Things Are Simple Bill Evans
Label: Native and Fine Records
Artist: Bill Evans
Album including Album cover
- 1Things Are Simple02:50
- 2Road to Ruidoso05:36
- 3Black Range Waltz06:15
- 4Sierra Blanca05:39
- 5True He's Gone03:22
- 6Along Came Sonny04:48
- 7Gertie & Jake04:17
- 9Midnight in Rosine05:51
- 10Chinquapin Hunting02:12
Info for Things Are Simple
Things Are Simple is the new bluegrass banjo release from 2022 Steve Martin Banjo Prize recipient Bill Evans. Recorded over the span of three years, Bill assembled some of his favorite musicians to record Things Are Simple, including John Reischman (mandolin), Jim Nunally (guitar), Chad Manning (fiddle), and Sharon Gilchrist (bass).
Four tracks, all original Bill Evans instrumentals, are powered by the incredible twin fiddle work of Chad and Brandon Godman and New Acoustic Music legend Darol Anger. Bill's last solo outing, In Good Company, topped both folk and bluegrass charts and was named a best of year album by many media outlets.
The title track "Things Are Simple," is a duet with his wife Babi with fingerpicked guitar and a string quartet accompaniment arranged by Alisa Rose. On the instrumental side, there are six original Bill Evans compositions, a John Reischman jam standard ("Nesser"), and an old-time favorite ("Chinquapin Hunting").
"Things Are Simple is a musical biography, literally a musical description of all that's happened to me and my family in the last several years. This recording traces our journey from sorrow into joy, focusing on the love and bonds of family. I wanted to draw the listener's attention to the melodies and the contemplative mood of these pieces and we tried keep the playing as basic and as beautiful as possible. I'm so proud of the job that everyone did on this recording. I'm hoping that this is a recording that you enjoy and find meaning in for years to come." (Bill Evans)
"Bill Evans is not just a banjo player, he's a thoughtful and articulate composer whose melodies speak like words about the things most dear to him. With his album, Things Are Simple, Bill has made room for the most important and the most essential. The result is a clarity of space that engages one immediately, pulling them into the room. From the stark beauty of the title song, "Things are Simple" (co-written and sung here with wife, Babi Evans), to the intricate "Along Came Sonny", Bill has successfully captured exactly all that is needed and nothing more. While this album is heavily weighted as an instrumental feature, Bill's singing shines with a relaxed and peaceful confidence. There is joy in this music. A profound sense of joy that captivates the listener." (Missy Raines, 10-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year award winner, Grammy nominee)
"Things Are Simple is the latest release from Bill Evans, a 2022 recipient of the Steve Martin Prize. The project is aptly titled, with its sparse instrumentation and presentation of (almost exclusively) Bill's original material. The performances allow listeners the chance to really connect to the melodies and focus on Bill's thoughtful musicianship, as well as that of his stellar supporting cast. There is, however, nothing simple about the musical maturity and sensibility reflected in these 10 songs. This album further affirms that Bill is a seasoned pro and valued member of the banjo and bluegrass communities." (Kristin Scott Benson, The Grascals)
"Bill Evans is one of my absolute favorite banjo players. His touch is gorgeous and his tunes strike a beautiful balance between creativity and tradition. It's an honor to call him a friend and mentor." (Wes Corbett, Sam Bush Band)
Bill Evans, banjo, vocals
John Reischman, mandolin
Jim Nunally, guitar
Chad Manning, fiddle
Sharon Gilchrist, bass
is an internationally recognized five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a music career that now spans over thirty-five years.
Bill's banjo artistry is best experienced in live performance and on his recordings Fine Times At Fletcher's House with Fletcher Bright (2013), In Good Company (2012), let's do something with Megan Lynch (2009), Bill Evans Plays Banjo (2001) and Native and Fine (1995). Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating a new music that is firmly within the bluegrass tradition but draws upon a broad knowledge of classical, jazz and world music, drawing upon his experiences as a graduate student in Music at the University of California, Berkeley and as the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.
Bill is also an expert player of mid-19th century minstrel banjo and late 19th and early 20th century classic banjo styles, authentically performing these styles on historical instruments. He brings all of these diverse musical performing interests together in his solo concert The Banjo in America.
In the last two years, Bill has toured throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Germany and toured Russia for the U. S. State Department. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences.
Bill is the author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world. Banjo For Dummies is now in its second edition and has been translated into French and Portuguese. This year, Bill is preparing a companion volume Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies. In addition, Bill hosts six critically acclaimed instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, Homespun Tapes and the Murphy Method and he is also the co-author of Mel Bay’s best-selling Parking Lot Pickers Songbook: Banjo Edition.
With banjo legend Sonny Osborne, Bill hosts the NashCamp Banjo Camp each fall in Fairview, Tennessee. Now in its 13th year, this camp is the premiere bluegrass banjo camp in the world and has featured J. D. Crowe, Jens Kruger, Bill Emerson, Ron Block, Kristin Scott Benson, Rob McCoury, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Ned Luberecki, Charlie Cushman, Pete Wernick and Frank Neat, among others.
Bill has also been a mainstay at many other banjo and bluegrass music camps over the last fifteen years, including multiple appearances at Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week (England), Bluegrass Camp Munich (Germany), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Music Camp (Tennessee) and the California Bluegrass Association’s Music Camp.
Bill has probably taught more one-on-one banjo lessons than anyone else in the world. His list of students is impressive: Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Jayme Stone, Greg Liszt (Crooked Still, the Deadly Gentlemen), Wes Corbett and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum.) However, Bill is equally adept at instructing the older adult learner whose goal is to have fun in a jam session or local band.
At any one time in his home near Richmond, California, Bill teaches between forty and sixty students, in addition to maintaining a steady international touring schedule. In addition, Bill teaches the most popular bluegrass ensemble classes in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse and he is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory.
This album contains no booklet.