A few years ago, a musician created a stellar cover of Katy Perry’s Roar alongside Adam Sliger that was wildly captivating. Listeners were hooked and the Orlandoian Evan Taylor Jones, took his operatic-soul to new heights on everything he has sung since then. A few weekends ago, the man played a solo set at Pianos and it was the epitome of cool.
For New York City dwellers, it was the final days of the snowy streets. The temperature across the city-scape was finally dropping and the flurries were sporadic. Despite a light snowfall that Friday night, listeners were still drawn to the events of the weekend. Walking through the chilly wind tunnels on the Lower East Side streets, the desire for warmth and drinks were on the forefront of many minds. As usual, the bar crowd dwarfed the musical fans who flocked to the stage area way in the back. Not all was lost in the sparse crowd. A trio of eager dancers kept people entertained on the floor in their elaborate attire. It was a mix of 1900s style fashion with punk vibes. They kept shrieking with joy as sips from their drinks continued with their permanent smiles. The weekend had officially begun. As Evan was setting up on stage, the crowd was split into small niches of folks. Conversations were loud as the voices attempted to rise above the blasting radio overplay.
Listeners did not have to wait long at all. After a brief soundcheck, Mr. Jones came out strumming his guitar with ease. Blues-folk took things off first. Since it was just the man alone up there, the chatter had to dwindle a bit for optimal listening. His operatic-soul came through as his vocals reached that trademark quaver. Emotion was apparent and paired wonderfully with his twangs of the guitar. To add onto the intimacy of the evening, Evan was working the crowd with his eyes. He was scoping out the feelings of the room to match the musical vibes. His suave persona at the microphone worked well as he closed his eyes during his most in-depth soul moments. Strums and twangs were matched well in his instrumentation. Blues fans would be right at home with their rock and roll counterparts. Rhythm and blues was always held in a constant state with the smooth flow Mr. Jones wielded up there. That flow was seen visually as guest swayed their body with perfection. Everyone could not help themselves.
Rockabilly blues-rock came through in true spirit with head bobs to follow. It was a great shift that added a bounce to his tunes. Although he remained still with slick bounces here and there, his stage presence was strong. His face and focus were all fans needed to match his musical prowess. He was the statue of blues. When Evan broke into his solo guitar bits, they were all grinding bliss mixed in with quick licks. The man was a true professional as he thanked everyone from the sound lady, to the bartender and the openers who performed before him. He was grateful all the way. After that tribute, pop found its way into the show. It was a happy tune that required even more dancing from the trio on the floor. The quavering vocals worked well with the song. Since he is from the Florida south, Evan commented on how much he loved his first real snowstorm in New York City. A banter with the crowd came next and laughter was shared by many.
Probably the highlight of the show was Evan’s rendition of John Legend’s tune, Love Me Now. It was a lovely take on the romantic song and his soul just added a certain flair to it. Sadly, the chatter did not dissipate for this part of the set, but he was not deterred as his style worked wonders. After that song ended he mentioned that the entire event was being recorded live and had the entire room cheer and clap for their brief moment of fame. Smiles grew on everyone’s face. His music and his performance were ideal for the start end of the winter madness.
Evan Taylor Jones is a man who is paving an intimate blues path of his own. His smooth style and obvious dedication to the craft keeps this man on the move. For fans eager for this type of music in their lives, they are in luck! The man is continuing his musical tour and folks can catch him at the following dates:
March 17th – New Smyrna, FL – Beachside Tavern
March 18th – Pawley’s Island, SC – Pawley’s Island Tavern
March 20th – Raleigh, NC – Pour House
March 21st – Atlanta, GA – The Kindezi School
March 22nd – Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar
March 23rd – Brevard, NC – Oskar Blues
March 24th – Charlotte, NC – Evening Muse
March 25th – Greenville, NC – Crossbones
March 26th – Knoxville, TN – Pres. Pub
March 27th – Knoxville, TN – Pres. Pub
March 29th – Tulsa, OK – The Fur Shop
March 30th – Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall
March 31st- Colorado Springs, CO – Independent Records
April 1st – Denver, CO – Moe’s Original BBQ
April 4th – Amarillo, TX – Leftwood’s
April 6th – Fairview, TX – Splitsville
April 7th – Dallas, TX – Twilite
April 8th – Austin, TX – Tellers Austin
April 9th – Houston, TX – Last Concert Cafe
April 10th – New Orleans, LA – Balcony Music Club
April 12th – New Orleans, LA – Rare Form
April 13th – Birmingham, AL – The Nick
April 14th – Tallahassee, FL – Hurricane’s Bar and Grill
April 16th – Tampa, FL – Skippers
April 17th – New Smyrna, FL – Beachside Tavern