Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Nico Evans has a hard time describing the music he plays with his brother, Bash, as the band OutsideOverThere.

Maybe "folk and blues with an indie twist."

Then again, Bash plays the flamenco guitar.

"It's this Spanish, folksy, bluesy mix," Nico says.

The brothers - Nico is 19 and Bash is 22 - have played as a band for about five years.

They moved to Baker City last spring after visiting their mom, Franki Evans.

"We fell in love with it," Nico says of Baker.

They play at several places around town, and have two performances planned for this week: the New Year's Eve party at Earth and Vine today starting at 8 p.m., and then Friday evening at MAD Habit Boutique.

The brothers never had formal training for their music, other than Bash's 13 guitar lessons. (After the 13th, his instructor said he couldn't teach him anything new.)

Both are legally blind, so they learned to play music by ear.

"Their macula didn't develop," says their mom. "The boys don't have correctable vision." (Contacts keep their vision from getting worse.)

They moved here from Portland and, although both have been working, want to focus more on their music.

"We had to do the day job thing to see how serious we are about music," Nico said.

But they aren't after fame and fortune.

"We'd like to tour and have enough money to survive," Nico said.

Their dedication is simple:

"Music is the air we breathe," Nico said. "I know that nothing in this world could take away the passion and love I have for music."

Next year they hope to do a "baby tour" through Oregon, plus Seattle and Boise.

During performances, they don't play many cover songs.

"We tend to write too much - we have too much of our own material to play covers," Nico said.

The brothers each have their own writing style - and speed.

"For every one song Bash writes, I write six or seven," Nico said.

"They're beautiful, unique, intricate works of art," he said of his brother's songs. "I'm his biggest fan."

Although their age is young, these two have lived a lot of life - namely from a comfortable lifestyle to being homeless when Nico was 15.

"We were completely broke and hungry," he said.

At one point, he remembers his mom saying that if he couldn't be happy when he had nothing, then he'd never be happy.

"It really solidified the passion and adoration we have for the things we do and the people we love," Nico said.

In addition to playing instruments and singing, both men dance, and Bash is an artist.

Although they haven't released a full album, they have put together an eight-song demo available online.

"In this day and age, having material online is the most imperative thing," Nico said.

To learn more about the band, visit their website, www.lifeoutsideoverthere.com. They also have a page on Facebook.