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Al Evans of Soulive: Their August festival, their new album, and something about Belgium | August 2011

Coming up on August 12th-14th, the jazzjammer trio Soulive is hosting A Royal Family Affair, a music festival in Stratton, VT. The event features three nights of Soulive, plus John Brown’s Body, The Pimps of Joytime, Zach Deputy, and others. This is the first year for the event, named after Soulive’s own record label. The band’s drummer, Al Evans, touches in about the event, as well as their Beatles covers album and this year’s follow-up.

Al Evans | Soulive

A Royal Family Affair is Soulive’s festival. How’d you set that up?

It was a few things. A couple of years ago we did a one-day festival in Northampton, and it went pretty well. The past few years we’ve been doing Royal Family things, and Bowlive (A Brookyln Bowl residency). We’re getting to a point where, I can’t even tell you how many festivals we played, you know? I think we like doing our own shows. We’re going to do more things like this, instead of showing up at other people’s things (Laughs).

What caused you to put the festival in Vermont?

We really dig Vermont. It has a different environment. Some people are like, “Why don’t you do it in New York?” You know, I wouldn’t want to go to a festival in New York, you know what I mean? (Laughs) Stratton’s going to be a good spot for it. It’s centrally located in the northeast. We wanted to make it easy for people to get to.

Who are you stoked to see while you’re there?

Everyone! That’s my plan.

The last thing Soulive put out was Rubber Soulive. What brought that on?

Since we started out own label, It feels good that we can do whatever we want to do. And for a while we talked about doing a British Invasion album, but picking tunes for it, so many were Beatles’ tunes! (Laughs) They’re great tunes, wild fun to play. It felt good to go into the studio and not deal with our own music. It was challenging as well, to take tunes that are so well known and are well liked, and make it sound like us. It was a challenge, a learning experience, but it was fun. That’s what it should be like all the time. It’s funny, actually; today I was mixing our new album.


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