Last of the Breed: The Dave Evans story

Bluegrass fans have loved Dave Evans for years, both for his soulful banjo playing, sing and songwriting, and for his determination in the face of  overwhelming obstacles. Evans had worked with a number of seminal bluegrass bands, including Earl Taylor, Red Allen, The Boys from Indiana, and the Goins Brothers, but it was his time with Larry Sparks starting in 1972 that led to his prominence as a picker and singer.

He started his own group in 1978 (River Bend), toured widely, and recorded 5 albums for Rebel Records. Things went bad after a dozen or so years, when Evans was charged with assault, for which he was convicted, and served a 10 year sentence. After doing his time, Evans returned to music and has spoken very little about the episode that changed his life.

But that is about to change. New York filmmaker Matthew J. Pellowski and Red Line Studios have secured the rights to produce a documentary on Evans. Last of the Breed:  The Dave Evans Story will start production later this year, and cover his life from childhood to the present, leaving no detail behind.

The film’s promotion describes it thusly…

“Our film will document this amazing true story of one man’s prediction of his own destiny and seeing it through despite juggling the many hurdles life can throw at you. We will interview key people from Dave’s childhood and early years, as well as prominent Country and Bluegrass musicians that have played with, or been inspired by Dave’s career. Our film will at all opportunities incorporate as much of Dave’s music as possible to help narrate our story through not just voice over and interview, but in song.”

Pellowski says that he first became interested in Dave when he licensed one of Evans’ songs for use in another film, Eyes of the Mothman in 2009.

“Throughout the process of licensing his music for our film, our friendship grew and we discussed documenting what might be the final album of his career. Those talks led to longer discussions of past stories of shows, record deals, and the triumphs and tribulations of his career in music. We started to realize together that his story must be told – should be told – because it can inspire others and is a true epic of love, passion, regret, music, success, and lessons learned in life.”

Rebel Records is on board, agreeing to  make recordings of Dave’s music available to the producers royalty-free, and New York arts foundation Fractured Atlas is assisting with fundraising.

Producer Anastasia Konstantinou admits that money is still an issue for the project, and while she is pleased with the initial reaction to their efforts, she recognizes that they still have a mountain to climb.

“The blue grass community is a close knit group of friends and family and we’re happy to see so much support for our film.

We’re still raising money right now and seeking additional sponsors, investors and any assistance we can to get this film 100% off the ground. We’re also hopeful to attach a celebrity voice to the project and are seeking an appropriate representative such as actor and blue grass musician Steve Martin, Alison Krauss, fellow Kentuckian George Clooney or even Oscar winner Jeff Bridges of recent Crazy Heart fame.”

Last of the Breed has a fan page on Facebook. Nothing yet on IMDB.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.