Meet the Band: Alex Bevan (vocals, guitar)
Not Just a Novelty Act: A self-described "skinny little boy from Cleveland, Ohio," singer-songwriter Alex Bevan released his first record way back in 1971. "I knocked around the folk circuit and became an opener for people like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers and Michael Stanley," he says. "I had my Cleveland persona and my folk persona. That lasted until 'Skinny Little Boy.' I was surprised it became a hit. I thought 'Rodeo Rider' had bigger legs. It was something lucky that happened. It's like an old friend that shows up with a six-pack and a couple of steaks."
Cool Collaboration: Bevan mostly plays solo these days, though he says he has some friends that he can pull together for a band if needed. "I'm more agile as a solo act," he says. "The Cleveland market is not so big that you can't get to know all the guys but it's not so small that there's not a high quality pool of musicians." For this week's show at Nighttown, he'll collaborat e with Rachel Brown and her band.
Why You Should Hear Him: Bevan is an old-fashioned songwriter who writes about taking off without a care ("Road to Montreal") and waxes eloquently about love's many trials and tribulations ("Cages") on 2010's Fly Away. Bevan says his latest album, I Have No Wings, is his "best work of the last 15 years." It includes "Tired Pilgrims," a somber ballad that's a tribute to the Chardon school shooting victims. "I reprogrammed myself to be a little broader and craft songs for the guitar and voice. Sometimes in production, the song can get lost, though I still write songs about fish for [the times when I play at] Put N Bay."
Where You Can Hear Him: alexbevan.com.
Where You Can See Him: Alex Bevan performs with Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Playboys at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6 at Nighttown.