As you probably know by now, I really enjoy chatting with artists for the first time and such is the case this week as I bring a conversation I had recently with Marina Evans — a folk/Americana artist — who will perform Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Somerset Abbey in Madison. I reached Evans at her home on the North Shore of Massachusetts and asked her if they had ever performed in Maine before.

Evans: Sure, we played last year at the Somerset Abbey and we play in Portland a couple of times a year, as well.

Q: I’ve never been to the Somerset Abbey, it’s a new venue to me.

Evans: It’s a cool venue.

Q: Now, do I understand correctly that your show will be an acoustic performance with Bernardo Baglioni?

Evans: Yes, indeed.

Q: Do you record together, as well?

Evans: Yes, he’s my producer as well as being my husband and guitarist and mandolin player. The last CD I did was recorded in Italy, where Berna is from, with members of our band over there. Now we are working on our second full album. We’re finishing up the first four tracks which will be released soon. Those were recorded half in Italy and half in the United States, and he’s the producer of those, as well.

Q: Well, that makes it very handy doing it all in-house, as it were.

Evans: Yes, yes indeed.

Q: How far afield do you get, as far as touring goes?

Evans: Well, when we’re here in the states we mostly stay in New England but we do also go down to New York and Pennsylvania, as well. We’re kind of all over the place but mostly in the eastern portion of the states. We did do one tour across the country from Massachusetts to California a few years back and I’ve also played in London. And when we’re in Italy we play there but for now we’re going to concentrate right here in the Northeast — although we’re happy to travel.

Q: Do you do much solo work or is it mostly with the duo or with a band?

Evans: We travel back and forth between New England and Italy pretty often. Since we got married we’ve been more in Italy than we have been here. As far as the band goes we don’t have one that we gig with. And when I’m here in the states and Berna is not with me I’m still gigging, but solo. The band is for the studio, we haven’t really been gigging with the band in quite some time now. And most of them are in Italy, for one thing, so we can’t very well bring them here, and for another it’s much more manageable from an administrative and economic standpoint to tour in duo form. We would love to do so with the band, though, especially with this new material — but right now we’re mostly duo or solo. I sing with other bands. I sing with big bands and stuff, as well, that are not really related to the singer-songwriter strain.

Q: Do you prefer one over the other — big band or singer-songwriter music — or is it like comparing apples and oranges?

Evans: Yeah, I guess it is sort of hard to compare the two. I like singing with the big band, I feel like it keeps me honest in a way because those are from the American Songbook — those are what I like to call “real songs” — it’s a good reminder to know what it is you’re really reaching for when you’re trying to write and compose music. Those are the real, beautiful songs that I would love to be able to write that way — just the forms and the lyricism and the melodies are so important that it can be humbling listening and performing that music and then returning to your own, you know, how far you really have to go.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Evans: Well, just that we’re very excited to be returning to Madison, that we’ve got some new material we’re looking forward to sharing, and I think our live show together is better and tighter than it ever has been before. We’ve spent a lot of time together — traveling and in the studio and just playing together — and I think our live performance really shows that; there’s a lot of give-and-take between us. It’s comfortable but still spontaneous. There’s always room for some flexibility, so I think we’ll put on a good show, and I hope the folks from your area would want to come and join us and hear some new music.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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