Interview with the Landon Evans Band

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Last week I got the opportunity to meet with Landon and Josh, two members of the Landon Evans Band, at the Dixie Chicken. We talked music, A&M, and their performance coming up at the Grand Stafford Theater for First Friday.

I wanted to share, in a paraphrased, interview format, all that they had to share.


“How did you guys all meet and get your start as the Landon Evans Band?”

Landon went on to describe the unique path the band has taken to get to where they are today. Starting with himself, Landon’s career in music has been a fairly recent one. He didn’t start playing guitar until he was 17 and didn’t actually perform for anyone until he was a freshman in college. They encouraged him to reach out and play for bigger audiences and from there his success happened quickly and unexpectedly. Landon went on to describe how the original band was a 4 piece but is now a 5 piece band. In addition, over 20 people have been in the band before! Of the current members, Landon and Sam have been in the band the longest. Josh later joined the band through Sam but had heard of the band before through prior shows and running merchandise for them. Robert and Eric are the newest band members, joining about 3 months ago.

“I noticed the band has a lot of A&M and B/CS references in the song lyrics. Is the songwriting process mostly a reflection of your experiences here at A&M?” 

Landon explained how he is the main lyricist for the Landon Evans Band. He said although the lyrics are somewhat a reflection on his experiences, he wants the songs to be “relatable and identifiable for everyone.” The songs use a lot of local and Aggie references so audiences in the B/CS area and even Aggies across Texas can enjoy the music even more. Additionally, while some of the lyrics are a narrative of Landon’s personal experiences, he draws some inspiration from the lives of his friends, as well. The stories his friends will describe to him sometimes help with ideas for lyrics and Landon uses them as inspiration. Something Landon said that I particularly was intrigued by was that “songwriting can be like a dreaming…you get the opportunity to live another life through the lyrics.”

“Are you guys currently working on a new album?” 

Landon and Josh said they are in the process of getting a new album started right now! They are currently working to raise the money and find a studio that’ll help them record. For their first album, the Tate Music Group paid for production of their album for them. They enjoyed the sound and young energy the Landon Evans Band brought so they offered the band an opportunity to come to Oklahoma for 4 days and record an album. The band has done a lot of reflecting on this experience and knows how they want the process to go in order to get their second album made and out for audiences to hear. Additionally, Landon and Josh added that they are considering re-doing some of the songs off their first album plus adding new songs for album #2.

“Since most of you are students, what do future plans look like for the band post-graduation?”

Landon starts out by saying he “wants to give the band to have the best chance to be successful.” He is working hard to make the band grow and find new opportunities for them but isn’t too quick to put all his eggs in one basket. Personally, he thinks the next album will help determine the future of the band. Lastly, him and Josh agree that no matter what happens, all the members of the band plan on continuing their involvement with music and the music industry.

“What feelings do have towards playing at GST for First Friday?! Nervous? Excited?”

If you didn’t already know, the Landon Evans Band has played at the Grand Stafford before where they opened for country artist, Kim Dunn. Landon and Josh express how they’re very excited to play at GST as it’s always a different kind of crowd that really appreciates the music. They’ve played in many dance halls before or for audiences that like hearing covers of old, 80s country songs. They enjoy the Stafford because it’s a diverse crowd but everyone in the audience is there for the music and lyrics.

“What can new listeners expect from not only your performance at First Friday, but from your music as a whole?”

Landon says expect to hear some real country music. Their sound is not what you’d hear when you turn on the Top 40 Country radio station, it’s a more old-fashioned, honky-tonk sound. What makes their sound particularly unique is the energy they bring to a traditional music genre. They added that while it’s difficult to evaluate their own music, they’ve typically heard listeners compare their sound to Jason Boland and Max Stallings.


It was great to meet with Landon and Josh of the Landon Evans Band! Through listening to them talk and describe the band, you can easily sense how humbled they are for this journey. They genuinely enjoy performing and care about the audience and what they want to hear. You all are going to love listening to this band!

Make sure to come to the Grand Stafford Theater this Friday, October 7th, for a FREE performance from the Landon Evans Band and openers The New Offenders and The Cover Letter. Doors open at 7pm and the music starts at 8pm. Click here for more details.

 

Artist Spotlight: Matt Wertz with CAPPA and Aaron Krause

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Matt Wertz, self-made singer/songwriter, is an artist you can’t help but admire as he strives to push himself out of his comfort zone. His love for music started to flourish in his college years and his ambitions ended up pushing him to Nashville post-graduation where his fan base began to grow. He went from performing at Young Life camps with only one album under his belt, to touring with huge artists such as Jason Mraz, Ben Rector, Maroon 5, Parachute, and Gavin Degraw.

What I thought was especially interesting about Matt, is that after over a decade of producing albums with a sort of acoustic but pop feel, he decides to mix it up. He quotes that, “I realized I’d been making records in the same geographic area, and I wanted to get away from that comfort zone. I personally was needing a fresh approach….L.A. is very much about what’s happening now. I wanted to see how my music fit into that space.”

After several months writing songs in L.A., Matt is proud to bring his fans his new album “Gun Shy”. In this album he mixes the pop sounds he’s used to with his prior work, to synthesized R&B beats that bring a sound that sounds both old and nostalgic at the same time. This album will grab your attention both physically with the dance beat rhythms and emotionally with his lyrics that speak of love and new possibility.


 

Joining Matt Wertz on September 14th, will be young electronic/pop artist, CAPPA. Also calling Nashville her home, CAPPA has been making music since 2009 with her first album, “You Never Got Me”. A couple years later she started moving from just pop to a slightly more electronic pop sound with “My Heart is Beating Again”.

Like Matt, she has moved in a new direction with the release of her new debut EP out last spring. Fan favorite was the song, “Hush” feat. Almighty Chief. If you like girl powerhouse acts such as HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Halsey, then you’re going to love CAPPA!

You can look forward to the release of her newest EP, “Queen of Hearts” available on Sept. 16th.


 

Also on tour with Matt Wertz is pop singer/songwriter Aaron Krause. Aaron is not only a talented singer but a multi-instrumentalist and producer, as well.

His most recent EP, “Jade” has the synth-pop style of artists like M83 and The Weeknd and his new single “Thinking Bout You” comes out September 23rd.

Aaron quotes, “I love music that’s so vivid, you can almost see things when you listen. Music that takes you somewhere. Music that can really move you.”

 

You can see these three emerging artists live at the Grand Stafford Theater on September 14th. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Get your tickets now here for only $16.

First Friday with Chapter:SOUL

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If you’re looking for a performance with lots of energy and a big sound, then Chapter:SOUL is the band to see! Chapter:SOUL calls New Orleans, Louisiana home and it’s where the funk/soul band originally came together. Band members are Calvin Johnson, the band leader on saxophone, and famous sousaphonist, Kirk Joseph, accompanied by Kashona Bailey on keys.

Calvin Johnson’s background is one to praise as he’s performed, toured, and recorded with legendary musicians Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr., Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to name a few. He comes from a family with extensive musical talent which would, in-part, explain why he fell in love with music. He has a degree in business from the University of New Orleans and is a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).

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Calvin met Kirk Joseph through touring with Kirk’s band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Kirk played sousaphone for the band and is one of the founding members of the band, as well. It was his conversations with Calvin that led them to want to create their own band; something new and different from the rest of the New Orleans music scene. Kirk is often commended for playing a hug role in establishing the modern New Orleans  jazz band sound that combines traditional jazz and soul influences with a marching band culture.

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If you want to know more about this group, watch this interview with Calvin and Kirk as they discuss their journey creating Chapter:SOUL.

There is something truly unique about this group as they blend old-school horn techniques in a modern style sound. Crowds love watching this trio perform and you’ll have fun listening to their FREE, Friday night concert too! The show is August 5th celebrating the first Friday of the month in the Downtown Bryan celebration. Doors open at 7 PM and the music starts at 8 PM. Come join us!

Artist Spotlight: Max Stalling with Courtney Patton

Country singer/songwriter, Max Stalling, is a native Texan and, even better, a former Aggie. Whoop! While he used to work in the corporate world full time, his love for song writing and performing took over and he eventually became a full time musician instead. His songwriting turned into recording albums and this was so successful that he started touring with a full back-up band. He has a relaxed honky-tonk style sound and receives continuous praise for his imaginative lyrics.

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Max Stalling plays an incredible 150 shows a year and is on his third year of a Budweiser sponsorship. To add to his honors, he has also received a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in Corpus Christi, Texas.

His most recent album, Home to You (2010) was produced by Grammy winner Lloyd Maines and it earned both a Best Album and Best Male Vocal nomination for the 2011 Lonestar Music Awards. In addition to Home to You, Stalling also has albums Topaz City (2008), Comfort In the Curves (1997), Wide Afternoon (2000), and One of the Ways (2002).


 

Joining Max Stalling at the Grand Stafford will also be soulful country musician, Courtney Patton. She has always been passionate about writing and performing and has been working hard to build a career out of her love of music. Her sound is influenced by her favorite musicians Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and her lyrics mostly speak about “heartache, longing, and love”.

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Her first record Triggering A Flood (2013) landed her regional buzz and her most recent record So This Is Life (2015) is taking her to new heights. In fact, she has taken tours through the U.S., Europe, and Canada to spread her Texas twang voice.

 

Both of these artists give you that sort of summer-livin’ feel when you hear them sing and seeing them perform makes for a fun night out. We are fortunate enough to have them at the Grand Stafford July 29th at 8pm. To learn more and buy tickets now please click here.

 

Choro Das Três Returns to Grand Stafford Theater!

Choro Das Três  is unique in that they are a family based band from São Paulo, Brazil. Each sister plays a different instrument- Corina on the flute, Lia on the 7-string acoustic guitar, and Elisa who plays a variety of instruments such as the mandolin, piano, clarinet, and banjo. They are joined by their father, Eduardo, who plays the pandeiro.

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What is truly incredible about this group is that they started making music in 2002 when the sisters were only 14, 12, and 9 years old. While they were very young at the time, they found passion in playing Choro-style music, an instrumental music genre that emerged in Brazil in the 19th century. Since then, they have gained so much popularity that they are now recognized professionally at an international level.

In 2002, they played for more than one million people during a performance at Reveillon at Paulista Avenue, a New Years Eve Party in São Paulo. In 2003, the girls of Choro Das Três won the championship at the Adoniran Barbosa Festival, an annual music competition in São Paulo that about 5,000 public schools participated in. In addition to these huge successes, they also had the honor of playing for Brazilian politicians, performing at the São Paulo Governors Palace several times, and performing in concerts and workshops all over Brazil, USA, Mexico, and France.

2008 was a pivotal year for the group with the release of their first CD, Meu Brasil Brasileiro, entirely recorded and produced by the sisters. The CD was released by a major recording company in Brazil and received glowing reviews from music critics for providing a fun way of introducing the public to the world of Choro music. In fact, the album earned the Best Popular Music of 2008 Award, by the Paulista Association of Critics of Art- the first time in 50 years it was given to a group of instrumental music. Since then, they have released four more albums and they have participated in interviews on popular talk shows on TV channels such as Globo, Gazeta, SBT, Rede Vida, Multishow, Globo News.

You can have the opportunity to listen to this internationally successful, family band this Saturday, July 16th at the Grand Stafford Theater. Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Buy them now today here!

KEOS LoneStar Music Series Presents Walt Wilkins & Tina Mitchell Wilkins with Ben Morris & the Great American Boxcar Chorus

KEOS 89.1 FM is a popular community radio station for the Brazos Valley. Each year, they host an event called the LoneStar Music Series that celebrates community and Texas music. The concert series not only aims to unite the community together through music, but also to educate the public about Texas-based musicians, singers, and songwriters. Last year, the Lone Start Music Series featured artists Sam Baker, Carrie Elkins, and Chip Dolan. This year, they are proud to bring Walt Wilkins, Tina Mitchell Wilkins, and Ben Morris and the Great American Boxcar Chorus to the Grand Stafford Theater and we are excited to have them! Additionally, this concert will celebrate the end of KEOS’s pledge drive by giving the option for donations to be made when purchasing tickets for this event.

Here is a little more information on the exciting music you can expect to see at this event:

Walt Wilkins is a well-known singer, writer, and producer of country and blue grass music. He has impressed audiences not only as an independent artist, but with band, The Mystiqueros ,and his wife, Tina Mitchell Wilkins. Wilkins is a natural songwriter and many people are impressed with his honest and personable lyrics. Wilkin says “I write about life because I am inspired by it. There’s always something going on. We’re all tangled up with different things, when really, we all hurt and love in the same way.”

Tina Mitchell Wilkins, wife of Walt Wilkins, is an inspiring singer/songwriter and also performs with band, The Mystiqueros. Although her career began in Los Angles and Nashville performing, she has developed a great reputation in Texas and has a huge fan-base here now Her first album “Morning Glory” features original songs as well as her take on songs from other Texas and Tennessee artists. She also released solo record “Espiritu Santo Bay” in 2005. Fans describe Tina as a genuine person with a love for life which is shown through her music.

College Station-based band, Ben Morris & the Great American Boxcar Chorus, are in their early years of performing, but have already made it around Texas with over 150 gigs. Their music combines so many different elements that it’s almost difficult to put their sound into words. Some songs have more of a country bar-band feel, some have an indie/rock feel, and others are very lyrically catchy. They’ve released four records: The Other Side of Broken (2007), The Ballad of Billy Clyde (2008), Underground Railroad (2009), and There is No Fun in Funeral (2011).

 

The KEOS LoneStar Music Series will be at the Grand Stafford Theater on Friday, June 24th. Doors open at 7pm and the music begins at 8pm. Don’t miss out on this great community event to support a radio station we love to listen to!

 

You can buy tickets and make donations here.