Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Brent Evans / Unexpected Angels


D.M. Jones

Whatzup Features Writer

Published December 7, 2006

Heads Up! This article is 16 years old.

      Rochester, Indiana’s Brent Evans writes clean,

tuneful and satisfying songs that adroitly manage to fill in the gaps between

country, country rock and down-to-earth pop. His road-seasoned chops and

professionalism are put to good use on this, his latest long player. It doesn’t

hurt that the songsmith is also the owner of Rochester’s 4th Street Studio,

where he recorded the disc with production and musical help from Larry

DeVincent and an impressive cast of talented players and singers.       “Doretta,” the album’s opener, sets the

tone with a driving country-rock beat and clear, upfront vocals from Evans.

This song is a fine endorsement for his studio – every instrument is

well-placed and crystalline here. The song steps up to a massed chorus vocal,

bringing to mind a nice Eagles/Son Volt combination of polished and rootsy. The

quality of songwriting and production is consistent throughout the album, but

Evans wisely paces the disc with varying tempos and moods, pairing songs such

as the alternately brooding and anthemic “Tears Won’t Help You Now”

with “My Perfect Imperfection,” a rollicking ode to a one-of-a-kind

gal.

      The pumping Who-like intro to “If Love

Doesn’t Know” melts into a Moody Blues vibe, followed by the album’s title

track and emotional centerpiece. Evans could have overdone the song and steered

it into schmaltz, but he masterfully manages to embroider a bed of rustic

acoustic guitar and harmonica with lyrics that are uplifting, unvarnished and

unabashedly positive.

      Gears shift again with “Miss

Communication,” a funny and clever laid back treatise on the whole

man/woman dynamic thing that would make Jimmy Buffett proud. Evans also

highlights his pliable but earthy vocals on the layered and nuanced

“Mystery Girl” and the country slow-dance of “Cheated Myself Out

of Love.”

      The disc is a treat to listen to. Each song is tailored

with well chosen instrumentation and spot-on vocal harmonies. Evans

accomplishes here what most local (or regional, or national) singer-songwriters

aspire to: he shapes the music to evoke the emotion every song is trying to

convey. An entire album of such quality is an unexpected pleasure.

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