Instantly dreamy and reminiscent of the Shannon Hoon era of alternative rock, the Hyde Street Ep from Evan & The Live Oaks is a joyously spacey trek from a crew that has paid their dues in touring dutifully. While the notion of jam bands becomes ever increasingly vogue in our current musical conversation, Evan & The Live Oaks are a perfect response to the modern outdoor music festival, free of pretention and gimmicks.
Inspired by a sonic aesthetic of Heartland rock meets an acid soul music outfit, Evan & The Live Oaks can’t help but fall into the category of feel-good music – not that their intent is anything other than inspiring such a feeling with a track such as “Maybe Later” begins with vocalist Evan Lanam hollering, “Don’t it feel good.” This music is the definition of a street festival as the weather warms up, replete with a smoldering horn section and a feeling of synestia that makes one taste some cold beet and fried foods when “Maybe Later” pops on.
Produced by Eric Drew Feldina of Captain Beefheart and Frank Blank fame, the EP certainly has a feel of outsider music paired with the sensibility of a proper classic alternative sound, making the EP bound to wind up in the annals of record stores filed under “Misc.” Yet what a glorious and funky Misc. that Hyde Street is, sauntering through its three tracks like a buzzed twenty-something who has just experienced an epiphany in a polo field.
Hedge your bets on Evan & The Live Oaks quickly ascending to the status of mini-fest and outdoor showcase staples. An ideal background accompaniment to one eating a tri-tip sandwich or indulging within another libation as the stars come out.