Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Isaiah Evans of “The 40 Acre Mule”
“It used to be called boogie-woogie. It used to be called rhythm & blues. Now, they call it rock & roll”
Chuck Berry’s words are at the very heart of Roots Rock & Roll 5-piece, THE 40 ACRE MULE! The self-described “Rhythm & Blues Outfit” are a powerhouse of vintage revival with a reputation for seamlessly blurring the lines between country, soul and rock audiences with songwriting that borders between blues drenched heartbreak and an old school riot in the streets!
Influenced by the pillars of Rhythm & Blues like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Ray Charles and inspired by recent artists such as J.D. McPherson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Gary Clark Jr., THE 40 ACRE MULE – J. Isaiah Evans: Guitar & Vocals, Robert Anderson: Drums, Tim Cooper: Bass, Chris Evetts: Baritone Sax & Percussion, and John Pedigo: Guitar & Vocals – quickly built their own unique sound by blending vintage Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul and just a touch of Country. It was a sound that soon caught on with The James Hunter Six, The Reverend Horton Heat, Eleven Hundred Springs, Ken Bethea of Old 97s, Alejandro Escovedo, Rosie Flores and more.
Since forming in Dallas, Texas in 2015, THE 40 ACRE MULE has built a loyal following the old-fashioned way, they earned it! Playing countless bars and packed clubs, they watched crowds grow mainly by word of mouth. As the crowds caught on, so did the likes of legendary promoter Scott Beggs and Jim Heath (The Reverend Horton Heat) who gave THE 40 ACRE MULE their first break with an opening slot at a SOLD-OUT show at Dallas’ legendary Bomb Factory. From there, opportunities to open for more superstars of roots music came along helping THE 40 ACRE MULE spread their brand of Rhythm & Blues music.
Playing to such diverse crowds has made their fanbase explode. “We’ve gone from 10 or 15 friends in a dive bar on a Tuesday to playing full-on festivals without even having an album out yet. That says something. I think we’re making music that people from all walks of life…country fans, soul fans, rockabilly fans…find comfortable and familiar. It’s because all those genres can trace their roots to Rhythm & Blues, the very backbone of Rock & Roll “, says J. Isaiah Evans
After years of putting in the work, THE 40 ACRE MULE followed in the footsteps of good friends and emerging Americana stars, The Vandoliers and Joshua Ray Walker, and signed with State Fair Records. After that, the good times kept rollin’ with the announcement that THE 40 ACRE MULE would be part of HomeGrown Festival 2019 with Tripping Daisy, Toadies, The Suffers Black Pumas and more! Now, fresh off of their nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Act by Central Track, THE 40 ACRE MULE is set to make more noise with the release of their upcoming full-length debut, GOODNIGHT & GOOD LUCK with tour and festival stops coming your way!