Evan Campbell for Real recap


Charlie Coffey/Iowa State Daily

Evan Campbell performs at the Maximum Ames Music Festival burrito sampler event Sep. 2 in Campustown.

Jill O'Brien

By nature, Evan Campbell is an energetic guy. His handshake is firm and his smile is inviting. His music is the same way: energetic, inviting and real. He’ll joke about getting steps in when taking the stairs, and he’ll joke about his and his sister’s matching tattoos, but the energy really comes out when he talks about music.

At 8 years old, Campbell picked up a guitar, which came easy to him. The idea of playing shows and going to new places “stimulates the mind.”

Campbell first broke into the music scene through open mics at the Ames Progressive and the Vinyl Cafe — now known as the Vinyl Grind — and felt the support in the scene from that first show.

“It’s extremely open,” Campbell said. “There’s so much heart, emotion and passion behind it. I’ve never felt more accepted here.”

While Campbell felt accepted in the Ames community, he owes his inspiration to the man behind the scenes.

“Nate Logsdon,” Campbell said. “He’s passionate and enthusiastic, and I wouldn’t be where I am without him. That dude’s always doing something.”

In addition to playing open mics, Campbell got involved in playing shows for Bartop Burlesque at DG’s Tap House. Getting to play shows with a variety of people helps to not only meet other musicians but also to also spark his own creative flow.

“Every person has their own spark or creative vision,” Campbell said. “These little firings of the brain make something so beautiful.”

After submitting a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and playing Maximum Ames Music Festival, Campbell’s EP, “Evan Campbell for Real,” was released under Nova Labs Records on Jan. 7. The inspiration, Campbell said, comes simply from “those moments of extreme emotion,” one of those emotions being love and the loss of love.

When asked about the future, Campbell exclaimed two word.

“A tour,” Campbell said. “I’ve just released an EP, so going on tour and starting a full band is what’s next. The farthest I’ve gone for a show is Cedar Falls, and I’ve gotten a couple shows in Des Moines, but I’m hoping to take two weeks to just travel around and tour.”