Album Feature: Evan Bartels: Promised Land.

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May 052019
 

 

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I get thousands of submissions and I find so much music in my studies, and I veer off into other genres besides strictly Country. When I hear something REAL I always STOP and dwell upon what exactly the messages are. I had to do that with Mr. Evan Bartels and his new EP called Promised Land. Just today he released the video for his newest single off the album called “Drugs”, which was a pretty self explanatory subject, however being a recovered addict myself I wanted to delve into my interpenetration of the song.

It begins very dark and very poignant as the scene is painted of a wild night of partying with cocaine in his blood and mass smoking. It made me reminisce about all those nights I spent high myself. This song made me recall my detox and my love of Christ too, it made me recall my fears and victories as well. This song gave me goosebumps, as he growled out his vocals, with the poetic precision of Bob Dylan or any other master of their craft.

All of the songs on this album are quite lengthy topping a whopping 3 minutes plus, so despite the overall lack of more tracks on this album the time makes up for the loss. The song quality is THERE, the depth and the ambiance is just THERE….it’s true music folks. The song “Wild” was a song that equally spoke to me about having a free spirit and being untamed. I love this life of music journalism and seeing unknown places and meet new people.

“In My Time” has some GREAT lines in it. This song has a somber tone and haunting message “If The Devil Ain’t Killed Me Yet, The Good Lord Loves Me Still”. The demeanor of message on this song spoke volumes to my very soul, self destructive and at the same time positive.  “We’d Get High And Look At Highways And Talk Like Older Men”. I honestly feel like he wrote this album about ME and as a fan I cannot say many other albums struck me like this one. His cries out to God with mournful reverence and sorrow about his bad decisions and hopes for the future, as he guides us through his transition from trouble to victory as a better man.

The last song called  “A Thousand Times” also spoke to me because I watch the world from windows I built in my mind as well. Everybody falls and stumbles but it’s how you pick yourself up that counts, and I believe this song is about stumbling blocks in life. It has more inventive lines within it, and I had to listen to it many times before I deducted my final message. Being strong and not letting someone down is not always the easiest thing to do, in any situation and this album certainly didn’t let me down.

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE

Promised Land is a collection of five songs centering on the art of breaking down one’s belief systems, habits, personality, and rebuilding into a new person.

Track Listing:
1. Drugs
2. Wild
3. In My Time
4. She Being Brand New
5. A Thousand Times

“These songs are love songs. They’re about loving myself enough to question everything I am and be willing to break myself down to my core so that I can find who I can be if I’m at my best. They’re love songs to my wife and son, and in them there’s a promise of giving everything of myself to them. I wanted to capture a transition in my life in a way that I believe other people can look at themselves and find common ground through vulnerability.”

The word “drugs” conjures up different images for different people. When I wrote this song I was feeling spiritually and emotionally isolated. For years it seemed like I was trying to find something, anything, that I could use as a buffer from having to look at myself too closely. I don’t think I’m the only person who’s felt that way.

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I’ve seen people hide behind substances, ideologies and political beliefs and lose a part of themselves. For me, I hid behind fear. I’ve been afraid of people not liking me because of what I did or didn’t do, what I did or didn’t say. I’ve been afraid that I didn’t deserve grace, that I didn’t deserve forgiveness. My father once said to me, in a time that I really needed to hear it, “You have to be able to forgive yourself and love yourself.” That’s true for all of us, no matter our story.

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There’s nothing that can fulfill our souls if we don’t love ourselves for who we are. When I wrote the lyric, “(nothing)… that can make me feel as high as loving you, that can make me feel as free as loving you…”, I was writing to myself.

It was dark and it was cold, somewhere in Wyoming. I was on a highway that ran along the edge of the mountain range and had to stop to sleep. The drive from Laramie to Boulder isn’t especially long but after being up for over 30 hours it seemed like an eternity.

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I got out of the drivers seat and went outside the van to stretch and head back to my bunk. The weight of the darkness and the vast silence that stretches out into the wilderness is incredible. I saw that it was about 4:00 AM which meant I had 2.5 hours to sleep before I needed to continue my drive. A cold wind rocked the van and I fell asleep on the side of the road.

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I got up just before the sun and started heading South. Driving in quiet, only the hum of the tires on asphalt. Have you ever seen the way the sun rises in Wyoming? All of a sudden it peers over the horizon and the rays of light splash color on the plains in waves that crash against the mountains. I knew this was it. In this moment I was witnessing something in life that people since time immemorial had experienced. I’ve seen sunrises but this was a baptism of light and warmth. I felt so connected to the earth and to being alive and I felt wild. Almost an indescribable feeling that I’ve been chasing ever since, the desire to connect to my primal self. I refuse to make my decisions off of safety or comfort. I want to live unapologetically and with no hesitation.

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“I don’t want to talk it over. I don’t want to think this through. I want to be WILD.” Live free, without fear.

On November 1st, 2017 my mom called me and told me her father died.

I just sat in the car in the quiet and Cryssa held my hand. A few days later when I went back home for the funeral I took some time by myself to drive around town. Everything seemed so much smaller. When I was a kid the railroad tracks were a rain forest and a battle field surrounded by endless plains and rivers where the wildest adventures took place. Now it was only a few trees and a cut corn field.

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I don’t know what changes more, life or just our perspective of it. Losing two grandfather’s, that I dearly loved, in a matter of months. Living in a van, playing small clubs in towns where no one knew me. My pregnant wife at home. My perspective was rapidly changing.

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I was caught between wishing for the simple joy of the past and the overwhelming desire to get to a future that had to be better than where I was. I decided to do something I hadn’t been. I decided to be present in my life and see everything around me as clearly as possible. Hold my experiences with me in the moment. When I do get to wherever I will go, I want to appreciate it when I’m there. I want to look at my past with no regrets. There will always be transitions in life and each time there is pain there is potential for joy.

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Someday, I will make the final journey that we all must. While I am here I will be relentlessly in the moment and know that I am in my time. Live free, without fear.

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“She Being Brand New” is a love story about the little moments. To me those are the most important parts of any love story, all the small acts that add up to a larger picture.

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Somewhere in the beginning of my relationship with my wife she came across a book of poetry from E.E. Cummings. I remember us laying on the floor and her reading to me all of these different verses and poems. I could hear love in her voice and that has stuck with me ever since.

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She has a way about her where when I need it the most, she says she loves me through the tone of her voice. The first time I heard it was through those poems. A small moment that is woven into the larger love story of her and I.

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It’s the fear of the unknown that sinks in the pit of your stomach. I could feel it like 100lbs of lead. How do I make this work? Is it selfish of me to go after what I want? If I fail, I’m not just failing myself… I’m laying that failure on the people I love most and asking them to carry that burden with me.

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I carried that fear with me and when my spirit is lacking faith, I sometimes still feel it. My legacy will be the work I leave behind and more than that, it will be my son. What kind of man do I want him to be? Not the kind who runs from fear. Not the kind that compromises his heart or denies his dreams. So that is not who I will be. He will be the son of a father who works. The son of a father who does not take the easy road. The son of a father that refuses failure.

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“Every man that’s walking will fall from time to time.” It’s not the falls we take, it’s having the will to continue forward that counts. He will be strong and brave. He’ll know that I would die a thousand times before I ever let him down. He will live free without fear.

A Complete List Of Local Shows In Tennessee And Kentucky.

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May 052019
 

If YOU have a show YOU would like added to my list PLEASE email me at garyhayes2@yahoo.com. I literally watch more than 40 venues in Nashville plus belong to many concert websites in order to bring you this coverage. NEW IN 2018, folks I am always looking for ways to enhance what I do for you. So this year I’ll be reporting on further Kentucky shows, and further Tennessee shows as well.

Mr. Joshua and I cover hundreds of shows a year, and many festivals in person. Online, we cover 200 festivals yearly and bring a LOT of news to the masses. Folks WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE support live venue music.

Joe Diffie
State Theater E town Ky May 10th

John Anderson
Ryman Auditorium May 6th

Luke Winslow King
City Winery May 6th

Zephaniah OHora
The Basement East May 9th

Charley Pride
Carson Center Paducah Ky May 10th

Joe Diffie
State Theater Elizabethtown Ky May 10th

Railroad Earth
Basement East May 10th

No Deceit
Rib Lickers Glasgow Ky May 10th

No Deceit
OT In Franklin Ky May 11th

Jerry Douglass
City Winery May 11th

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Dan Tyminski
Beaver Dam Ampitheater May 11th

Sean McConnell
The Basement East May 11th

Nick Dittmeier And The Sawdusters
Flywheel Brewing Co. Elizabeth town Ky May 11th

Ruby Boots
The Burl May 12th

Tim Atwood
Two Rivers Campground May 5th, 12th, 19th,
June 2nd, 5th, 14th, 23rd, 30th
July 7th, 14th 21st, 28th
August 4th, 18th, 23rd 25th

Tyler Childers
Minglewood Hall May 15th

Marty Stuart
Ryman Auditorium May 15th

Langhorn Slim
ryman Auditorium May 15th

Jamey Johnson
KFC YUM Center Louisville Ky May 16th

Caleb Caudle
The 5 Spot May 16th

Deer Tick
Ryman Auditorium May 17th

The Devil Makes Three
Headliner’s Music Hall May 17th

Steve Earle
Warehouse Bowling Green May 17th

Senora May
William Matheny
Wayne Graham
The Basement May 17th

The Devila Makes Three
Bluegrass Underground May 18th

Adam Lee
Breckenridge County Fair May 18th

Dailey And Vincent
Renfro Valley May 18th

Andrew Leahey And The Homestead
The 5 Spot May 19th

Cory Branan
The Burl May 22nd

The Wild Feathers
The Basement East May 22nd

Kristina Murray
Nick Dittmeiier And The Sawdusters
Ben Jarrell And Roadside Revival
The Basement May 23rd

Jamey Johnson
Josephines
SkyPAC Bowling Green Ky May 23rd

Old Salt Union
Station Inn May 23rd

Cory Brannan And The Low Standards
Lauren Morrow
The Basement East May 23rd

Craig Gerdes
Spillway Bar And Grill May 24th

Mandy Barnett
3Rd And Lindsley May 25th

Dori Freeman
3rd And Lindsley May 30th

The Jospehines
Daniel Donato
Basement East May 31st

Ian Noe
Eric Bolander
The Basement June 1st

Emi Sunshine
The Southgate House Revival June 1st

Old Crow Medicine Show
Ryman Auditorium June 1st

No Deceit
Spillway June 1st

Justin Townes Earle
Ryman Auditorium June 2nd

Ray Scott
3rd And Lindsley June 4th

The Hardin Draw
The 5 Spot June 5th

Hardin Draw
Marathon Music Works June 6th

John Moreland
The Basement June 7th

Josh Morningstar
The Warehouse June 7th

Shooter Jennings
Cannery Ballroom June 8th

Cody Johnson
Ascend Amphitheater June 8th

John Moreland
Minglewood Hall June 11th

Dallas Moore
Hellroys
Barnyard Stompers
The Southgate House June 14th

Tracy Lawrence
Downtown Madisonville Kentucky June 14th

Old Crow Medicine Show
Beaver Dam Ampitheater June 15th

The Quebe Sisters
Southgate House Revival June 15th

Roseanne Cash
Ryman Auditorium June 16th

Andrew Leahey And the Homestead
Centennial Park June 16th

Billy Strings
Ryman Auditorium June 20th

Junior Brown
Basement East June 20th

William Clark Green
Southgate House Revival June 20th

The Hardin Draw
Springwater Supper Club June 21st

Sean Whiting
Southgate House Revival June 21st

John R. Miller
Jeremy Pinnell
Summer Dean
Bonnie Montgomery
The Basement June 21st

Jimmy Fortune
Plaza Theater Glasgow Ky June 22nd

Charley Crockett
the Basement East June 26th

Matt Woods
The 5 Spot June 27th

John R Miller
Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners
The Southgate House Revival June 27th

Old salt Union
Son Volt
The Basement East June 27th

Jon Wolfe
Exit Inn June 27th

The Kentucky Headhunters
Basenet East June 28th

Steve Earle
Yellow Creek Park Owensboro KY June 29th

Joey Allcorn
Southgate House Revival July 5th

American Aquarium
HogslopcString Band
Basement East July 7th

Urban Pioneers
Springwater Supper Club July 11th

Jerry Douglass
Bluegrass Hall Of Fame July 12th

John Prine
Kelsey Waldon
Lu-Ray Park Ampitheater
Central City Ky July 13th

David Ball
American Legion Post 82 July 16th

Russell Moore And III Tyme Out
Station Inn July 18th

Tn Jet
Josh Morningstar
southgate House Revival July 18th

Tn Jet
Warehouse Bowling Green July 19th

Cory Branon
Basement East May 23rd

The Steel Woods
The Shed Maryville Tn July 27th

Steel Woods (opening for R.E.O.Speedwagon)
Ryman Auditorium July 29th

Kristina Murray
American Legion Post 82 July 30th

The Steel Wheels
City Winery July 22nd

The Legendary Shack Shakers
Southgate House Revival August 1st

Brett Cobb
Spillway August 3rd

Ray Wylie Hubbard
3rd and Lindsley August 11th

James Carothers
Southgate House Revival August 16th

Raelyn Nelson
The 5 Spot August 19th

Read Southall
The Basement East August 22nd

Jimmy Fortune
Kentucky Opry August 24th

Tim Atwood
Two Rivers Campground September 1st

Dwight Yoakam
Ryman Auditorium September 8th and 9th

Mavericks
Ryman Auditorium September 13th

Drew Holcomb
Ryman Auditorium September 14th

Rhiannon Giddens
City Winery September 21st

Whiskey Myers
Bourbon And Beyond September 22nd

Gene Watson
Kentucky Opry October 25th and 26th

Chris Stapleton
Fed ex Forum Memphis Tn October 5th

Trishia Yearwood
Schermerhorn Symphony Center October 5th

Chris Stapleton
KFC Yum Center November 2nd

Josh Abbott Band
William Clark Green
Marathon Music Works November 3rd

Chris Stapleton
Memphis Tn November 5th

Southern Culture On The Skids
high Watt November 9th

Unknown Hinson
Exit Inn December 31st