This self-titled album has been a process, hasn’t it?
Mitchel Evan: Well, the making of every album is a process of some sort, but yes – making this album took longer than most and longer than I would like to spend on one record again.
Looking at the songs and when they were released it appears this is almost put together as a life compilation. Tell us the story.
Mitchel Evan: Sure, I suppose this album could be looked at as a “life compilation” in the sense that it is a series of events that took place in my life that were compiled into stories and then those stories were turned into songs. The record tells the story better than I could put into words here, but I refer to this record as an auto-biographical concept album. It’s really just a memoir told through songs. Specifically, it tells the story of my life and relationships in Colorado, 2017-2018.
From “Cancel Out The Noise” to “Leeches” and “Baby Go Back to Bed” it would be hard to place your musical style into a particular folder wouldn’t you say?
Mitchel Evan: I’m not sure I would say it’s hard to classify or categorize my music… It’s not like I’m doing anything that’s never been done before or creating an entirely new genre or anything. I’m not that original. I don’t set out to write in any particular style or genre. I’m not a purist by any means and have no loyalty to any particular discipline. When I am writing, I simply listen to the song and it presents itself to me the way that it does. I just try not to question it. I do think that every song on this album can fit under the “Americana” umbrella, which is all inclusive of all American musical styles: folk, country, the blues, rock n’ roll, R&B, indie-rock, etc. I’m pretty sure the whole record can fall into one of those categories.
Are you good with not being placed in a nook?
Mitchel Evan: Yes, I don’t really care too much for nook’s… I’m actually pretty claustrophobic and don’t like to be boxed into tightly confined spaces, whether that is physically, emotionally or creatively. Most of my favorite artists don’t care about genre or style. So why should I? It’s everyone else’s job to judge and label my art, not my own.
You have performed and worked with some very well-known artists over the years. What have you shared with some of them that perhaps has given you pause to think about the music you write?
Mitchel Evan: Have I? Well, I did work with The Swampers at FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals years ago. I was a 21 year old kid at the time and was just learning how to record and make real records. What that experience taught me is that records can be made in a lot of different ways. It also taught me that I am not always going to be the smartest, most talented or experienced person in the room, and that’s a good thing. I have opened for a few people I respect like David Ramirez and Leif Volebekk, but I’m not sure what I took away from those experiences other than observing the way that those artists work and perform.
Do you have a favorite time of day or a special room or even an instrument that you employ as your writing must-have tool?
Mitchel Evan: I have learned to be adaptable with writing, because circumstances aren’t always going to be ideal and we can’t always control our environment. I like to write in the morning, but I also like to write at night. I like to be alone in my office or studio when writing, but sometimes I need to go for a walk to get the words flowing. I usually grab the guitar first but I also enjoy writing on the piano and banjo. My process for songwriting changes from day to day, song to song and also over time.
Singer-songwriters, those who tell stories with their music. Where do you see you, them in this modern day world?
Mitchel Evan: I see singer-songwriters in the same position today as they have always been. We carry the torch to the next generation of songwriters and storytellers, comedians and performers, writers and poets and singers and art freaks and weirdos and activists and whistle blowers. The job of the songwriter is to write songs. That hasn’t changed a bit and I hope it never does. The details and the format may change. The way the songs are listened to and consumed is changing all the time. I think the role of the listener changes more overtime than the role of the songwriter. At the end of the day, hopefully, all I’m doing is telling my experience through song and, in some small way, speaking to the greater truth of our existence and what it means to be a human being living on planet Earth in this day and age.
Do you have a favorite song from this collection yourself Mitchel?
Mitchel Evan: It has changed overtime. And what’s my favorite song versus what’s my favorite track or favorite recording are different questions. But purely songwise speaking, right now… I think my favorite song is either “Work Of Art” or “Everything To Nothing”. Ask me tomorrow and it will probably be something else.
In a sea of time, Mitchel, where are you going next with your music?
Mitchel Evan: I plan to perform this album and tour it as much as I can over the next year, but I also have plans to record two new records in 2021 – one mostly acoustic “solo” record and one electric, full band record. Also, I’ve got another album in the works with a new project I’m starting. So that’s three albums on the horizon this year.
Oh, we did notice something about Folk Farm recently, please tell us about it.
Mitchel Evan: The Folk Farm is a not-for-profit independent house concert series in Goochland, Virginia (20 miles west of Richmond) that is dedicated to curating meaningful concerts to showcase Folk artists and share their music and stories with our community in the Richmond area and beyond. I founded The Folk Farm in 2019 and currently manage and operate it with my partner, Emma Turns. The Folk Farm season runs about one show a month between April and October. The season ends around the Autumnal Equinox and is punctuated by our annual, miniature festival, The Folk Farm Fest. This is our third season running.
Thank you for your time Mitchel and for your music!
Check out some of Mitchel Evan’s video’s from his album: