Q&A: Gene Evaro Jr.

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Groove Soul artist Gene Evaro Jr.’s signature brand of folk electro-funk is making its way to Slim’s in a few days. The show is just days after the release of his third LP Like it’s 1965, which sees him blending Paul Simon folk songs with some deep funk from bands like Sly & The Family Stone. We wanted to learn more about this hot artist, so we reached out to him to talk about how he describes his music, what his main influences are and whether living in the desert has an impact on his music.

For readers that aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe your sound and what you do musically?

It’s a mixture of soul, folk, electronic, and funk.

Who are your main influences?

Too many to name! But off the top, I’d say, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Paul Simon, D’Angelo.

What projects are you most excited about this year?

We are releasing a new album! It’s called “Like It’s 1965” and it will be available everywhere April 6th. Check us out on youtube as well for the new music video!

You call Joshua Tree home. What’s it like living in the desert and does it influence your music at all?

I love it out here in the dusty desert! It’s serene, peaceful and hot! It’s a great balance from coming off the road and touring the country for weeks on end. It’s always what I need after a few weeks of going from city to city.

I think it does affect the music; it has to right? Not sure how just yet.

You’re playing Slims in San Francisco next week. What can we expect at your show?

A live band that brings it! Not just riffs or fluff, but music that can heal you from a distance (if you’re into that sort of thing).

What do you think of our city?

We love it! SF always gives us mad love. The food, that’s my jam.

What do you think of the current state of the music industry?

No time to think about that one. Music is the soul of life. “Industry” is the soul of…. (a necessary evil perhaps?)

What’s your take on the pro-tools debate? Are you a proponent of heavy production or do you like a more stripped down raw sound?

I love it all. I gravitate towards raw talent/music. Productions should compliment genius, not distract from it. And if genius doesn’t exist in the first place, then production helps the pill go down a little smoother (not always though).

What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to find out about you?

I play upside down right handed guitar with my left hand (no not like Hendrix!) More like Albert King. (low e on the bottom baby)

What advice would you give a young musician that’s just starting out and has aspirations of turning pro someday?

Be prepared to spend long hours (even years) of being alone with your instrument. (Period.)

Gene Evaro Jr. plays Slim’s on April 13 with support from Handmade Moments // $12 advance / $15 door / $36.95 dinner

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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