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Interview with Denver Evans by Heidi Duss for Country Music News International

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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