Lou Evans’ voice evokes a kind of electricity. When he sings, it’s as if a strong current is emanating from the deepest parts of him and out to all who are listening. His music grabs you, commanding your attention with its confident, soulful intonations.
A dedicated singer/songwriter who also plays the guitar, Evans spent most of his childhood growing up in Milpitas, then was drafted into pro baseball at age 21. He played for the Miami Marlins from 2001 to 2005. But he eventually stepped away from baseball, as the call of music was far too great for him to ignore. He knew in his heart that singing was his path.In 2005, he auditioned for “American Idol” in San Francisco. Out of the 100,000 people that auditioned all over the country, Evans made it into the top 120.
Evans recently joined the pop rock band World5, and signed his first record deal with Spectra Music Group. The group released the single “Be You” just last month, a song that Evans wrote and also sings.
At present, Evans performs at venues and events all over the Bay Area. He currently lives in Concord with his wife, Lasia, and their 10-month-old son, Uriel.
Recently, The Milpitas Beat interviewed Evans about his busy music career…
At what age did you start singing, and what sparked your interest?
I’ve been singing as far back as my memory goes. I was shy about it growing up, while I was going through school. I had mixed inspiration on it because my mom always loved it. She was always out singing and there were always guitars in the house. My dad was a little old-fashioned and didn’t care too much about it. But overall, I never stopped. I always sang with my mom, sister, and cousins, but I was too shy to sing in public…
It wasn’t until I was 18…I was waiting tables at the Red Lobster in Milpitas. They were doing Karaoke on Thursday nights. My sister came in with her best friend, and they sang. And I thought: If my sister can do it, you know what? I’m just going to do it.
And I got up and sang Lately by Jodeci. I closed my eyes and sang it like I knew how. I got a lot of positive responses. That cracked me out of my shell. I just kept going out and finding places to play. I had already been playing guitar for three years at the time. And so I started writing my own stuff and just building more confidence. The more positive feedback you get, the more it builds you. So I kept going.
How would you best describe the style of your music?
My original music is kind of like Soul Rock. I have a lot of influences from different styles. I really love Incubus and Jason Mraz. I love Alternative Rock…Sound Garden, Radiohead, Alice in Chains. I have a wide range of influences. Why I say Soul Rock is because I have a soulful voice when I perform. I’m a tenor. I like to do a lot of vocal gymnastics and showcase my voice when I can. The songs I write, I do my best to make them very vocally-driven. I’m very careful with my words. I like to do my best to enunciate, sometimes adding more words than needed, just to make it a powerful flow. And sometimes not as many. I guess it depends. It’s emotionally-compelling, vocally-driven Soul Rock.
Did you grow up in Milpitas? How long had you lived there?
I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. When I was 6 months old, we moved to Milpitas. Moved in 1980. We lived in a 2 bedroom townhouse for the first couple years. In ‘82, we moved into where I grew up — a 3 bed 3 bath on Edsel, near Park Victoria and Calaveras. I went to Rose, Rancho, and Milpitas High.
What are some of the venues you’ve performed at?
I’ve performed at the Great American Music Hall. Also at Slim’s, at Hotel Utah, and at Oracle. I’ve sung the anthems at 4 Giants’ games and also 2 Warriors’ games. I’ve done Relay for Life. I’ve performed in Shasta County at the Cascade Theatre, opening for LeAnn Rimes. I also opened for Lorrie Morgan at the Wind River Casino…
What’s one of the most memorable performances you’ve ever given, and why?
July 17, 2015. At the Great American Music Hall. It was my first album release. And it was a huge production I put together to propose to my wife. I wrote my wife a song. I came back up as an encore. It’s one of the those powerful songs that starts off soft and builds. Had a screen with a collage of pictures projected behind me, while I was singing. And I proposed. It was big, it was beautiful.
Why are you so passionate about music?
I feel it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. When I’m performing and singing with all of me, with everything I have, it’s the best feeling. If you can imagine when you are in the zone of doing what truly makes you happy, and if you’re in that moment of doing that thing…that’s what I get. It’s the best version of me when I get to sing and play guitar. It truly is. It brings out the best in me. That’s what music is to me. I feel really blessed.
To learn more about Lou Evans, go to his website: LouEvans.net
And here’s a list of Evans’ Upcoming Performances:
Cellar Door in Downtown Pleasanton
7:30pm – 10:30pm
Calicraft Brewing Company in Walnut Creek
6:30pm – 9:30pm
Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas
6pm – 9pm
Folktale Winery in Carmel
5pm – 8pm
Mullins Bar & Grill in the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay
5:30pm – 8:30pm
Giants/Cardinals Game at Oracle Park in San Francisco
For Autism Awareness Day