On Friday, February 22, Mitchel Evan celebrated the release of his album, Nostalgia Side B, at The Darkroom, one of several venues located inside the recently-opened HofGarden in Scott’s Addition. Evan’s sincere approach to his alt-country/folk/Americana style has led him to focus on lyrics when creating his music.
“I’m just writing from my experience, trying to make sense of my life and my feelings through songs,” Evan said. “I just write about whatever I’m going through; I don’t find myself too often seeking out inspiration from external sources.”
Born and raised in the West End of Richmond, VA, he’s moved around from Virginia to Pennsylvania to Colorado over the years. “Denver and Boulder were kind of my music hubs for the past several years,” Evan said. His Colorado group, Mitchel Evan and The Mangrove, marked his first time releasing music under his own name and fronting a band that played his songs. With the Mangrove backing him, he released two EPs and a full-length album before leaving Colorado.
Now that he’s back in his old hometown, he’s leading a new six-piece band, Mitchel Evan and The Saboteurs. That group began their set at the Darkroom with positivity and love. Members greeted each other with hugs and smiles before beginning their performance. The acoustic sound incorporated violins, guitars, and drums, as well as unique vocals from Evan and co-vocalist Blake Smoral. Their music clearly flowed from their hearts to yours; you could feel the emotion behind every lyric that was sung and every sound that was played.
Evan has been playing frequent gigs all around Richmond and the surrounding areas, both with the Saboteurs and on his own, leading up to the show at The Darkroom, which also served as a release party for his latest EP, Nostalgia (Side B). He’s worked hard to make a name for himself through the constant gigs, and will be kicking it up a notch in the coming months with tour dates that will keep him on stages in Virginia and around the country throughout 2019.
As they continue to write, record, and tour at a productive rate, you can expect a lot from Evan and the Saboteurs. “This summer I’m just taking time to come back to the roots,” he said. “I’m working on some new material that I’ve been teaching the band. We’ve been practicing a lot.”
It may seem like a rather rootless lifestyle to choose for oneself, but for Evan, it’s what he always wanted. “I think the dilemma with being an artist is that there’s no result,” he said. “It’s a process, and it’s something you continue to live by and do by. It’s kind of just a way you make sense of the world.”
“If you know you want to do it, then just don’t do anything else,” he said. “That’s what I did.”
Music Sponsored By Graduate Richmond