The firm instrumental foundation nicely complements Evans’ songwriting, which covers a range of relatable subjects across the album’s dozen tracks.” - Edwin Arnaudin

Mountain Xpress

It all started with the inspired lyrical songwriting of Stephen Evans on his acoustic guitar which then was transformed with the True Grits added flavor in the music. Each member of the band gave their own unique style and parts to make the music really blossom. Brian Shoemaker wore many shoes, so to speak, with his masterful lead acoustic guitar riffs, solid yet imaginative bass playing, and tasteful, complimentary backing vocals. Woodstock added his harmonious as well as sometimes appropriately gritty mandolin. And Sam Hess laid down his steady foundation of drums with hints of his individual style and creativity. All of these intermingling parts come together beautifully to make this cohesive and eclectic mix of a "Buzz of Bees" record. The listener will definitely be taken on a musical ride to the very end.” - Rachel Leslie

Asheville Grit

A lifetime performing musician living in Asheville since 1996, Stephen Evans plays with his band the True Grits, as part of a songwriters’ collective, and as a solo artist. As live shows begin to return to the region, folk-rocking Evans has scheduled an April 3 solo performance at Guidon Brewing. ” - Bill Kopp

Bold Life Magazine

Evans is noted for leading Stephen Evans & The True Grits, a folk rock band out of Asheville. In addition to performing throughout the region, they have produced a CD in 2015 and an EP in 2017, both receiving high praise from music critics and radio listeners. More recently, Evans joined the newly formed Western Carolina Writers, a singer-songwriter group that performs “in the round,” meaning each performing takes a turn singing something he or she has written. So far, there have been three he’s: Nick Mac, Jesse Frizsell and Evans. This is true listening music: you have to listen to and hear the lyrics to truly appreciate the performances, which is known to be deeply emotional, passionate, and rib-sticking. Evans’s strong melodic songwriting style is a blend of creative imagery of darkness and hopeful optimism.” - Steve Wong


The music on Under the Bridge does show its roots in the middle of the 1990s. Although the instruments are mostly acoustic, the jangle of guitar and Evans’ expressive tenor evoke the era’s grunge aesthetic. The results on songs such as “Waiting” give a vibe not unlike Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged set, or the Foo Fighters’ Skin and Bones acoustic album. Other tracks on the EP reveal how Asheville worked its way into Evans’ songwriting after his move. “I was just impressed with the surroundings here. When I got into hiking in the mountains, I found that it was very peaceful and relieved you of the stress of your day-to-day stuff,” he says. “Cherokee Hills,” in particular, recounts the healing he found in his new home. Evans sings, “Mountain laurel, you glow like a pearl / how you open my eyes / Mountain laurel, your flowers unfurl / and take me to the sky,” as a heavy, folksy waltz backs up the sentiment. Throughout the record, Evans’ bandmates in the True Grits pull the sound in the folk-rock direction they first explored in their 2015 debut, Something to Bleed. Brian Shoemaker (bass/lead guitar/backing vocals) and Sam Hess (drums) make a steady, unfussy rhythm section, while Woodstock (mandolin) fills out the music’s high end with tremolo lead lines and complementary chords. Former Mean Season guitarist Shawn Duxbury is featured in the lead acoustic part on “Waiting,” contributing an intricate lick over his old bandmate’s strumming. ” - Daniel Walton

The Mountain Xpress

There are two main moods to Something to Bleed, the new 10-track album by local musician Stephen Evans — the energetic folk-rock found on lead offering “The Ghost” and the more wistful, lilting melodies of songs like “1000 Roses.” Evans’ tenor is emotive and more concerned with ache and character than with polish. His vocal is matched at many points by poignant violin. The local singer-songwriter does a nice job of crafting imagery and matching instrumentation to poetic temperament. ” - Alli Marshall

Mountain Xpress

You can expect Evans’ signature soulful guitar and roots-oriented accompaniment from the band. ” - Emily Glaser

Mountain Xpress

With solid vocals and dancing melodies, those in attendance can anticipate humming these tunes long after the final number. ” - Thomas Calder

Mountain Xpress

Stephen Evans would have to be number three on my list of Top 5. His songs are melancholy soliloquies that speak of broken hearts, woes and unrequited love. The track that I liked the best was “The Ghost.” The vignette is about a scorned, disembodied soul that haunts the conscience of the woman who rejected him. These lyrics work either figuratively or literally. The track features violin as does “Lasting Lover’s Spell,” other recordings by Evans."...” - Fredrick Gubitosi

Shutter 16 Online Magazine

“After years of putting his music career on hold, Stephen Evans has finally released his debut CD, "Something to Bleed". This record is a sweet blend of dark, brooding rock and fun, uplifting grooves. With solid vocal melodies and delicious dancing counter melodies, one will find themselves humming these tunes long after the music has stopped playing. The lyrics are creative and pull you into dark, romantic scenarios then send you spiraling upward with hope.””

The Loafer