Andy Evans looks an unassuming sort of guy, with his checked shirt and cute little hat, but when he opens his mouth to sing, a soulful, bluesy voice surprises. Having previously fronted the blues/rock band, Andy Evans & The Brotherhood, he has now laid down nine self-penned tracks for his debut solo album, titled “Miracle” (to be released 26th January, 2016).
Andy grew up in Virginia but is based in Texas. Inspired by listening to the diverse music he heard growing up, including rock, soul, gospel and country, he learned to play the bass guitar and guitar. With Texan studio musicians contributing subtle flair, it’s Andy’s shimmering, soulful guitar playing that forms the backbone of these songs. Good straightforward lyrics tell how he celebrates, laments and is sometimes hurt by love.
The first track, suitably called “Intro”, is a strange one, given what follows. As if it’s been parachuted in from some prog rock record, but lasting a mere 46 seconds, distorted sounds and muffled vocals offer an intriguing beginning. Soul and blues are what lie at the heart of the rest. Guitar solos add so much to the whole, bringing a bluesy edge or more of a rock/blues dimension, as on the excellent “Judas”, the band sounding really tight. What sounds like a swelling Hammond organ adds another angle on “Elemental” and “Make It”. “Shape of Love” is something of a departure, with funky horns and guitar mixed with the upbeat sounds of good-time New Orleans-style jazz.
I’ve got a feeling this is just the beginning for this artist. He won’t be boxed in to genre-defining or whatever happens to be fashionable, and he’s not afraid to experiment and push himself. All the elements are there for his song writing to grow, but it’s his musicianship that impresses the most.