Published on September 09, 2013
Bob Evans, an award winning Canadian guitarist, will be playing at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Sept. 22.
Published on September 09, 2013
Through some promotional photos, Bob Evans, who will be playing at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Sept. 22, shows his music isn't just for guitar geeks.
He will be showing off his unique guitar style.
Bob Evans, an award winning Canadian guitarist, will be performing at he E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Sept. 22.
“I haven’t been (to Prince Albert) before,” Evans said. “This will be my first time there.”
Since Evans has been hoping to play in the city for a while, when the Rawlinson Centre asked him to be part of their fall series, he jumped at the chance.
“When they called to ask me to come up as part of the series, it just worked out great,” Evans said. “For me, it is the chance to play for a new audience. I’ve also heard great things about the facility that they have there. That is always nice too to get into a new performing venue, especially when it is a new crowd and that.”
Evans, who won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Kansas and the Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, plays a mix of different materials and styles on his guitar.
“The backbone of it is my real passion is solo guitar music,” Evans said. “The particular style I play is called fingerstyle.”
There are two different ways to play guitar -- fingerstyle or using a pick.
“You can use a pick, that you see a lot of people doing when they are strumming and playing electric guitar and things like that -- if you are playing melody lines, that lets you pick one note at a time,” Evans explained. “Finger style, you use all the fingers of your right hand to pluck all the strings. Like a piano, that lets you do two or three things at once on the guitar. You can sort of be your own bass guitar player, lead guitar and rhythm guitar player.”
He said fingerpicking opens up a bunch of possibilities for the guitar as a solo instrument.
“I just really love the guitar because of the aspect of the solo instrument,” Evans said. “There are not that many instruments you can do that with. Piano is one of them but you can’t do that with a clarinet or trombone. It is somewhat unique.”
His style varies from traditional Canadian folk to music influenced by other countries.
“I’m really interested in a lot of world music,” Evans said. “In the show, I’ll be doing some pieces heavily influenced by Brazilian music. I will be doing a guitar piece from Japan. I have friends in Japan who write music for the guitar. It has a different sort of flavor.”
Since the show will have two sets, the first will be focused on the variety of different music that can be played on the guitar and the second will be more roots-based, folk music.
Not only does he play the guitar, he tries to make the show light and humourous for the audience.
“Solo guitar music is great, but sometimes for the audience who is listening to it, you like to break it up a little bit,” Evans said. “I always like to use a bit of humour in the show.”
Although he mostly plays instrumental songs, there are always two or three humourous vocal songs mixed in during his shows.
“I think the real things is when you go to hear a performer, it is interesting hearing their music, but what I find really compelling is the stories they tell about the music,” Evans said. “It is just part of my approach. I tend to take a light-hearted approach in telling those stories. That is where the humour aspect comes from.”
Evans has been playing the guitar and performing since the 1970s, but he took a long break from the music scene in order to raise a family.
“I followed what I call the career arc of many musicians which is you settle down, raise a family and get a regular job,” Evans said. “I still dabbled in music over the years but the focus was elsewhere.”
About 15 years ago, when his kids were leaving home, he remembers how much fun he used to have playing music.
“Around 2000 I got back into it seriously again,” Evans said. “The difference in my focus this time around is I started writing my own material. IN the 70s, I was doing a lot more traditional folk music and using other people’s material.”
Not only is there more satisfaction from writing some of his own songs, Evans said he also can do more of what he wants and not have to worry about making money.
“There was also the luxury this time around where I didn’t have to scramble to make a living anymore,” Evans said. “I was able to sit back and approach it from the way I wanted to. That was a lot of fun.”
Many people think his shows are all guitar music and aren’t sure if they want an evening without variety. Evans said that is not what his music is about.
“Actually, my shows are really a mix of the instrumental guitar music and vocal music,” Evans said. “One of (my promotional) photos is a touch in cheek one where I am singing to a moose. I always throw that out because I like to make the point that my shows aren’t just for guitar geeks, they are for everyone else too.”