Corey Evitts, Paducah, Ky., gave me a call after a show in Effingham last Sunday night. The guy travels by himself, and performs by himself, all over the area.
I had contacted him initially on Facebook, because I heard he was great. I had seen some videos of his performances. His initial response to my message: “I’m in like Flynn.”
At first I thought it might be a typo, or he was trying to tell me he was in a town. Then, you know, I finally understood the expression. I guess I’m not so hip on the lingo.
Anyway, I was excited when he gave me a call late Sunday night, especially since I knew he must be exhausted.
He said music has always been a part of his life. He grew up in Metropolis, and began playing instruments like the guitar, drums and piano at a young age. He was also very involved in sports.
When he was 13, he saw Stevie Ray Vaughn perform, and his future became clear.
“It was like a switch flipped in my head,” he said.
From there, he went on to attend Greenville College and obtain a music degree. He always played in bands over the years, and worked in a music store for 8 years teaching music.
Five years ago, Evitts began playing by himself. Most places want to hear bands perform, however, so he started incorporating multiple instruments into his performances.
“It took awhile to get used to being by myself,” he said.
He also discovered the benefits. For instance, he can improvise much more because he doesn’t need to communicate with other band members. He can transition to another song in the middle of another, and he can interact more with the audience.
Evitts also said one negative thing about being in a band, much like being on a sports team, is the instant feedback you get from the band members.
With 260 shows planned this year, he hopes to eventually have a lifestyle that can balance a family. He is currently single with no children, and he says that is where he needs to be right now.
His home venues are Doe’s Eat Place in Paducah and JP’s in Paducah, but he performs about 4 hours in all directions from Paducah. He’s also performed in Evansville, Ind. and Metro East St. Louis.
Even if he couldn’t perform in front of people, he would still be performing.
“It’s like a connection to God,” he said. “It does something for my soul.”
His typical show includes a lot of rhythmic music. He bases what he performs on what he interprets the audience to expect. This varies from Country, Rock music from different eras and much more. He plays a wide variety, and he wants to make sure he can play something for everybody.
He also writes his own songs, and includes them in the show.
He is going to be releasing an EP the first week of May, and it will contain all original songs. His goal is to release an EP once a year.
On May 24, he will begin a 150-day tour, where he will play at least 150 shows in 150 days. The tour will start and end at Sissy’s in Metropolis. At one point, he will be doing a 10 hour show in Paducah. This show is scheduled tentatively for June 24.
This weekend, Evitts will be playing at Roadhouse Harley Davidson in Mount Vernon Saturday, Feb. 23 from 2-5 p.m.