After hearing Evan Jacover play, a friend’s mother described him as “a cross between Leonard Cohen and Weird Al Yankovic.” Evan is flattered to be compared to either fellow on his own, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t get the willies pondering that amalgam?
Evan was born in Evanston, but didn’t realize there was anything weird about that until he left the Midwest to spend a few years in New York and had to introduce himself as “Evan from Evanston.” It soon became clear that he had no business straying that far from his home. He’s been dabbling about Chicago’s folk music scene since moving back several years ago, playing his fun and quirky brand of music celebrating the people in his life and the town he loves. In fact, the only thing Evan likes more than Chicago are the folk musicians it produced, including John Prine, Steve Goodman, Shel Silversein and Warren Zevon.
Evan once conducted a rigorous scientific inventory of his iTunes library and proved that 60% of all songs are about breaking up. So perhaps it’s no surprise his debut, One Pair of Shoes, has its fair share of them. But Evan gives this classic theme his own stamp, and the songs are filled more with clever twists than mopey angst — even the song entitled “Breaking Up,” a duet with Divebar vocalist Kelly Stanley, turns out to be as concerned with cellphone reception as the one who got away.
Aric, Evan’s brother and frequent accompanist, once pointed out that Evan isn’t the best singer in the world, but when he plays his songs people have fun. Hence the credo, “It’s folksy music and also good times.” Evan’s music is about the audience, and he treats them like good friends whether he knows them or not. In “A Swaying Song,” when Evan sings, “Look to your left and look to your right, this room’s filled with interesting people tonight,” it’s clear that he means it.
In a good way.