Evan Bartels (ASCAP)

Abe Olman Scholarship, 2024

On a lone stretch of highway that cuts across the Nebraskan prairie, there is a town called Tobias. This village of roughly 100 souls is where Evan Bartels was born and raised. It’s a place that offers immeasurable freedom, while threatening a life of unanswered wanting. Here the sentiment behind his work was forged.

Bartels began touring in 2017 in support of his first album, “The Devil, God, & Me”, which was followed by his 2019 EP release, “Promised Land”. These self-produced, independent releases gained the attention of fans worldwide and led to four sync placements on the hit Netflix show, “The Ranch”. Comedian Theo Von and many others have featured songs on their podcasts, specifically referencing Evan's beautifully poignant writing.

Independently released in 2021, Bartels' latest full-length project, “Lonesome”, was engineered and produced by Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Noah Kahan, Lumineers). This album has captured fans worldwide and has led to international touring opportunities. The ethos of Bartels’ life and songwriting are one and the same: “To think, to feel, these are the things that make us human. To hone those thoughts, to share those emotions, to marry them with action, that’s when art is born."