‘Winding Road:' The Arrival
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 500 Academy St., Gainesville
How much: $10
More info: Tickets available at the door; opening performance by The Norman Brothers
JJ Evans grew up surrounded by the love of his family and the soulful sounds of gospel music.
So, it's only natural that the Gainesville native should have his own album put together by the time he was 23, with a good amount of friends and family to help him through the production process.
Now, Evans will put that music into a larger forum on Sunday, when he plays a live show at Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University.
"I came out with my first album back in April; it's a contemporary gospel album," said Evans, an East Hall High graduate who grew up amid the music made at Antioch Baptist Church. "I decided to come up with an album and do it independently instead of getting signed, and then I got the idea to do a live concert and get the people in the community involved.
"So I've got a live band and live singers and everything," he added. "It's going to be really big; my first really big event since I came out with my album."
Making the record, Evans said, took a bit of cooperation. First, friend Jerell Brown loaned him some music tracks to go with lyrics Evans had come up with.
Then Evans' dad, who is in charge of the music department at Antioch and also runs Evans Production Co., found him a studio. And with additional assistance from younger brother Brandon and older brother Shamone, Evans said, he was able to record the album in a month.
The result is a collection of soulful sounds that lean toward R&B, but keep a traditional gospel undertone. The songs are uplifting, inspiring and peppered with gentle piano and heavenly background singers.
"It's actually like, being that I'm like 23, so more geared toward the younger crowd. And it still has a lot of traditional roots because I love the traditional gospel as well," Evans said. "I would say the more urban wave of music and capped off with my own original style, more like singalong."
Sunday's concert will cap months of behind-the-scenes work Evans and his family have done, whether it be promoting the concert or working on new music. Evans is also a senior at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he sings in the choir and plans to graduate this summer.
He's sold about 1,000 CDs so far and expects a good crowd of friends from college to come up from Atlanta, too.
And after that, Evans said he plans to focus full-time on his music career.
"I'm at a point where I'm trying to get my name out there, just perfecting my craft basically, just recording for fun," he said.