By Lisa Morgan
Eight self-produced albums and several self-booked and self-promoted tours later, Gene Evaro Jr. and his road tested tribe of troubadours have seen their efforts pay off in a big way. While recently touring in support of their newest album, Too Good to Believe, the band enjoyed smashing debuts at the Hangtown Music Festival as well as in San Francisco. They played to a packed house in Santa Barbara’s beloved SOhO venue, and opened for bay-area band, Con Brio, in Sacramento and Chico. After playing more than a dozen shows throughout LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Chico, Tahoe and Nashville, Evaro and band returned home for a few weeks, but not without walking away with booking representation from Paradigm Talent Agency. Gene Evaro Jr. will be added to Paradigm Talent Agency’s deep list of artists and bands that include The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, NOFX, Andy Grammer, Dave Matthews Band, Aerosmith and more. With much to celebrate, Gene Evaro Jr. and band will be hosting a Joshua Tree New Year’s Eve Party, giving us all one more time to see them perform live before they head back out to a world that will most assuredly embrace them and their music.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I reached out the Evaro to talk about his band playing the 2015 NAMM Show after winning a national competition sponsored by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Evaro had shared that he found the contest on Sonic Bids, and sent in an EPK, two songs, and his last $60 bucks. “We were either going to spend it on food or this,” he’d told me. “We went on our intuitive instincts and it paid off. The whole process is really about breaking down boundaries and insecurities. It’s so comfortable to say; ‘No.’ There’s nothing to do after that. When you say, ‘Yes,’ it takes more work. You start pushing down barriers and opening doors that are right in front of you really. It came down to this: Do we want the money or the opportunity.”
Evaro had other words of advice that ring loud and true in light of the bands newest opportunity. “Keep adding new colors to your palette. Keep looking at things differently. Keep creating. Sticking to the same 10 songs and really plugging those may make sense from a marketing standpoint. But if you’re going to play those same 10 songs for a year straight, you’re going to get really sick of them. I have the most fun when I’m experimenting and showing people new songs. I definitely love it when people are singing along; that’s the best. But there’s a healthy balance between the past and the present.” Then he added with a smile, “We at least want to keep it exciting so everybody comes to these rehearsals that nobody’s getting paid for.”
The band is home for a few weeks and back in the studio but will be taking time out to celebrate with a New Year’s Eve party at the Blak Box Theater in Joshua Tree. “We want to celebrate the year with everyone that helped us get here so far!” The all-ages funky dance party will include a live set from Gene Evaro Jr. and band who have much to celebrate. “2017 is uncharted territory is all I can say,” shared Evaro.
Along with an epic party launching the new year, friends and fans can look forward to the release of a brand new music video for the song, “California Is Burning,” which is about recognizing the beauty within a crazy, spinning, dynamic, heartbroken, yet passionate life,” shared Evaro. “It references of what it was like to have strangers working at the hospital tell me that I wasn’t going to see my sister, Natalie, again. The song mentions apparitions of seeing my sister in the crowds of our shows, and hearing her laughing from the crowd…feeling her spirit through the lives of other people. “California Is Burning” is an anthem dedicated to the chaotic beauty of being alive, eventually learning to surrender, and then allowing it to devour you in its inevitable trans-formative destruction. Let it burn!”
There are a limited number of tickets still available for the band’s New Year’s Eve Party, and the event is likely to sell out. Tickets may be purchased online at geneevarojr.com/new-years-ticket. Doors open at 9 p.m. The show starts at 10 p.m. with the “funky dance party” going on until 12:30 a.m. The Blak Box Theater located behind the Hi-Desert Cultural Center will have a bar to buy drinks from with proper I.D. and wrist band. No outside alcohol will be permitted. The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is located at 61231 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree.
Follow Gene Evaro Jr. at geneevarojr.com