Hippo Manchester
August 25, 2005

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Evan Goodrow, dictator

EGB records latest album, 24 Hour, in a single day 

by Richie Victorino

When we met, Evan Goodrow’s infectious attitude influenced me to drink more than I intended to, smoke cigarettes (which I rarely do) and dream about living the rocker lifestyle, which includes staying at the houses of women I meet on the road to musical freedom.

Goodrow is 29. Goodrow is lively. Goodrow has wandering eyes at the bar, and a knack for creating music that screams of sex and fun.

He is living what many of us would consider the perfect lifestyle.

And he’s not complaining.

Goodrow is the dictator, as he calls himself, of the Evan Goodrow Band. It’s a Boston-based band that tours up and down the East Coast, specifically in Boston, New York and New Hampshire.

If you want to talk about an absolutely fun musical experience, you ought to make reference to the Evan Goodrow Band.

That is evident in the band’s latest album release, 24 Hour, a reality-TV-like experiment in the art of recording an album.

The band set up shop in a fan’s house (in Sudbury, Mass.) for 48 hours, with a 20-man production crew, friends, fans, a master chef, alcohol and God knows what else.

In 24 hours, the house was transformed into a studio. For the next 24 hours after that, Evan Goodrow and his mighty bandmates fought through alcoholic stupors, zombie-like trances due to lack of sleep and the pressure of a deadline to record a miraculous album. It took them one day to record, mix and clean up an album that comes off sounding like an absolute masterpiece in blues, jazz and R&B. They did all this in one day, videotaping the whole affair.

“We play live so often that we knew to have people in the house with us would change the whole vibe of the record,” Goodrow said from Del Vaudo’s in Nashua one evening. “There’s a huge party going on that you didn’t even know about.”

That party included his saxophonist’s drinking too much, preventing him from playing the saxophone properly in some songs, such as “Sexy Lady.” Goodrow had to fill the song with keyboard solos to make up for the lack of sax.

Goodrow has come a long way from his teenage years, when he was told he had no musical talent. Guitar is his bread and butter, and it’s a tool he uses masterfully. But, as stated before, he is the dictator of his band. He writes the sax lines, the bass lines and the drum lines. Sure, his bandmates give it their own flavor, but Goodrow supplies the ingredients.

Goodrow is also the music booker for Del Vaudo’s. On this particular evening at the restaurant, however, he’s more concerned with pleasure than business.

With phone in hand, he continually text messages a mysterious person. This makes me curious about his rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.

“So, where are you going after this?” I ask him.

“Nowhere … home. Gonna watch a movie,” he says, and winks at me as if to say, “Know what I mean?”

He eyes a girl at a bar and says, “Is she looking at me?” Then he goes back to text messaging, while simultaneously flirting with a fan of his, who happened to be at the restaurant as well.

His life is far from routine. Thursdays through Sundays he’s on the road, performing with the band. Other days he’s booking future gigs. He’s the manager, supervisor and go-to guy for the Evan Goodrow Band.

His band gets paid no matter what. Goodrow worries about the rest.

Each morning he wakes up and writes. He studies Buddhism, calls music his yoga, prefers to drink wine over anything else and uses the term “cats” when talking about other musicians. 

He comes off as egotistical, but he’s far from it. He’s comfortable with himself and what he’s done with his life. He’s not about the limelight. He once tried a solo career but felt empty with the results.

“You need the drums, man,” he said. “There’s something non-sexy about just someone with a guitar.”

But, feeling comfortable in my own manhood, there is certainly something sexy about Goodrow’s music, when combined with his band. It’s fun, it’s complex and it’s simple. Some of the guitar riffs Goodrow spills out are mesmerizing, while other times his simple electric rhythm fills in perfectly with the band. His voice is strong and full of range — it’s a wonder how he does that while smoking cigarettes. He’s James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Dave Matthews wrapped into one package.

And he knows what he has is unique. Rock may soon be dead, Goodrow said. But that’s fine with him. Because “when the bottom finally drops out, [people] are gonna look around. That’s where we fill a niche.”

“... More cowbell”

The Evan Goodrow Band is made up of Evan Goodrow, vocals/guitar; Rock O’Neal, bass, vocals, cowbell; Carl Benevides, sax, vocals, percussion; Phil Antoniades, drums, percussion.

The Evan  Goodrow Band plays Strange Brew Tavern on Friday, Aug. 26. Strange Brew Tavern is located at 88 Market St., Manchester. 666-4292.

24 Hour can be purchased at www.evangoodrow.com.