Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shane Evans back from the brink

Shane Evans breaks silence to discuss highs and lows with students

Shane Evans, the former drummer of Collective Soul and a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, is breaking a seven-year silence to warn teens about fame, the consequences of lifestyle choices, and his descent and eventual recovery from drug addiction.

Evans, 42, will address a group of students from Lumpkin County Middle School in Dahlonega on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Evans’ speech titled, “Rock, Recovery and Redemption” will touch upon the meteoric rise of Collective Soul, his departure from the group, his substance abuse problem and the long road to recovery.

“I've been clean and sober for three years and I'm finally at a point where I can discuss my triumphs and tragedies in public,” Evans said. “So if I am to tell my story, I want to tell it to someone who will listen and learn from my mistakes. I want this to really count.”

Almost two decades ago, Evans was riding high as the drummer for Collective Soul. The Stockbridge-based quintet shot to international fame with their 1994 release “Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid”, and their mega-hit, “Shine.” In the span of seven years, they tallied a total seven #1 radio hits, 19 Top 40 singles, and sold more than 10 million albums and CDs worldwide. Evans says with fame came the spoils of success and lifestyle choices that almost killed him.

“It's nothing short of a miracle that I'm still alive. Drugs robbed me of almost everything including my family, friends, my home, and my dignity,” Evans said. “Through sobriety I've gained all of those things back and more. My life today is blessed and I want to share my experiences to help others.”

Evans said he was dismissed from the group in 2005 because of his excessive drug use. His mother's demise from complications of diabetes, the accidental death of a girlfriend and a pair of DUI arrests pushed him further into despair. Evans said he hit rock bottom while living on the run from police at a run-down motel in Loganville. He says he was two days away from being homeless when he finally made the decision to get clean and sober in August 2009. Weeks after his decision to get sober, Collective Soul was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and Evans was on hand to celebrate the honor.

“I still love all of the guys in Collective Soul because they are my brothers and we shared a lot of wonderful and life-changing experiences,” Evans said. “Me getting kicked out of the group was entirely my fault because of my addiction. It’s something I’ve finally come to terms with and must own up to in order to remain sober.”

After completing a yearlong recovery program at Waypoint Center in Dahlonega, Evans became a substance abuse counselor, helping others to overcome their addictions. This year he celebrated three years of sobriety and plays drums in the music choir at The Source Worship Center Church in Canton, Ga.

In January 2013 Evans will be the musical headline at the 22nd annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction hosted by MidAmerica Auctions, and will be featured in Ken Mansfield’s “Rock and a Heart Place”, a book chronicling the spiritual journeys of 20 famous musicians from the rock era.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Turpin headlines A Rock By The Sea benefit concert

Will Turpin and Amy Gerhartz headline Atlanta benefit concert

A Rock By The Sea Christmas offers assistance and healing through music

Musical artists WillTurpin and The Way and Amy Gerhartz are joining forces for a charity concert in support of pediatric cancer research and treatment.

RockBy The Sea, an organization that raises money for worthwhile causes through music, will present the star-studded holiday benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at Vinyl, 1374 Peachtree St., Atlanta.

A portion of the proceeds ($10 a ticket) will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Fla.

Turpin, co-founder of the multi-platinum group Collective Soul, contributed the William Dix Classic “What Child Is This?” to the October release of A Rock By The Sea Christmas: Volume Three, a charity CD series of Christmas classics and original tunes. He said the holiday season is best celebrated by finding ways to give back to the community.

“I'm a very traditional person at heart. Celebrating Christmas was a time I looked forward to as a kid, and even more so now that I have children of my own,” Turpin said. “Lending my name and support to fighting pediatric cancer is simply my way of giving back and showing gratitude.”

Gerhartz, who contributed a song to Rock By The Sea’s 2011 charity compilation, is an Atlanta-based singer/songwriter who has opened for several national acts. Her music blends acoustic pop, rock, folk and soul. The bill also includes Lauren St. Jane and the Dead Westerns, Steve Everett, Echo Collection, Travis Denning and other musical guests. All of the artists are available for interviews and appearances to promote the CD and show.

“Cancer happens to everyone. Parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends; cancer is ubiquitous and permeates the fabric that binds us together as human beings. It’s personal,” said Tod Elmore, Rock By The Sea board member and CD and show producer. “Coincidentally, cancer, or rather the fight against it, has the ability to unite us as one, as does music.”

Rock By The Sea is dedicated to planning and producing music festivals, events and products that raise money to financially assist deserving cancer charities that provide direct services to those in need. For more information visit

Tickets for the concert are on sale now at
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Contact: Tod Elmore | Rock By The Sea | | 404-748-1246

Juber will host birthday bash at McCabes

 Laurence Juber invites fans to his 60th birthday celebration this week at McCabes

Grammy artist Laurence Juber will celebrate a milestone in grand style with a birthday bash at a SoCal institution.

Family, friends, fans and well-wishers are invited to join Juber help ring in his 60th birthday with a concert performance set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, 2012, at McCabes Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. Tickets are $20.

I always look forward to my annual McCabes gig. I celebrate my birthday as the anniversary of first picking up the guitar,” says Juber. “I can’t imagine a more appropriate place to play than this legendary guitar store and concert venue.

The former Wings lead guitarist and virtuoso just may be the busiest man in the music industry. In addition to recently playing a part on tribute albums to Bob Dylan and Linda McCartney, Juber performs almost 100 dates a year, has regular session work, conducts professional workshops, performs on soundtracks for feature films and television. His latest effort, “Soul of Light,” was released this past April. Early 2013 will see the release of two new projects: “Under An Indigo Sky” showcases the jazz/blues 'Noir' side of his playing; “Catch LJ Live” is a concert set CD/DVD combo.

A world-class guitar virtuoso solo artist, composer and arranger, Juber fuses folk, jazz, and pop styles and creates a dynamic multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. As a studio musician, he can be heard on recent albums from artists as diverse as Barry Manilow, Donovan, Al Stewart and Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks. He is also featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows and movies including the Academy Award-winning “Good Will Hunting”, the James Bond thriller “The Spy Who Love Me”, the 1987 smash “Dirty Dancing” and most recently, “The Muppets”. He is also featured on the new Paul Williams digital single “Still Alive”, from the documentary film of the same name.

Known to his fans as ‘LJ’, Juber has released 20 acclaimed solo albums. His celebrated arranging skills are featured on two volumes of LJPlays The Beatles, the first of which was voted among the all-time top ten acoustic guitar records. Juber says fans never tire of hearing him play their songs and he remains endlessly fascinated by their catalog.

"Every time I hear a Beatles record I gain a new appreciation for them," Juber said. "Above and beyond the analytical part of it and creating the arrangements, when I start deconstructing Beatles songs, I find unexpected things. I can never listen to a Beatles record twice and hear exactly the same thing. There’s always something that I’ve missed, or a new discovery where you say, 'Wow, what was that little guitar lick?' Or the way in which the backing vocals come in…there’s always something new to discover in their work."

If you go:
What: Laurence Juber
Where: McCabes Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10
Information: 310-828-8037 or