Interview with Denver Evans

Interview with Denver Evans in Gatlinburg TN

When and why did you want to become a singer
songwriter?

With
my father having his own Country band, I grew up around that environment. He is
the reason I got into music, singing and eventually songwriting. I started
learning to play piano by ear when I was twelve years old and became a member
in his band when I was thirteen.

How long did you play in your father’s band?

Close
to seven years, I guess. When I turned twenty-one, I decided I wanted to take
my music career farther by being a backing musician for road bands.

Did you have a band of your own?

Yes, I
started my own band in 2001 after playing the keyboard and singing harmony for
other artists. I did that from 2001 until about 2012.

Did you travel a lot then?

Oh
yes, we did a lot of traveling. We spent long hours going back and forth from
one show to the next.

What was the first song you wrote?

The
very first song I wrote was called “Don’t walk Away”. I wrote that when I was
about 15 or 16 years old and I still need to get it recorded.

What was the first CD?

I
haven’t actually recorded a full CD yet, my latest single out is a song I wrote
called “Always be her Man”. I recorded a few other songs early on but it was
not put out to the public.

What is the reason for that:

I
guess for several different reasons. Being on the road, I wasn’t making enough
money to record and promote a full cd. Some of the songs I recorded early on, I
just felt I wasn’t seasoned enough. I still had a lot of living to do to sing
those songs from the heart.

How many singles do you have?

I have
two singles out right now and I’m getting ready to start on another one.

What influenced you most musically?

My
Dad, Randy Evans was my biggest influence. But I had a lot of other influences,
as well. I grew up on George Jones, Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck and loved
it. I’ve also been influenced a lot by 80’s artists like T.G. Sheppard, Ronnie Millsap
and Mickey Gilley.

Do you have a favorite song?

That
would-be kind of tough, I have a lot of favorite songs, as soon as I name one,
I’ll think of another one and the list would go on and on.

How do you choose a song for recording?

So far,
all of the songs I have recorded have been my own original songs. I sing them
live in my shows to get feedback from the audience. I also record videos of my
original music from time to time and post them on social media to get feedback.
That really helps in deciding what song to record next.

When you write a song, do you write from experience,
from things in life?

Yes,
it may be from some experiences, or from something someone else went thru. It
has to hit me so I feel I can write about it.

You had something going on with your single “Always be
her Man”, what was it?

Last
year I was in a contest called Nash Next. It is a nationwide contest for a
major label record deal. I sent in my song “Always be her Man” to enter. We
made it to the semi-finals, which I thought was pretty good.

What do you think of today’s music industry?

I
think it is very political. You have to jump through a lot of hoops and rub
elbows with the right people to get to where you want to be. I’ve never been
very good at doing that.

What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

I hope
to keep making music and get it out to people who enjoy what I do. That’s what
really makes me happy, with or without a major label record deal. The good
thing is, with social media and things like that, it is a lot easier these days
for independent artists to be able to reach new fans.

Are you only playing here at Tom’s Back Alley Grill or
do you play elsewhere also?

Mostly
here at Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill, they keep me busy performing two to
three nights a week. They treat me great and I feel like this
is my home base. Every now and then I’ll do some other shows, especially during
the winter when the tourist season slows down. I have a family, so it is very
important to me to spend quality time with them.

What would be the message that you would like to give
to the people?

If you
believe in yourself, and you believe that what you’re doing is something
worthwhile and you love it, then keep pursuing it. You’re going to have
downfalls along the way, but if you keep going, you will eventually get to the
point where you can say, wow I can’t believe I made it this far. So my message
would be, don’t ever give up on your dreams.

 Heidi Duss  /  Foto: Marco Duss for Country Music News International

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