Gene Evaro Jr
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Gene Evaro Jr

Joshua Tree, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Joshua Tree, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Neo Soul




"Gene Evaro Jr "Too Good To Believe""

Album Release Party @ Pappy and Harriet’s, Saturday August 13

By Lisa Morgan

The music industry may have no choice but to sit up, pay attention, and show a little faith in Gene Evaro Jr., his road proven ensemble of talented troubadours, and their aptly named, stellar new album, Too Good to Believe. This twelve song compilation is a milestone for an artist who has been tweaking sound, writing songs and recording since pre-adolescence. Coming off of a momentous wave of inspiration spurred by Grammy nominated artist Elle King and her invitation to join her on tour, Gene Evaro Jr. the song crafter, and his band are hungry, motivated and well equipped to make their mark with this new album. If the healthy response to the fully independent release of their first single and video are any indicator, we just might be watching this band launch to the next level very soon.

The album represents the strength and beauty of DIY independent music. Completely self-managed, Evaro Jr. and his beautiful accomplice, Piper Robison, have accomplished everything organically, combining sheer determination, intelligence, hard work and a whole lot of love. From rallying their own financial support, booking and promoting tours, writing and arranging the music, to filming and editing video for their single, “One,” they’ve done it all on their own with the help of a few choice friends, and have done it extraordinarily well. Even the pristine recording and tasteful production were done by Evaro Jr. at home (with the exception of track 7, “Life is a Journey,” recorded at Robbie Waldman’s Unit-A Studios in Palm Springs). Short of the financial support, distribution, and product placement that a solid management company and/or label deal might provide, it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing it better. Should they never get that industry nod, it would not stop them, nor would it hinder their large and ever growing fan base. Their music and their live performances are just too good to be ignored, and Evaro Jr. is too savvy to not find his own way.

The recently released single, “One,” as reflected in its accompanying video, is perhaps as much a sweetly produced tribute to the enchanting relationship between Piper Robison and Gene Evaro Jr., as it is to their relationship with their fans and their band mates. Both the single and the video release are a distinctive calling card with the potential to set them apart in a saturated industry. Surprisingly, it was not their first choice.

“The video was a collage of footage I’ve shot over the past years. I do video editing too, so I’m always carrying the camera around,” Evaro Jr. shared. “It also contains footage from our show at the Joshua Tree Music Festival that was shot by my buddy, Rob Schoeborn, an amazingly talented videographer. We spent a lot of time trying to raise a bunch of money for a really professional video by a videographer in London, Georgia Hudson, and were really stoked about the idea of working with her. It costs about 20k just to talk to her, and in spite of some hopeful promises of support, we just couldn’t make it happen. We wanted a video that was competitive and represented my vision. After shooting for the top and then finding ourselves in a time crunch, I have to say, I am super proud of how it turned out. I think it’s gorgeous, and it represents us well. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t have released it.”

Special credit must be given to three young volunteers who offered valuable insight as Evaro Jr. was editing. “I was hanging out with my little sister, Jalynah Evaro (13), when I was editing. Piper’s little sisters, Blaze (11) and Starlin Shrader (13), were here hanging out for some of the editing as well. They deserve some serious editing credit right alongside Piper, Rob and myself. When you’re editing anything, you start getting in your head too much, and you don’t even know what looks good anymore. I would ask for their input, and they would give it to me. They spent some serious time on it. They are the bomb and very good at video editing it seems,” shared Evaro Jr.

Too Good to be Believe is woven in positive good feels, is honestly relatable, dangerously addictive and absolutely radio ready. While the whole of the album reflects Evaro’s pop sensibility and wide range of influences, at no time do the themes, melodies and rhythms sacrifice an ounce of integrity or authenticity, nor are they predictable. Refreshingly, the sometimes jazzy jams, and often fun, funky but always soulful songs are reflective of the intense focus this songwriter/producer has poured into his craft. The depth of his skill set is impressive.

Evaro Jr. has recorded seven albums prior to this release. His first was recorded at age 17 (2007), a compilation he originally produced and shopped to John Mayer’s management. When asked what separated this new album from the others, Evaro Jr. explained, “Before this album, I was in a lot of different bands and was spread a little thin. The first album, Soul, I recorded before I even had a band. This is a more focused project focusing on what I personally felt I needed and wanted to do. This music has been played with this band all over the country. I’d like to think this is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m super proud of it, and feel like the songwriting, our playing, my voice and the production is getting better and sounding better. I wanted it to be competitive – something that can be on radio and TV – all the things that are required if you want to make a living out of music. It’s more main stream than anything I’ve ever done which I’m also proud of. I have no shame in that, because it also has a lot of heart. It’s a good balance, and I’m super stoked on it.”

The impactful opportunity to join Elle King on tour can be blamed, in part, on Barnett English, founder of the Joshua Tree Music Festival. He had the exceptional taste of booking Elle King as well as Gene Jr. at the Joshua Tree Music Festival long before her recent commercial success. “Elle King jammed with us in our ‘Jam in the Van’ at the Joshua Tree Music Festival a couple of years ago,” shared Evaro Jr. “We really connected with her, as did many people in the community… she was just a homie. We stayed in touch after that. She was eventually signed to a development deal, and before we knew it, she had a single, was playing on late night TV, and kicking ass, nominated for and playing at the Grammy’s. She had seen us play a few times, and loved the band and our music. She told us that the first chance she got, she’d help us out. She did what she said she was going to do and invited us to join her on her very first national headlining tour. We drove from Joshua Tree straight to Ohio and followed her tour bus around for a month and a half.”

With only one week to raise the $5000 they needed just to go out on the road, Evaro Jr. and the band members who were able to drop everything and tour, succeeded in their efforts and joined King for 17 shows in 17 cities. “She treated us like family, took care of us, and made sure her staff took care of us. We left with a really great taste in our mouth – it was a lot of work, but we sold a ton of merchandise, connected with tons of new fans and paid off all our debt.”

On the heels of that experience, Evaro Jr. found himself “itching to go back out:” “We landed at home and started writing the next album,” he shared. “I wanted to go back out, but I was broke and it was August. On tour we played the same six songs every night. We’d get off the stage after performing to sell merch, and then had to get on the road to the next stop. That was the routine, and I didn’t have time to write anything. When I got home, it all just poured out. Some of the songs are fueled by the experiences from that tour, the desire to continue playing at that level, and the affirmation I felt that told me I was doing exactly what I need to do. Piper and I still manage our own tours, but that experience was so nice. We didn’t have to do any of the booking, or make sure the promoters and venues were doing their job promoting; I didn’t have to set up microphones and equipment, provide the PA or make sure it worked. Once you enjoy that, you want to stay at that level. When Piper and I booked Portland two years ago, we played for 7 people. This time we were playing to 700, thanks to Elle. It wasn’t just a great opportunity, but a morale booster. It cleared everybody’s intentions and commitment; we all came off the tour feeling really good about it, and that this was what we wanted to do. We’re hungry, driven and have our sights on some pretty far places. It’s just a matter of keeping the momentum going on a daily basis, staying healthy so we don’t kill each other, and always pushing ourselves.”

The video has received strong response and sales of the single have been solid. “People have been sharing the hell out of the video,” said Evaro Jr. “It’s been the best response we’ve experienced so far with 9000 views in a month. If we had more financial resources, we could promote it and advertise it to people and test it that way, but it’s doing really good for an indie artist without management. This was our attempt at being as professional and organized as possible, and it’s paid off. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping it out there.”

The celebration of the new album release is staged to be a special night, held at the world renowned Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown, Saturday, August 13th. Doors open at 7pm. The full seven piece band, just coming off a month long tour, is expected to sell out, as it has before at this venue. Joining Gene Evaro Jr. who will be on guitar, keys and lead vocals, is Piper Robison on bass, Ben Kennedy on drums, Mitchell Arganda on percussion, Amanda Davis on vocals, Clint Stoker on sax and Scott Kisinger on trombone. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $12, first come first serve, while they last, or in advance at Seating is only guaranteed with second seating dinner reservations booked for 7pm or later.

The album, Too Good to Believe, will be available the same night of the show. Visit for purchase information. You can also follow Gene on Facebook @ Gene Evaro Jr. - CV Weekly

"Gene Evaro Jr - His Musical Roots and Wheels"

Gene Evaro Jr. was born into music. The Evaro family has been blazing a musical trail from the desert for a few generations now. At only 25, Gene Jr. is the founder of Roaming Sounds Recording Studio, has had songs placed in television and movies, and fronts and writes songs for Gene Jr. & The Family, a band that is highly respected by music peers and fans alike. The band was featured in last year’s AMFM Festival, and will now be performing at the NAMM Show 2015, Jan. 24, after winning a national competition sponsored by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

“I found the competition on Sonic Bids (, a website that connects bands, music promoters and major brands through their online platform),” shared Evaro Jr. “I thought it looked like a cool gig, so I sent an EPK (electronic press kit) and submitted two songs with the last $60 bucks I had. I was either going to spend it on food or this. We went on our intuitive instincts and it paid off. Two days later, they contacted us and said, ‘You have some new fans!’ We’ll get to hang on the Lennon Bus which is like a mobile studio. They do recording, editing and everything on there. What’s really rad is it’s a non-profit that goes around teaching kids the music business. That’s something we always thought about doing. So it’s going to be very cool to hang with some likeminded, creative people. The whole process is really about breaking down boundaries and insecurities. It’s so comfortable to say no. There’s nothing to do after that. When you say yes, it takes more work. You start pushing down barriers and opening doors that are right in front of you really. It came down to, do we want the money or the opportunity.”

The NAMM Show competition was open to bands in a wide range of genres including rock, country, jazz, pop, world, R&B, gospel/inspiration, and more. In addition to performing a 40-minute set on the GoPro Stage in the Grand Plaza at the Anaheim Convention Center, the extensive prize package includes a professional video produced by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, and a music gear package valued at over $9,000.

Founded in 1901, the NAMM Show attracts over 95,000 attendees annually and is dedicated to expanding the market and giving people of all ages the opportunity to experience the proven benefits of making music. If you cannot attend the NAMM Show, Gene Jr. & The Family will be performing their music, free to the public, January 30th at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown.

In early February, the band will be going into Unit A Recording and Arts Studio (, owned and operated by Robbie Waldman, to record their second album. “We’re stoked!” said Evaro Jr. “I have been hoping to get in that studio for a few years. Finally, the timing and the project are both coming together.”

Once the album is recorded, they’ll head out for their spring tour which will include Nashville, Austin, New Orleans, Denver, and many stops along the way. “We’ll be heading through South by Southwest about the time of the festival. We don’t have a date booked yet, but we learned a lot during our last tour. If you just play good music, people will like it, and you can do your thing. It’s simple really. But it can be very humbling going from playing to a ton of people, to playing for just a few people. It’s definitely a lesson, and there’s a lot of work involved – we do everything ourselves. But I’m just sick of NOT doing it. I’m 25 now, and I’m getting older every day. I feel like we gotta do this like, yesterday. It’s just one foot, in front of the other. That is what has lead us this far.”

Gene Evaro Jr. will also be a featured speaker at the inaugural meeting of the Southern California Desert Musicians Alliance. The group is making an effort to network experienced musicians with newer musicians and hopefuls, to share knowledge, information, encouragement and support. Among other music industry specialists, Evaro Jr. will speak on what he knows best – the DIY (Do It Yourself) music business. “I’m more educated on the DIY business end of things – the independent promoter, wearing multiple hats. I’ll be sharing that for one, this isn’t going to be easy. And two, you’re going to have to know how to do EVERYTHING!” As to why he’s volunteering his time to speak, he shares, “I have been blessed with roots in music. I’m surrounded by a lot of music and art. I think when you give a kid, or anybody, the place to discover what they’re good at they’re going to get it together. My parents never forced anything on me I just happened to know exactly what I wanted to do. And I don’t like doing anything else,” he laughed, “other than making food, and hanging out with the people I love.” Even with all that, he shares, “If I had this kind of support system and information – something that helped turn things into a network and less of a competition – I definitely wouldn’t have wasted so much time.”

The more you talk with Gene Evaro Jr., the more you question if you aren’t speaking to an older soul – a gentle, smart, enthusiastic positive soul, but way beyond his years when it comes to his vision of life and how it works. “Growing up with all the super rad people I was born with, you learn a lot. There are a lot of facets that are extremely contemplative in this business. You’re in a playing field of complete reflection. I think that’s why it’s really easy to get drunk and high all the time. It can be overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve tamed that down a lot. I don’t do that so much anymore. It’s easy to grab something to make you more comfortable with it all, especially when you’re naturally introverted. It’s kind of crazy for you to find yourself on a stage in front of 100 people. I don’t even like going down to frickin subway,” he laughed. “It’s weird to say, but in spite of that, I feel the most comfortable on stage – no doubt.”

As far as any words of advice based on what he’s learned so far, Evaro Jr. offered this: “Keep adding new colors to your palette. Keep looking at things differently. Keep creating. Sticking to the same 10 songs and really plugging those may make sense from a marketing standpoint. But if you’re going to play those same 10 songs for a year straight, you’re going to get really sick of them. I have the most fun when I’m experimenting and showing people new songs. I definitely love it when people are singing along; that’s the best. But there’s a healthy balance between the past and the present.” Then he added with a smile, “We at least want to keep it exciting so everybody comes to these rehearsals that nobody’s getting paid for.” - CV Weekly


Over this past weekend (May 12-15), Joshua Tree once again opened its doors to host the 14th annual Joshua Tree Music Festival (JTMF). Located just south of town at the RV park and campground, it was another long weekend with a broad range of musical acts and more. Like many music festivals these days, one finds many diverse activities to pursue over the weekend that cater to the enjoyment of both children as well as parents. Yoga, digiridoo classes, dance classes, or even observing artists as they create pieces to be auctioned off at the end of the weekend are some of what fills out this festival.
Opening the fest on Thursday evening at the Boogaloo Stage, local favorite Gene Evaro Jr. got things going on a solid note as he and the band played a flawless and fun packed set that had fans kicking up lots of desert dust. He and the band were in excellent form and the tightness that comes to a band with longevity was evident as they ripped through their set. Keeping things moving, Gene was followed by Dam-Funk and the Light who offered up plenty of funk and dance grooves to take the night to its conclusion before the full festival days ahead.

Returning to the Boogaloo Stage, Gene Evaro Jr. (followed by Vir, Inkx and Evan) brought the weekend to a fit conclusion. As was evidenced on the Thursday before, Gene and his band is showing signs big things could and should be in store for them in the future. Recently the winner of the John Lennon Songwriting competition at NAMM, one could easily see why that came to be as he is reaching crowds in a very honest and personal way. Focused and tight, all the elements in the band come together to speak as one. Watch for them as they play more dates in LA and San Diego in addition to seeing them at High Sierra Music Festival and Guitarfish later this summer.
Though it’s called the Joshua Tree Music Festival, it really is so much more. It’s an experience. A gathering of friends, family, and tribes. Music is certainly a key unifying factor, but there is also an unspoken bond and kinsmanship one feels here. It takes many people and a lot of talent to not only envision all that is here, but then to actually bring it to life. Long before the gates are ever flung open on opening day, there are calls for volunteers to come and put it all together. It is a testament to JTMF and to the community at large they are able to come together and perform such a feat, though from an outside view, they make it look natural and easy.

Words & Photography: Tom Dellinger - Grimy Goods


Still working on that hot first release.



Kicking Off Summer with a West Coast Tour  in support of his latest album “Too Good To Believe” Gene Evaro Jr’s formidable and dedicated following is rapidly expanding beyond So-Cal, fueled by recent touring and appearances at High Sierra Music Festival, Lightning In A Bottle, Wanderlust Festival, The Joshua Tree Music Festival, Guitarfish Festival, Lucidity, and Serenity Gathering. The band was honored with an invitation to play on the main stage at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA,  via the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

Gene Evaro Jr was also was recently performing his deeply-grooved funky blues, and soulful folk from CA to NY as supporting act for RCA artist Elle King.

Gene Evaro Jr’s works have also been featured on the network television show Deadliest Catch and Ian Somerhalder’s Time Framed Series.

Hailing from magical Joshua Tree, California, since 2008, a place in which many music groups from all over the world come, and have for years, in search of the quiet spirit that is the high desert, Gene Evaro Jr embodies that spirit with pure inspiration and creativity.

From the folk magic of Paul Simon, to the crazy funk fashion of Sly & The Family Stone, to the lyrical poetry of Jim Morrison, this old-soul youthful group of artists reminds us of what it once felt like to put on a record, press play, and then relish in every word from start to finish, without missing one beat. Gene’s songs speak for his generation through his prolific songwriting. 

Musically reminiscent of a clash between Allen Stone and Blake Mills. Gene Evaro Jr brings the avant-garde stylings of Albert King to mind including playing a mean upside-down guitar, music that not only moves listeners with a force that manifests in dancing feet, it is music that heals your entire being to the core.

Band Members