Evangeline is one of KVMR'S finest examples of a true KVMR supporter. Her beginnings may have been as a listener, but from there she has added staff member, volunteer, broadcaster, and underwriter to her KVMR resume. Hmmm...let me think...is there any other spot you can hold in the KVMR family? Let's start at the beginning.
A Silver City, Nevada, girl with a family who loved eclectic and Americana blends of music, she transplanted to California and brought those tastes with her. "I grew up listening to folk and old-time bluegrass music" she says, smiling, "and a group of musicians used to practice at our house for years."
Evangeline attended John Woolman school outside Nevada City, and later Reed College in Portland. She first heard KVMR in the 1980s after moving here--"pretty cool!"
Once in Nevada City, she sat on the SYRCL board (our regional river protection group) for six years. When she heard there was an employment opportunity at KVMR, she jumped, and after an initial stint as Underwriting Coordinator, found herself in the position of Development Director. It was about this time we began to hear her tirelessly pitching during the membership drives (somebody's gotta help out that Steve guy) or saw her helping set up and breakdown events, and many other efforts she saw needed doing.
Evangeline became certified as a broadcaster in 2004. She initially sat in on shows with Kim Rogers, Wesley Robertson, Eric Rice and others, and became a favorite sub of the aforementioned.
She also worked on the live remote broadcast crews. She has broad musical tastes but especially likes to profile new and emerging artists, just as she does at her real Café, presenting concerts--a growing and well-received phenomenon in sleepy little Colfax. Walk into Evangeline's Café in downtown historic Colfax and you'll smell fresh coffee, taste fresh organic food, hear KVMR playing on the radio, enjoy the bright walls and view of downtown Colfax and meet the friendly owner, Evangeline Elston, "Vange."
Vange reports that the response by community patrons has been great, and that "artists like the intimacy of the Café," an echo of the alternative flavor of KVMR. One of her favorite shows has been Rita Hosking, although it's darned hard to pick favorites. There have been some stellar KVMR favorites come through and perform at the Café.
Presently, the music licensing pressures on cafe and bar owners is affecting not only Evangeline's, but the entire musical business scene and especially hurting the smaller operations. "I'm working for the artists playing at my place," an echo heard around the county in hard times.
There is a pleasant overlap in her Colfax café and her new musical radio program Music Café, which airs Thursdays from 4-7 a.m., alternating with Tim Smith. She plays roots, Americana, bluegrass, but sneaks in the occasional jazz, world music and classical piece. She hasn't had time to perform or play music on her own lately (she does play a little guitar)...but she LOVES doing radio. Like many of us, she says, "This is the greatest radio station in the world." She is committed to doing her part at the station and in her own community.
When possible she also hikes, skis, spends time outdoors, and lives outside rural Colfax. She used to race bikes and participate in triathlons. Now, her roles as businesswoman and community supporter occupy most of her time.
Besides upcoming musician concerts and maybe spoken word events in the future, monthly Colfax supervisor meetings take place at the café and the bulletin board is full of other local and regional events. I watched happy locals and interested travelers comment on the scene while chatting with her.
Like her food, I think you will find Evangeline's radio show basic, fresh, eclectic, tasty and--like her Mom's vinaigrette--with secret delicious surprises.
Tune in to Music Café Alt. Thursdays, 4-7 a.m.
By Kathryn Smith