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Evership: Bringing Shane Atkinson's Prog-Rock Opera to Life


Shane Atkinson and Beau West from Evership talked with Alternative Addiction about starting the band and putting Atkinson's ultimate prog rock opera together.

For Shane Atkinson, Evership has been a long time coming. He’s worked as a studio musician doing commercial work for years, but he’s never had the time to do this big dramatic prog-rock opera that he’s always wanted to do. Finally, a few years ago he decided that it was time to take some time and do what he wanted to do - form his band and make his ultimate album. Unfortunately for Atkinson, with so many years passing from the early talks of starting the project to when it was time to record vocals and finalize the album, the guy he had in mind couldn’t be the vocalist. That’s when Atkinson managed to meet Beau West, the man who would give Evership a voice.

“What eventually became Evership was a long time coming,” said Shane Atkinson in an interview that he and West did with Alternative Addiction. “There was a guy who I had played with in bands in the 90s. He was always going to be the singer. Life went on and I had never made it to the project. By the time I was ready for him to sing on it his whole life situation had changed. I had keyed all the songs for his voice at this point. At this point, I was stuck. That piece of the puzzle was missing on the floor and I was in a pretty big reset.”

Distraught, but not too distraught to not keep trying, Shane pursued a second option for a vocalist. It was a friend that he had worked with on some different production work over the years. He couldn’t do the music, he didn’t think he had the chops to pull it off, but he introduced Atkinson to Beau West.

“I basically got disillusioned with music in Nashville,” said West on how Atkinson connected with him. “I could never find a project or write anything that I wanted to do. I basically quit. I put my guitar in the closet. I wanted a project that was already done. I didn’t want to have any creative control. I got introduced to Shane through our friend and we had a four-hour phone call. I think my phone died three times during the conversation. We spoke the same language and we kind of hit it off. I went into Shane’s studio and I sang a little bit, and Shane didn’t really say much. I went back and started working on it for another session and I wasn’t sure if I got it. I told Shane, I said, “If I don’t make this, I’d still love to get a recording of it.” He goes, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… you’re my guy. This is it’ and that was it. We worked on it and finished it together.”

What’s cool about Evership is how much work Shane Atkinson put into the project and the passion that he has for it. He plays roughly 900 instruments, (maybe not that many, but it’s close), and he wrote every single note and lyric for this record. When we talk about wanting people to be passionate about the music they’re making – you can really point to Atkinson as example A. For West, he’s not only had to learn to sing some extremely challenging stuff with Evership, but he has to remember some crazy intricacies in the lyrics that Atkinson wrote for the album when they play in and around Nashville.

“Shane’s writing is brilliant,” started West. “It’s poetic and very in-depth. The singing, I have down. It’s going to be hard to remember all of these lyrics. It’s come to rest in my soul, so to speak, It’s pretty awesome stuff and I’m really blessed and fortunate to be working with Shane.”

Added a laughing Atkinson, “If you see us playing live and Beau is staring at his arm, you’ll know what’s going on.” - aa

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