We are talking with Guy Evans, member of the popular local band, Coming Up Brass.
GA!: How long has Coming Up Brass been playing together as a group? Can you tell us a bit of the history of the band?
Guy: The band formed in 1992, focusing on Carolina Beach Music, and has been performing non-stop ever since. There have been a number of personnel changes over the years and after each change it seems we just get better. One thing we’ve always strived for is a really big, fat sound, so our horns are not simply there to play in the background, they are front and center. We’re now a true variety band, playing songs from the 60’s to today’s top 40.
GA:! Who are the brass players and what instruments do they play?
Guy: Joey Dunlevy is our Sax man. He brings up to 4 horns, maybe even a flute, and he sings backing vocals. Jim Monroe and Steve Barnes are our Trumpet players who also play Flugelhorn. I’m the Trombone player with the bright Red or Yellow horn. I‘ve been with CUB for over 15 years and love that I get to play some Chicago songs (my favorite!).
GA!: How many members are in Coming Up Brass? Singers? Guitar? Rhythm?
Guy: We are a 10 piece group with 4 horn players, a 4 piece rhythm section and 2 lead singers. Bryant (Doc) Bolin is our Keyboard player. He loves it so much I think he’d pay for the privilege. Mark Reese is our Bass player, and boy, can he get funky! He’s threatened to, but never actually broken out his Tuba for a couple songs. Steve Howell, our drummer, lays down the beat for the rest of us to follow. Sometimes he brings his mini-me to the shows, his boy TJ. TJ is an air drummer phenom and the crowd loves him. Les Davis is our guitar player extraordinaire. He covers both lead and rhythm guitar parts, and sings backing vocals, and he makes it look completely effortless. As for singers, we’ve truly got 2 of the best around. Don Conrad can sing absolutely anything we throw at him and knock it out of the park. Heather Elkin is our female lead, and can that girl sing! All I can say is you need to come hear her for yourself!
GA!: What is the inspiration of the Coming Up Brass for their type of music ? Chicago comes to my mind when hearing the band play.
Guy: Horn bands such as Chicago are absolutely part of our inspiration, as well The Blues Brothers, Delbert McClinton, and Carolina Beach Music groups, such as the Band of OZ, The Embers, and Chairmen of the Board. But you know what?… none of them have a female lead singer!
GA! : We enjoyed your performance in the Mount Holly Art and Music Festival. What’s it like to be on the stage seeing people rockin’out?
Guy: There’s nothing better than being onstage and seeing the crowd get into it, truly nothing. Bands/musicians feed off the crowd, who then feed off the band, and before you know it and big party breaks out!
GA!: What is a funny memory playing with Coming Up Brass?
Guy: We love to play wedding receptions because it’s such a happy day for folks, and everyone is in a partying mood. We were playing one in Spartanburg where the guests were absolutely having a blast. When we started playing the Chorus section of “Shout” the groomsmen grabbed a table cloth and started tossing the groom WAY up in the air, and doing it right in time to the song. The bride was screaming “don’t hurt my new husband!” He was going so high in the air I thought he was going to hit one of the chandeliers.
GA!: What types of venues does Coming Up Brass play?
Guy: We’ve played everywhere from someone’s backyard to the convention center. We play at Festivals, Beach Blasts, Corporate events, Wedding receptions, you name it. One of our favorites is Belmont Friday Night Live.
GA;! Where can one go to hear Coming Up Brass?
Guy: Check out our website www.comingupbrass.com and find us on Facebook to get the latest information on upcoming gigs. We’re lining up gigs now for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so if anyone’s looking for a great band give us a shout.