped, forcing the use of a defibrillator.
That was just the first shock. The second, and greater, came when the doctor informed Evans that there is an 80% chance his lung would re-collapse with absolutely no warning and kill him instantly. That’s when the hammer fell.
“Hearing this at 21 changed me more than I can say. I felt I time was running out, that each day was going to be my last. A reality and fear of death set in. This awareness of my own mortality comes across more than anything in my music.”
From death came life, and from life came music. Though writing and performing was a constant, his resolve to make music that urged people to truly live while they’re alive galvanized in response to his again-renewed life. To do this, like any good musical soldier, Evans set out to connect with people through his music, building relationships at home and abroad. Just as fruitful at home as he is on the road, Evans also invests his heart, time, and money heavily in the artistic life of Austin as a sideman on guitar, violin, mandolin, and lap steel for dozens of artists in his spare time.
It’s not surprising that a man who creates and offers so much to those around him has come so close to losing it all. What was a childhood curiosity to know and learn has become a fully-grown mandate to live life completely and the pulsing messages, the earnest offerings, and the contemplative meditations have all led to this moment and point to the same truth: life precedes death. Life is the moment we have right now. It’s undeniable that death has been a key player in his music and experiences, but even with a history of death, Scott Evans’ true story is life.