Banjo wielding brothers reunite in Jasper
Born into a family of classical musicians, brothers Max and Frank Evans were quickly introduced to a vast sea of melodies, rhythms and beats. However, unlike the robust sounds of their parents, the boys got hooked on old-time Appalachian music.
In time they started a string band, with Frank plucking the banjo and Max jigging on the fiddle. For years they performed weekly in Toronto’s Kensington Market, recording an album in 2008. However, the brotherly beats came to an end shortly after the album’s release as Max moved to Montreal in hopes of expanding a visual arts career.
Now after almost a decade a part the brothers are teaming up again, touring across Northern Alberta through Home Routes, a national non-profit organization connecting Canadian musicians with rural communities.
The tour will bring the duo to Jasper on Feb. 3.
“I’ve always stayed in Toronto so we actually haven’t had a lot of time to play music together for almost 10 years so I think it will be really fun to start playing music with my brother again,” Frank said. “Sharing that with your brother isn’t something everyone gets to experience.”
While the brothers have kept busy with separate musical projects in their respective cities, Frank, who has done a Home Routes tour before, said he was recently approached by the organization after one of the people in charge of booking heard the brothers’ 2008 album.
“We saw it as a perfect opportunity to get out and start touring together again,” Frank said. “Home Routes is also a really cool way to get to know the community. When I tour with my other band it’s a lot of hotels and you don’t really get to meet people so this is a great way to immerse yourself in a new community and meet people.”
Frank has a feeling their Jasper show will open them up to a completely different audience than what they’re used to. From houses and hotels to bars and curling rinks, the two thought they had played every venue imaginable. However, the Jasper show will be a new experience for the two, playing at the Alpine Summit Seniors Lodge.
Local Nancy Addison has been hosting Home Routes musicians at her Patricia Street home for five years, however, she’s switched up the venue this time to be more accommodating to many of the shows’ regular attendees, residents at the seniors lodge.
“That’s why Home Routes is great. You play all these different venues and you meet different audiences,” Frank said. “I can only imagine right now what the seniors home will be like, but we’re sure that we’re going have a blast and we hope lots of people come out.”
The brothers will be at the Alpine Summit Seniors Lodge on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show are $20 and should be purchased in advance. Hopeful attendees can get a hold of some tickets by sending Addison a message on Facebook.
After the 12-stop Alberta tour, Frank said the brothers will go their separate ways once again, with Max taking on another Home Routes tour while Frank will continue touring with his band Slocan Ramblers.