Evan Davis was born once upon a time in Akron, Ohio. His parents were both musical, even magical, at times. His mother was a classically trained singer, whose pianist was Akron jazz visionary Pat Pace in his early days. His father was an acting student who gave up acting to support his family. Into this came Evan, a child with a near perfect pitch, who could immediately memorize theme songs to TV shows and so on at a very early age. He began writing songs at about age 8. Seemed like he always wanted to make a record. Evan was pushed and shoved and knocked about all through school until a friend urged him to try out for the Select Choir at Coventry High School. Once he sang a solo, all the bullies and naysayers walked a clear path around him: Evan had found his power. While still in high school, Evan was impressed with the current wave of local artists in N.E Ohio during the late 70's, which included Michael Stanley, Alex Bevan, and Jim Ballard, who were all getting airplay. Once, Jim Ballard let Evan play guitar and sing songs he had written during breaks at a local bar called Forshay's, which was next to the Lyn Theater where Evan was employed as an usher. Once out of high school, Evan was wandering in downtown Akron around 1980 and went to The Bank, an old bank that had been turned into a nightclub. There he saw Akron bands The Bizarros and Tin Huey putting on a show (both bands would soon be signed to major labels: Mercury and Warner Brothers, respectively). There he met the leader of The Bizarros, Nick Nicholis, who was assembling music for a compilation of Akron Artists at the time for his new label, Clone. He encouraged Evan to submit a cassette of music, which Evan did, with the help of an incredibly talented friend, Lawrence A. Rothermel, who played several instruments, and high school friend Larry Scheneman,who played drums. Evan's song, “Ride, Rider” from the resultant LP, Bowling Balls from Hell (Clone 1980), was named a “best cut” by Billboard Magazine. Evan tried to get a band together to capitalize on the opportunity of the moment, but it didn’t work out, and, in 1981, Evan decided to head off to California with his high school buddy, Patrick Benedict, who is now a big producer for the ABC Nightly News in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both very artistic and creative, they shared many dreams and visions. Once in California (a town called Los Banos…no, not “the bathrooms,” but “the baths” after historic visits by missionaries wherein they bathed in hot springs nearby), he and Patrick painted apartments, one of which Evan stayed in, with roaches at least 4 inches long, and a heat wave that summer of 110. He slept on a pull-down Murphy bed, with no mattress over the springs, and just a sleeping bag. Once, while rolling over, he caught his kneecap in one of the round springs, nearly dislocating it. Somewhere along the way he acquired a 4-track Teak upon which he recorded song after song, throughout and beyond this period. Some of those recordings still exist today. At the end of the summer of 1981, Patrick went back to Ohio to continue his cinematography education at OSU, and Evan decided to stay on in California. For a short time, he stayed for free in a “tank house,” a sort of two story shed which at one time had held a water tower, at “Rooney Ranch,” where at the time a high school art teacher, Bob Huddleson, let artistic types stay for free, as long as they produced art. Eventually, however, Evan wanted no one telling him what to do, and got himself a motel room at the Mission De Oro in Santa Nella, just outside of Los Banos, and walked across a bridge over interstate 5 to where he had secured himself a job as "Host" at the Pea Soup Andersen’s Restaurant. Rent at the Mission De Oro at that time was $100 a week, and he made about $210 every two weeks. His idea of a good time back then was a bottle of beer and microwavable burrito from the gift shop once every two weeks. It was a good thing he could eat for free at the restaurant on the days he worked. Often, Evan was so lonely, a pang ran through his being that didn’t stop till he got to work at Andersen’s the next day. At least there was cable in his room. It was somewhere right in there that he met Kelly Parker, a a rather,skinny and countrified fellow musician, who eventually became a very good friend and helped him out on many recordings and was a big part in the “Song Factory,” a project where he and Kelly would make up and record songs as they went along. Kelly worked at the front desk at the Mission De Oro. Soon, however, Evan’s childhood Akron neighbor and life-long friend, Gary Herwick, freshly-graduated with a B.S. in Business from the Unversity of Akron and ready to rule the world, declared he wanted to come out and join him, using Evan’s Mission De Oro room as his landing pad. Soon, Gary was managing a nearby 7-11, and Ev had become a waiter at Andersen’s, bringing home what he (and Gary!) considered to be big bucks compared to earlier scenarios. The room, of course, left something to be desired. One fellow slept on the floor one night, then the other slept on the floor the next. Eventually, they rented a house back in Los Banos (still named after “the baths” the missionaries took!) wherein Evan got free egg cartons from a nearby chicken farm and soundproofed a room and then painted it white, wherein he and Kelly could practice and record. Between Kelly and himself, there was an entire band’s worth of instruments, and Evan learned to play each one fairly well. Kelly had an original mind: he could make up guitar licks to accompany Evan's original music, even as Evan created it. Eventually, in 1983, Gary Moved to San Francisco to manage a hotel, and, in 1988, Ev followed him there, where Gary returned the favor, letting Ev stay for free for a goodly amount of time until he got on his feet. The goal was to find independent record labels, now called “indies,” to accept his songs, but he wasn’t all that successful at it. There are more than a few rejection letters from that time. He did, however, secure a job as Open Mic Emcee at the Mad Dog in the Fog, an English pub at Haight and Fillmore, wherein he booked the entertainment and also was the Saturday night doorman/bouncer, but most notably hosted the Open Mic every Tuesday night for over 2 years. There he met lots of talent, while performing his own songs whenever the opportunity presented itself. He met and got to know many singer/songwriters who would eventually make a name for themselves, including the egotistical Chris Von Schneidern, the existential Michael O’Meara, the lovely and charismatic Stephanie Mechura, the talented Hal Marcus, the particularly noble and loyal Rudy Chalard, and perhaps most notably Linda Perry (later of 4-Non Blondes). In 1993, Evan decided to go back to Ohio, where his Dad’s home, (the same house where he’d grown up) had empty rooms awaiting him. Evan needed to pause and regroup. It was around that time he heard that Jim Ballard still lived in the area, and owned and operated a recording studio. Evan got a job at The Old Harbor Inn in Portage Lakes, and soon met a girl bartending at a neighboring establishment, Paul’s Pub. They began going out, and eventually got married, in 1996. The emptiness aforementioned in Evan's spirit diminished. When their daughter was born in 1997, Evan began thinking about recording songs again, this time primarily to make his daughter proud of him some day. That's when he contacted Jim Ballard, and a collaborative effort began to record and produce Evan's songs. Edith’s Mystery is the eventual outcome of that collaboration; an 11-song CD, eclectic in that it is filled with Evan’s favorite songs, each one unique, each one glowing as if a jewel. The Album title is from a line within a short story by early American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The May-Pole at Merry Mount," which depicts a true and violent event that took place in Narragansett, Maine, one of the first American colonies, circa 1630, between settler Thomas Morton with his clan of narcissistic revelers, and the Puritans of that age. The story reveals two American schools of thought that are still very alive today, the ultra-right and the liberals. Evan received a B.A. in English from the University of Akron in 2004. He hopes you might try reading this short story by Hawthorne, or anything by his other favorite American author, Stephen Crane.
Although he has since lost both parents and granted a divorce to his now ex-wife, Evan still enjoys a wonderful relationship with his daughter, now 16, and is recording at home and making music videos (youtube.com/Creations4theWorld), as well as writing new songs for his next album, and performing live again. After all he's been through, let's all be grateful that he's still around, and what creative gem he will produce next is anybody's guess! But, if I have learned anything in my interviews with him for this bio, I CAN guarantee that whatever it is, it will have Evan's own, quirky, individualistic stamp to it, and his fresh and uncanny originality.
--Chet Beston, The Roaring Mouse Review, 2007.