Evan Bartels is a lot of things, but above all else he is a storyteller. He has dedicated his life to living in a way that encompasses all facets of the human experience and capturing those feelings and emotions through songwriting. Those that experience Bartels and his band, The Stoney Lonesomes, can hear the authentic emotion drip through warm soulful vocals heightened by a polished Americana sound.
Hailing from the small town of Tobias in Southeast Nebraska, Bartels grew up as the second youngest of four kids. Fostered through the family piano and his father’s Ovation guitar, interest in music was imprinted on him at an early age. The discovery of Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker album marked a turning point, influencing a change of course for his future writings. Several years and a few guitars later, Bartels, now 25, paints vivid pictures of emotional strife, spiritual conflict, and personal redemption.
In his 2017 debut full-length album, ‘The Devil, God & Me’, Bartels confronts his pains and addresses his search for forgiveness. As described by No Depression,
“Taken as a whole, Bartels channels a world-weariness in his characters...Above all the pain and despair, however, something else on this album shines through: hope. As you listen to the album you can hear the hope of redemption just within your reach.”
Bartels spent the better part of 2017 traveling the country to promote the release of his then upcoming album. During that time, he garnered the attention of national outlets such as No Depression and performed live on NPR Music’s Night Owl sessions in New York City. Further acknowledgment occurred when, ‘The Devil, God & Me’ debuted at #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers West North Central charts its first week and has most recently had music featured on Theo Von’s podcast, This Past Weekend.
Building from the previous year’s momentum, 2018 has marked a year of growth for Bartels and his band of brothers. Performances at Tumbleweed Music Festival, Levitt Amp Music Series, ZOOFEST, and other festivals are just a few of the band’s notable appearances. With a new album on the horizon for 2019, Bartels and his band of brothers show no signs of slowing down.