Alex Bevan - Short Bio
If the name Alex Bevan means anything to you.. it probably begins with the song “Skinny”… the 1976 Summer Anthem that filled the airwaves of radio station WMMS and brought the Cleveland folksinger’s career into sharp focus “back in the day”.
Perhaps too, it might conjure the melody of “The Grand River Lullaby”, Hearkening back to lost years of innocence and first love in a simpler and more romantic time… a time when the Woodstock Generation found it’s rhythmn in the album oriented rock infused soundtracks that still echo in the rivulets and streams of Spotify and Itunes music delivery systems.
Alex Bevan has been picking up his guitar and going to perform for audiences for over forty six years… singing primarily songs of his own crafting and supported mostly by his deft guitar picking and agile improvisational wit…. In short… he is a troubadour of the journeyman class who brings a fresh perspective and unabashed enthusiasm for storytelling to each and every member of the the audience he interacts with.
A truly analog entertainer for a digital time!
Hi there! My name is Alex…. (A short biography)
My name is Alex Bevan. I was not always, but for as long as I can remember, have wanted to be a songwriter and a bringer of stories. The looking for, the trying to frame, the digging into emotion is at the heart of this music. Music has always led me, taught me, fed me and given me hope. In good times and lean, whether upright, wobbling or recovering... the gyroscope spinning in my soul has a center dancing with words and sounds. I am seventy two years old, a working musician, and like I said… “These songs have come a long way to find you!”.
The nuts and bolts of me are pretty plain and simple. The documents say that I was born in East Cleveland, graduated from Shaw High School, played in the marching band for a while and then found my starting point. The more real part of the bio might mention being a teen ager playing in the Flat’s of Cleveland at the fabled Fagan’s Tavern with the duo of Gusti and Sean. Later on you could find me haunting coffee houses, folk clubs and rock caves like the Cleveland Agora. There were years spent earning a reputation for being a solid opening act in the 70’s for the likes of Odetta, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pure Prairie League, The Michael Stanley Band, The Earl Scruggs Review, Livingston Taylor, Billy Joel and The Beach Boys (and yes the list goes on including the Doobie Brothers!). There were miles and time spent building a resume of college concerts rivaled only by a few in Ohio. Those days seemed dedicated to always taking the next gig and tirelessly searching for the next song. Building skills. Crafting a style and finding a voice.
In the 80’s the economy crashed and all but killed off most of the middle tier bands. The avenues for growth as an artist had closed or changed as far as I could see. To survive in this brave new world, to support a family, to continue writing and performing music (that was both original and true to purpose) some sort of adaption had to be made. Going back to the solo/singer/songwriter model would not make it in the bar scene back in that day. Those jobs for the most part were a four hour shifts competing with karaoke, cover bands and disco balls. New songs would have to be written for this harsher reality. Songs that would entertain and stand up to a crowd not interested in the more tie dye and paisley melodies of the late 70’s. Songs that would provide a way to support a young family. The basics, the core, stayed the same… but the journey now had two tiers: songs for the public and songs from my heart. About this time in my life I remembered something my father had told me, “Son, once you have your basic needs... it’s all about the quality of life!”.
We can fast forward through the ‘90’s and new millennium for the most part. Chances are you would find, me guitar in hand, building a career on Put-In-Bay, working the vineyard patios of the local winery spots, a concert here, a recording there…. always two masters to please. Usually too many bills to pay. Still the dream came alive every now and then in the most unexpected venues. The songs of the heart would fly. The connection music made with the crowd would be strong current through bright wires. The two paths would join and for a few moments hope, harmony and balance would sing beyond the boundaries of what could be expected and flow into the possibilities of what might be. A new dream… a new seed.
Do you remember talking with someone in casual conversation and having it repeat in your thoughts over and over… some little catalyst of thought that sparked an idea that led you to a gain of insight? Remember that sight of a deteriorating barn that pulled you into a melancholy reverie… how about the warmth of an open palm on your shoulder that told you everything was going to be all right. These moments and moments like these are like postcards sent to remind us who we are. They are the stories we have in common. They are the binding to the leaves of our pages. They are the stuff of songs.
Thinking about the process of how this collection of melodies grew in my notebook and then came to your ears was a journey in itself. Some songs woke me up in the middle of the night demanding me stumble to the kitchen and show them the dawn. There were some that arrived whole and firm. Others needed coaxing, polishing and revising to the point of confusion and frustration. There were the ones that brought tears… sorrow, joy, pain, understanding… surrender. Mostly I remember that each one started with the strong flavor of emotion that begged one line fill in the next. One by one the songs helped me carve the stories from my life and set them down. They led me to still waters, reminded me of hard learned lessons, recalled things misplaced. They gave open ground to my friends… the people who populate my life... and let them speak. They took different parts of a life lived and smelted them into alloy. Each song found its story, its truth if you will, and tried to share it.
These songs are meant to be companions on your journeys, they are something to wear in the cold, something to hold when you hurt, companions in your day, protection from the night and perhaps an extra beat for your heart.
They also might be wings for your imagination.
These songs have come a long way to find you!”
No Truth to Sell (1971) Big Tree Records
Springboard (1976) Fiddler's Wynde
The Grand River Lullaby (1978) Fiddler's Wynde
Alex Bevan and Friends Live: Come for to See You...Come for to Sing! (1980
Simple Things Done Well (1981) Fiddler's Wynde (1982)
Tales of the Low Tech Troubadour Vol. 1 (1983)
Best Kept Secrets (1985)
Cuttlefish Live (1986)
Watersongs (1991) Fiddler's Wynde
South Shore Serenade (March 26, 1991) Fiddler's Wynde
Magic Moments from the Children’s Nature Schoolhouse - 1993 Lake Metroparks
Rules of the Road (March 26, 1998) Fiddler's Wynde
All the Rivers Run - Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center (1996)
Homework (CD - October 31, 2000) Fiddler's Wynde
Connected to the Web (February 24, 2004) Fiddler's Wynde
Sweetwater Pete (January 23, 2006) Fiddler's Wynde
Invitation (February 26, 2008) Fiddler's Wynde
Live at the Kent Stage: Dancing With the Muse (November 18, 2008)
Fall & Angels (2008)
Fly Away (2010)
I Have No Wings (2011)
Dreams Came (2015)
True Meridian (2017)
Hunkerdown Demos (2020)