Ned Evett

Ned Evett


One of the most innovative guitarists breaking out of the NW scene, this amazing singer-songwriter’s Rock Guitar Competition win aired nationwide on PBS. He’s toured with Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani, and is on the bill at Australia’s Frankston International Guitar Festival in March.


There's this vibe that hovers about Ned Evett like some force field out of "Star Trek." It gives you the distinct impression that Evett, the inventor of the glass-necked fretless guitar, is destined for greatness. Chat with him for a few minutes and even if you don't believe in fate, you'll feel the vibe. Hear him perform his music and it will resonate even deeper.

Evett is one of the world's foremost fretless guitarists, and the sumptuous sounds he seduces from his instrument's strings fuse rock and pop with jazz, blues, and soul. The lack of any interposing frets (the series of metal ridges set across a traditional guitar's fingerboard) frees Evett to play every note you can conceive of and all the ones in between. The net result, according to, is "like listening to a waterfall on fire."

Evett and his music are gathering increasing acclaim. Last year he won the 2003 North American Rock Guitar Competition -- a documentary about which called "Driven to Play" aired nationwide on PBS-TV this summer -- and he's earning the respect of a growing number of legendary performers. For instance, Grammy-nominated guitar-virtuoso Joe Satriani -- for whom Evett has opened 30 concerts in the U.K. and the U.S. in the last year -- says, "Ned plays a mirrored glass fingerboard in a completely new and exciting way." And Built To Spill frontman Doug Martsch describes Evett as a "virtuoso hotshot guitar player" and says, "He's amazing, beautiful."

Rik Emmett, Canadian guitar virtuoso and founding member of Triumph, says Evett is "a highly entertaining yet artistically advanced musician" and "his approach is inspired and inspiring." And Sid McGinnis, lead guitarist on CBS-TV's "The Late Show with David Letterman," describes Ned's live show as "beautiful," adding that, "He has taken the slide-guitar concept and flipped it over to where it's as if he has glass slides on all of his fingers."

Critics are also duly impressed with Evett's abilities and style. Troy Nelson, Guitar One magazine editor-in-chief, says "Ned's command of the fretless guitar is astonishing," and Fingerstyle Guitar magazine writes that "Ned Evett will make you rethink the plucked-string instrument." Buffalo News pop music critic Jeff Miers describes Evett as "boldly innovative" and "a world-class talent," and Guitarist magazine says "Ned's Kravitz-style voice helps to pull the often left-field fretless movement into the more listenable mainstream."

Evett, whose career spans nearly two decades, has recorded with dozens of bands and artists, including Maria McKee, China Forbes of Pink Martini, Rosalie Sorrels, and Built To Spill and its frontman, Doug Martsch. In fact, the song "Some Things Last a Long Time" on the 1993 Built To Spill album "The Normal Years" features the first recording of Evett on his trademark instrument.

Evett first began experimenting with the fretless guitar in 1990. "My first fretless guitar was a Fender Stratocaster that I hacked to death with a pair of pliers," he says. "If there could have been screams, there would have -- kind of like the sound a lobster makes when you boil it."

In 2000, Evett released his groundbreaking, experimental, instrumental-rock debut, "An Introduction to Fretless Guitar." The next year, he co-produced and performed on "Fretless Guitar Masters," the world's first compilation recording of fretless guitarists and the inaugural CD from his label, Recordings. Guitarist magazine gave the CD 4 stars out of 5 in the March 2002 issue.

Empty Beach Records, a Sun Valley, Idaho-based indie label, has released Evett's last three efforts -- "iStole," and "Circus Liquor," and "Evett/Vigroux" -- and plans to reissue "Intro to Fretless."

Evett, who hails from Boise, Idaho, tours extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and has staged nearly 500 concerts and clinics in the last six years. In addition to Satriani, Evett has opened for such noteworthy artists as Jonny Lang, John Fogerty, the Allman Brothers Band, Chris Robinson, Dishwalla, Doug Martsch, John Scofield, Johnny A, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet, California Guitar Trio, and Sex Mob.

He has also worked as a session guitarist and bassist. In addition to the Fox NFL 1998 season theme, Evett's guitar licks have been heard on numerous radio and TV commercials for such industry leaders as Microsoft, Toyota, Isuzu, Seagate, and Kaiser Permanente. And several of his songs were used in the independent short film "The Mulligan," which appears on the "Coldgrain" DVD (

Evett plays a Fernandes Fretless Native Pro with a mirrored glass fingerboard of his own invention, as well as stainless-steel and aluminum fingerboard models built by Fernandes Guitars and luthier Steve Abbett. Evett's line of Fernandes fretless guitars are played by such artists as Adrian Belew of the legendary progressive rock group King Crimson, Emm



Written By: Ned Evett

Wandered off the line today
Saw my place in the scheme of things
Had a vision of myself from outside the room
In the box with the rest of the tools

I stole, I stole
Took as good as I was told
I stole, I stole

Left the robot running his game
Zipping metal
Quicker than lightening
Said goodbye to the foreman one last time
He's smarter than me I gave him that oh so useful smoke screen

I stole, I stole,
Took as good as I was told
I stole, I stole

I've got one, two, three, four hundred, hundred dollar bills
In the lining of the jacket that I take to work
Now I'm leaving and I'm never ever coming back
Now I'm leaving to another summer in the black

(c) (p) 2003 Ned Evett

Fly Myself To Sleep

Written By: Ned Evett

High over the mountains
I’m moving south then
I’m going to call your name
Fly with the trade winds
I’ll never trade them
Pillow my window pane

I’m going to fly myself to sleep
Traveling at 30,000 feet
I’m going to fly
And dream
So deep
So deep

Fear is a habit
Reach out and grab it
I can’t wait to begin
Pure atmospherics
Listen to the lyrics
Shuddering aluminum skin

I’m going to fly myself to sleep
Traveling at 30,000 feet
I’m going to fly
And dream
So deep
So deep

So high, and deep…

Weeks under the weather
Pull it together
I’m going to promise to try
Up in the Blue then
All an illusion
Punching a hole in the sky

I’m going to fly myself to sleep
Traveling at 30,000 feet
I’m going to fly
And dream
So deep
So deep

Lift me up in the sky
Lift me up in the sky

(c) (p) 2003 Ned Evett

Slacker Jazz

Written By: Ned Evett

In corduroy jeans
I’m down on Sixth Street
Waiting in line with me
It's saxophone’s child -- she’s only 16

She tells me that Cole Porter was crazy
He must have crazy but he saved the day
She could lay some claim to crazy I feel
But I have to admit when it came time to speak
That the case that she plead -- from her heart and her head
Hero in music with a gun to his head
But not me, razzamatazz

I’m just standing here looking
Listening to my Slacker Jazz

Well she tells me that it hasn’t been easy
Cover bands on every side
Mr. G ain’t no Jesus to me
He’s the Judas of Jazz don’t you pay him no mind
Best days on my own
Looking for shadows my scales turn to stones
And Nora Jones so terrifically sad

I’m just standing here looking
Listening to my Slacker Jazz

Its too late to be early
Its too late to come clean
PDA it say 11:30
And a club full of my friends with their eyes on me
Sayin’ leave her alone you dirty old soul
You’ve got a wife and a baby at home
That’s me, razzamatazz

I’m just standing here looking
Listening to my Slacker Jazz

(c) (p) 1996 Ned Evett


* iStole (2004) --> get MP3s at
* Evett/Vigroux (2004) --> get MP3s at
* Circus Liquor (2003)
* Live in Paris (2001 unreleased promo EP)
* Fretless Guitar Masters (2001)
* An Introduction to Fretless Guitar (2000)

Set List


Ned's solo setlist is 45-60 minutes and features about 85% original music, including:

Claim to Fame
Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced?
I Stole
Hindustani Bach
Slacker Jazz
Transcendental Floss
Circus Liquor
Fly Myself to Sleep
Never Stayed in One Place
The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows


The typical set list for Ned's trio is about 60 minutes and features about 75% original music, but the band has more than enough material for 4x45s, 3x60s, or 2x90s.

The Long Child
Claim To Fame
I Stole
Curses On You
Fly Myself To Sleep
Never Stayed In One Place

Dire Straights’ Sultans of Swing
My Boy Was Born In Beverly Hills
Burn Vagabond Burn
Everlast’s What It’s Like
Shine Like A Diamond on Me
Listen In
Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced?
Over Me
Manfred Mann’s Blinded By The Light

Need You Now
Jimi Hendrix’s Fi