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Music Review: The Evangenitals – Evangenitals

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The Evangenitals are busy spreading their intoxicating blend of love-fest country far and wide from their base in LaLa land. Their third release, a self titled seven track E.P. is now available and comes with a sound, best described by themselves as being somewhere, between a “cosmic square dance” and “hillbilly jazz."

They seductively blow smoke rings of multi-colored camp fire haze right through your musical senses. This is fun, freedom, and freak folk all delivered with a huge capital ‘F’.

They are led by playwright-director, and vegan warrior, Juli Crockett, whose seems to be on a personal mission to explore the boundaries of her theatrical work, as well as this, her musical journey. This is a band of eclectic gypsies who each bring their own life blood to the party by contributing to the hybrid mix of flowing country soaked style.

They first appeared in the unlikely surrounds of the Highland Park bowling alley in a suburb of L.A. in front of an audience of “rehab refugees” and “listless drunks.” Since then they have delivered two full albums We Are The Evangenitals and Everlovin' which enthralled their ever growing cultish following whilst also gathering a collection of impressive reviews.

Juli is joined on vocals by opera/jazz singer Lisa Dee who is described as “formally trained in the art of glass shattering, gospel singing, and spiritual counseling.” Added to that are the collective quality musicianship of guitarist Henry Bermudez, fiddler Andrea Baker, accordion playing Ari De Sano, drummer David Hurlin, and bass player Keith Lubow.

The Evangenitals defy accurate labeling which is, of course, a major part of their character. A quick rule breaking trawl through 'review city' sees all sorts of words placed in front of ‘country.’ Alt, freak-folk, rootsy, gritty, Americana, eclectic, southern, jazz, gospel, soulful, and hillbilly being just a few.

“Hello” kicks it off with a deceptively catchy upbeat, scene setting opener. “Hard Luck Song” is rich with dusty alt-country atmosphere that is everything it says in the title.

“Work Song” comes at you like the perfect soundtrack for the next Tarantino film before settling into a fiddle fused folk fable of our frustrating day to day lives. It’s sudden psychedelic dream sequence opens the doors to what lays just out of reach.

The gorgeous swirl of “Home”, leads to the delicate “So Sweet.” It’s a mid section that ensures you stay hooked under their compulsive spell. “Bad Town” all but 'yee hars' its way with a tongue in cheek romp through life in small town Tumbleweedville.

“I’m Sad” brings the Evangenitals E.P. to an all too soon close with an easy, irresistible come down that ensures you press play again.

Please venture into the world of The Evangenitals by visiting their website. This release is also available via CD Baby. It's well worth the effort.

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About Jeff Perkins