Written by Eddie Ferranti
Nov 25, 2011 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe holidays bring a certain down turn usually to the vibrant music scene in Houston.  Rose & I found out that you can still backdoor into a goodie like John Evans at the Mucky Duck on “Black Friday” in 2011 !   This was a kick ass fun 2+ hours of “punkabilly rock” by a  five piece based out of Austin, Texas these days.  JE’s had a big time busy year.  Movies and TV shows have used his songs like “Country Strong” which starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, plus one song “Christmas in Texas” (which he performed this night) in the final episode of ‘Friday Night Lights’.

We first caught hold of the Evans’ train at Hayes Carll’s first famous ‘Stingaree Fest’ in Crystal Beach, Texas and have been following ever since.  Speaking of Evans’ good bud Carll,  JE co-wrote 2 songs from HC’s latest album  (including title cut KMAG YOYO) which he made an appearance with Hayes on Jay Leno.  Speaking to John, he told me how his band is being well received in two tours across Canada with Corb Lund and the infamous release of ‘Honky Tonk Blood’ movie and soundtrack was a hit in Houston for sure.

One thing I always noticed about Evans is he surrounds himself with killer players.  This outfit of Jeremy Bo (10 years with Rusty Weir)  on skins, dual hot lead guitar jammers Billy Beason (steel also) and Josh Owen, plus stand out slappin’ the sheet out of his bass Jake “Sidecar” Marchese really knows how to bring home the bacon!   JE has 4 albums to his credit and he spanned them all this evening.   NON-STOP tunes may I add, which was very refreshing.   Highlights were many and the pace furious on such standouts as “Midnight Train”, “Name in Chalk”,   killer crooner rock style on “Cold Beer to Broken Hearts”,  “I Still Taste Your Kisses”, scruffy Evans turnin’ up the heat on stand out favorite “Pasa-Get-Down-Dena”, and then smoothin’ it out with “Lovesick Fool”!

ImageA quality I’ve gotten to dig about this march to his own drum cat is he does not really care what you think of him or what to call his style of music-just have fun and enjoy the ride while you’re here type of attitude.  To say he is a “tongue-in-cheek” fellow was never brought home better than when JE expressed his love for the Waffle House and DID the jingle for their commercial!   Look it up on You Tube and you’ll see what I mean!   Evans’ tale of gettin’ a ticket for going 35 in a 20 zone on “Too Slow Blues” was epic.

His lyrics and delivery crack me up with lines like “She’s under my skin like a new tattoo”, “Love don’t know my name and don’t come my way”, “I’ve seen a little bit of me in you”, “Don’t need two mama’s in my life”,  and “A side of Jack Daniels makes my guitar slide”!  John’s down to earth views of life thru long days on the road, pitfalls of loves made and lost along the way, and throwback homages to in- your- mug toe tappin’ honky tonk sound never gets old with this reviewer.  His combination of musical genres spawns a likable tune for just about everybody to relate to.  This night left the packed Duck crowd very exhausted and pleased one and all.

ImageDude has scored a residency slot at the Saxon Pub in Austin following the Resentments every Sunday (10pm) and will be bonding with ‘Honky Tonk Blood’ brothers Johnny Falstaff and Hank Schyma @ Heights Live in Houston 12/16/11 !  He hopes to have a new album out in April of next year.  Get on out and catch this guy and tell him his “Chinese Bud” Edge said HIGH!    I bet ya get one of those killer JE sly grins when he hears that inside joke for sure…………..God Bless and have a great HOLIDAZE!