London-based singer-songwriter and rockband leader John Evans is able to draw on all the main popular Anglo-American musical styles: pop, country, blues, and above all rock. John amply demonstrates that with his second album, a quality production of original material entitled 'Survivor', which pushes his distinctive voice to the full and stretches his songwriting ability. The title of the album is significant (as indeed was that of his first album of 2005, called 'In the Wild Years'). For John is a survivor: of false dawns and faded hopes, but also the drink and drugs of his excessive "wild years" as a busker on the streets of London, Paris and Amsterdam. "Most of the people I hung around with in those days are dead now, including my best friend. If I hadn't stopped drinking I'm sure I would be too by now," he says. Born in Dartford southeast of London ('Same 'ospital as Mick Jagger', he quips), John Nigel Evans has been playing guitar and singing since his early teens. During the 70s and 80s, he bummed and strummed his way around Europe, spending seven years in his much-loved city of Paris, before returning to London to work as a carpenter, still drinking heavily. John finally found himself on Skid Row, homeless, before deciding in 1994 to quit the bottle and devote himself seriously to music. He fronted a trio called The Business, later renamed Fat City, which met the challenge of entertaining rough, tough and boozy pub audiences with full-on blues-rock on two German tours in the late 1990s. As a one-man-show, he even opened for Nina Simone at the Albert Hall in 1998 with an acoustic set, and the London media carried silly 'busker-hits-the-bigtime' and 'rags-to-riches' stories about him. After that brief blaze of glory, John moved to the United States, studying music and working as a waiter in California. Returning to London in 2003, he asked an old Paris friend, Michael Anders, now his manager, to organize another German tour. They soon realised they now needed an album for that. Anyway John had already begun writing original material. The result was in "In the Wild Years", and two tours of German clubs and pubs in 2005 and 2006 followed, this time with a five-piece band. With a bunch of new songs, several of them already road-tested on the 2006 tour, John began recording a new album in 2007 with his musical mentor Mick Doherty as producer/engineer and star guitarist. 'Survivor', recorded and mixed in John and Mick's own Maida Vale Studio, is a well-crafted and balanced blend of original rock, pop and country, and even has a trace of punk. John's musical influences include The Rolling Stones, Free and Bad Company, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Paul Weller, but the voice and style of this survivor of the streets are his own.
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