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Singer-songwriter Will Evans’ latest album “After The Burnt Out Sun” won’t be out until March but fans can hear some of the new tracks during a show at the United Theatre in Westerly tomorrow evening.

Ever since he started out with the Mystic, Connecticut based folk-rock act Barefoot Truth, Will Evans has been one of the best songwriters in Southern New England. His solo output still maintains a folky singer-songwriter sound, but he’s been incorporating reggae, soul and hip hop elements into it while consistently expanding his artistic outlook. He does this with a variety of instruments including guitar, steel drums and even a didgeridoo. These days Evans is evolving his style with some pop sensibilities and it’s evident with a new album he has coming out in the spring. Fans will have a chance to preview some of his latest music as Evans comes to the United Theatre in Westerly tomorrow for a 7:30 p.m. show.

We had a talk ahead of the set about a music video he recently put out, working with various producers on the album, having a talented rapper guest on one of the tracks and how the upcoming show is an interactive experience.

Rob Duguay: On November 10, you released the music video for “Bridge With No Name” that’s off of the upcoming album “After The Burnt Out Sun” that’s due out on March 1. The scenes within the video have you surrounded by nature with you walking through the woods and fields and hanging at the beach by the ocean. Where was the video filmed and who had this idea for this nature-based concept for it?

Will Evans: The video was filmed mostly on Lantern Hill, which is a hiking spot near Foxwoods in North Stonington, Connecticut. Then we did some of the beach scenes near Misquamicut Beach at a place called Fenway. I think the thematic concept just came out of my affection for nature and how inspired I am every time I’m immersed in it. Sonically to me it spoke to being outside, bathed in light and surrounded by trees, it was such a beautiful late summer day. It was just myself and a videographer going on a hike to see what we could get and we actually got lost on the hike so two hours ended up turning into five hours, we were so focused on finding cool scenes that we kind of lost track of where we were.

RD: There’s a lot of cool scenes in it, I really like the visuals of the video. From listening to the album, I noticed that you worked with a few different producers on various tracks including Dana Nielsen, Trevor Hall and Jon Kaplan. What made you want to have this particular approach with the recording process with you working with three different producers rather than just one?

WE: We were trying to find producers that complimented this style that we were trying to achieve. “Bridge With No Name” for instance is an example of a song that’s very ethereal while having a spiritual aesthetic to it. Trevor was a former bandmate and I toured with him for a couple of years so I always wanted to create with him and that’s how he got involved. With the others, we were looking for producers to work with that have some clout and reputation and Dana came really highly recommended and he’s been doing some great work. He’s kind of Rick Rubin’s left hand man and we couldn’t get Rick to respond so we ended up getting in touch with Dana, he’s a real sweetheart of a person.

He understood that we’re kind of a humble, independent team. We’re not a big label or anything but we want to be able to compete sonically with everything that’s out there in the pop world with these folk-pop driven tunes. We thought he would really nail it for us and it was cool to work with him on that.

RD: I definitely notice that pop-leaning quality from listening to the songs, which is really cool. You also have Chali 2na from the legendary Los Angeles hip hop group Jurassic 5 as a guest on the track “Old Soul” on the album, so how did the both of you get connected for the song?

WE: I’ve been obsessed with Jurassic 5 since my early years of college and Chali is really the voice of that group to me, he’s just got this incredible baritone. His rhyme schemes are so uniquely him and I’ve always sort of had this obsession with trying to write a song that I could feature one of my heroes on. It started to come together after I had the song done and demoed at least, a good friend of mine started tour managing for Slightly Stoopid and Chali was their featured guest on this past summer’s tour. We were sitting around a fire one night and he told me about Chali being on this tour and that he got his number, so I connected with him. He was very approachable, I sent him the song and he was willing to do a verse for it and it honestly was a dream come true to be honest. I sent it to a friend of mine who is also a big Jurassic 5 fan without telling him and he just flipped out and I was like “Yep, it’s happening.”

RD: It’s pretty sweet that it happened that way, that’s awesome. One major issue with the music industry these days is the supply chain for physical product such as vinyl records has been backed up with bands and musicians having to wait nearly a year for their records to come in through the mail. Has this affected the release of “After The Burnt Out Sun” at all or are you pretty much waiting to have it out in March because it’s a better time to do a tour in support of it?

WE: I don’t know if there’s a right way to release a record nowadays. The way we’re approaching it is that people have a very short attention span these days, so much of your success relies on catching an algorithm that allows your music to sort of be exposed to a larger audience. We figured that we’d release a single and four weeks later we’ll release the first EP of five or six songs with that being the main thing for four to five months just to keep people coming back while giving them a chance to digest each of the songs or each of the EPs. There’s so much music and it was so much work, it would be really difficult to just put it out and have it be over with. I just don’t feel like people have the attention span to dig into a full record right now, unfortunately the way life is for people is very much instant gratification so we want to keep bringing them back and hopefully give them a little bit of a chance to digest a full experience.

RD: I can see this approach with the record being fairly beneficial rather than putting it all out all at once. This upcoming show at the United Theatre looks like it’s going to be a pretty interactive one with a VIP meet & greet, a pre-show acoustic performance, an opportunity for a photo with you and even a wine tasting. What are your thoughts on this unique experience and how do you plan on intertwining it with the promotion for the upcoming album?

WE: My whole philosophy is to really let fans know that they are the reason I can continue to write and record. The power of the fan makes them part of the label for an artist so if you give them these experiences that just lets them know how special and important they are in your life and your career I think it empowers them more to keep supporting you in other ways. A lot of these people have been coming to over 10 shows a year which is just amazing but I also want it to be unique every time while making them feel that there’s value in continuing to come because it’s really important. They’re my core audience that keeps spreading the word, they’re out there helping me promote and pushing the music along. Honestly, if it was streaming alone I couldn’t do this. I have to play live and I have to be on the road because it’s just not sustainable any other way.

Rob Duguay is a Rhode Island-based music writer. Send him email at rob.c.duguay@gmail.com.

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