The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Harmony in two

Local blues duo perform at The Lakely
Photo by Jamie Orozco
Performers Valerie Evans & Will DeBlaey performing at the Lakely

Last Saturday The Lakely, a local bar located downtown, hosted Valerie Evans and Will DeBlaey, a blues duo that is making its way in the music scene at Eau Claire. With DeBlaey on bass guitar and Evans on vocals, this pair produces a calm sound that ambients and lights up the place. 

DeBlaey described their music as “intimate.” 

“There’s not much high-ends or harsh sounds, so there’s a lot of sound and space,” DeBlaey said. “The challenge of the instrumentation makes it fun.”

With inspirations such as Carole King and Theo Katzman, DeBlaey categorized their genres as mostly jazz and soul. 

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Evans’ warm voice blends with the bass, and the connection between the performers expands into the audience. The couple’s chemistry is contagious, and you can easily see how much fun the artists are having on stage. 

The blues duo started back in 2020 after they both graduated from college. Evans and DaBlaey started by playing songs from their home during the quarantine for the coronavirus pandemic. 

After finding the bassist Ian Allison online, they became fascinated with his approach to music and his skills on the bass guitar, which inspired them to create this duo. They have now been performing together for a year and a half.

From the moment they start playing, it is obvious the two have a natural connection. Their close bond plays into their sound to create fun tunes. On exploring how their relationship integrates itself with their music, DeBlaey said their strong connection helps on stage. 

“We’ve been together for five years, so of course we know each other really well,” DeBlaey explained. 

Yet, after knowing each other for so long, they still find ways to discover each other every time the two artists play together. 

Communication, DeBlaey said, deepens when the two are playing. The intimacy of music allows the artists to be vulnerable with each other on a different level than they would be able to through words. 

Apart from the duo, the two musicians play in different bands, on top of teaching music on the side. Throughout their different journeys, the couple acts supportive of their individual projects.

“I go see Val play music in other bands and I am totally blown away with everything she does,” DeBlaey said. 

However, their individual projects do not distract them from the bigger picture. DeBlaey talked about his dreams of writing their own music in the future and producing an EP. 

Evans and DeBlaey will make an appearance in Eau Claire’s Jazz Crawl, a yearly festival where multiple music performers play jazz and blues, recreating New York’s lively music scene. If you are in the mood for mellow notes and soft bass solos, stop by and meet this incredible couple.

Orozco can be reached at [email protected]

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