The Evening Rig | Is Doin' Stuff

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Recommended if You Like
Drive-By Truckers The Hold Steady The Replacements

Album Links
Heart of a Champion website The Evening Rig on Myspace The Evening Rig official website

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United States - Minnesota

Other Genres You Will Love
Rock: Country-Rock Rock: Americana Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Is Doin' Stuff

by The Evening Rig

The Minneapolis band. Unabashedly Midwestern country-rock.
Genre: Rock: Country-Rock
Release Date: 

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  song title
1. The Steve McQueens
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2:57 album only
2. Half Asleep
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4:06 album only
3. In Spite of All That Happened
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3:37 album only
4. The Hilltop Pines
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3:50 album only
5. Right Where She Wants Me
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4:28 album only
6. Bartender
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2:14 album only
7. A Girl Important
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2:39 album only
8. How Does She Do It?
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3:01 album only
9. Goddamn, I Could Use a Drink
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4:25 album only
10. Saints and Mistakes
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5:11 album only
11. We Got Tonight
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2:42 album only
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Album Notes
The sophomore album is a tricky one. Some artists struggle to capture the excitement surrounding their first record. Others build, learn, and grow. The Evening Rig is the latter.

The Evening Rig was formed in Minneapolis in 2005 by singer/guitarist Jason Miller, drummer Becky Hanten, and bassist Jake Jarpey. Lead guitarist Josh Lynch was added to the fold during the summer of 2006.

Over the next year and a half, The Evening Rig built a devoted local fan-base with their beer-soaked and unmistakable Minneapolis sound. To much fanfare, their debut album Never Been'er was released by Heart of a Champion in January 2008. From national magazines like Alternative Press to local newspapers like City Pages and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the reviews were positively glowing.

Minneapolis music icon Peter Jesperson (former co-owner of Twin/Tone Records and manager of The Replacements, currently the vice president of New West Records in Los Angeles) was one of the band's early advocates:

As successful as Never Been'er was, one listen to Is Doin' Stuff makes it very clear that The Evening Rig is a better band now than they were a year ago. From the musicianship to the lyrics, each aspect of The Evening Rig is sharper and more confident.


to write a review

J. Scott Watson

I'd Give It FIVE STars if those bastardos at CD Baby would let me . . . .
GODDAMNIT I love this record!

Let’s get the obvious things out of the way: yes, they’re from Minneapolis. Yes, Jason Miller can sound some-almighty-godly like Westerberg on a wailed, plaintive phrase, especially on the slow, low-intensity numbers. Yes, mister lynch can yank a single-string country lick that you’ve heard a million tikmes before [but in a setting you may not expect]. And yes, the rhythm section is a tight little unit that does little that’s flashy. Yeah, it seems like boozing it up is a big theme.And finally – yes, there’s next-to-nothing new here.

Okay – we’ve covered the obvious about the Evening Rig.

What’s also obvious to just about every reviewer that has published something, and to everyone I grab by the shoulder and restrain while I hit “play,” is that this is a fantastic band with punch, and aggression, and subtlety, playing dynamite songs that are being delivered by a great frontman.

I’ve sat through some consumer-grade YouTube video stuff, and I am so put off by that medium that I won’t address what the *band* is like – I just don’t know; they have yet to make their way here to the East Coast [at least since I discovered them]. But I can tell you that the RECORD is freakin’ amazing.

“Steve McQueen” is a fantastic rocker that kicks off the LP in classic style – a driving song about a chick with wailing guitars and rock solid rhythm, and a haunting, familiar melody sung on the edge by Miller – but never over the edge. A “song about a chick” turns out to be a concerned, but not pitying, little study of how goddamned tough it must be to be the chick who only goes out with a certain type of guy. All in under three minutes. Kim Morgan should be blogging about this song as an inspiration for a road movie.

“Half Asleep” and “In Spite of All That Happened” will be reviewed later. They have struck me as “seemingly predictable,” but always followed by “oooh; *that* came outta noweher” with a big smile rising on my face. BUT I leave them ‘til another day because I always skip to . . .

“Hilltop Pines,” which is featured prominently on the band’s MySpace page. This song has real Midwestern-y, country-ish, drinkin’ song roots. I’m pretty sure it’s about one of those “immediate attractions / she caught my eye” things. But DAMN if it doesn’t perfectly capture . . . me. “She was a wishing well // over my head, I fell into” captures my [flawed] romantic life perfectly. Maybe it describes yours. If not, you’ll still be singing along with the band.

Goddamnit, I’m outta space and time. Just buy this. If you’re disappointed, come to me for your money back. I know I won’t hear from anybody, because the record’s great.

PS I hate the “sounds like” game; it’s not fair to anyone. So I’ll mention the bands that I like that come into my mind when I’ve been listening to this record for a while:

The Replacements, Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, The Neighborhoods, The Drive-By Truckers, Soul Asylum, the Action Figures, and the Intentions.

Goddamnit I love this record.