On March 24th, Newport Vineyards will host their second Fireside Live Music Friday with local singer-songwriter Evan Pharmakis. The Middletown local has released several albums so far under his solo project, Wind In Sails. In February, he released Renditions, a free album covering songs by various artists like Gin Blossoms and Death Cab for Cutie and featuring Pharmakis’s signature melancholy, acoustic sound.
We sat down with Pharmakis to get to know a little bit about him and his music ahead of his upcoming show. Check out what he said.

 How long have you lived on Aquidneck Island? Is there any place or thing about Newport that inspires your music?

I’ve lived here for the better part of 16 years. Moved here in my early teens. I definitely hit more of the angst and heartbreak of that age right after I relocated to Middletown. So many of those experiences influence songs I’ve written.


How did you start writing and playing music?

I’ve been singing since I was a little one. But I began playing guitar around 16. Slowly fused those together once I got the hang of the guitar. Music has always been a big part of my family. My father is a performer/singer and it’s been a path that just felt right to me.


Who or what are your biggest musical inspirations?

I really enjoy artists who are truly themselves with their own sound. That being said I’m fond of many artists. 90’s alternative holds a special place in my heart. Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, The Cranberries, Counting Crows. I also absolutely love Neil Young, and many other incredible singer-songwriters. Ben Howard, Lucy Rose, Frank Turner.


What’s the story behind the name, Wind in Sails?

Wind In Sails is my second professional music project. My former one had begun turning into a very negative situation after many years working together and it was toxic for me to continue. So I parted ways with those people and decided to work at creating something all on my own that would pull me forward from where I was. With “Wind In Sails” meaning something pushing you further, and given Newport is such a strong sailing town, it all seemed to mesh well.

Wind In Sails might be described as a mix of folk, indie, and country with an acoustic, melancholy sound. What draws you to create this type of music?

I’d certainly say my tastes in music changing so much over the last 7 years aids in the direction of where I’m heading creatively, but I’ve always been a big fan of acoustic music. I try not to fit a genre when writing and just sort of let the songs become what they will. But I’ve always loved catchy melody with a sorrowful tone.

 What are your favorite types of venues to play at? What are your favorite venues in Rhode Island and/or in Newport?

Truth be told, I just love playing for people who want to listen. I’ve always enjoyed small intimate venues, but I’ve been lucky enough to play for a few thousand people a night on some tours. I really enjoy The Met in Pawtucket, RI. Great people, great venue. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about Parlor here in Newport, but haven’t spoken to those guys yet. I’d like to set something up with them. I haven’t really tried to tap into the music scene here in town, but I plan on changing that over the coming year.

 You recently released several renditions, including a Death Cab for Cutie cover, Ghosts of Beverly Drive. What bands or types of music do you like to cover most?

Yes, I’m very happy with how those covers turned out. I really wanted to pick an eclectic mix of songs and I think they all work together. My friends have a band called Pvris, and they are doing huge things. So, I covered one of their songs. I also did a song by Gin Blossoms, James Bay, and the Death Cab cover as well. I actually released that cover album for free at www.windinsails.bandcamp.com. I enjoy the challenge of taking an original song by another artist and giving it my own twist and sound. Regardless of the genre, if I connect with the hook, I’m in. I also do some Neil Young covers, and a few others as well.

Click here to listen to the latest music by Wind In Sails. Stay up to date on Wind In Sails’ new music and show dates on Facebook and Twitter

Fireside Live Music Friday: Wind In Sails – Friday, March 24th

Join Newport Vineyards for an extended evening wine tasting! Set in their Meadow Room overlooking our Cafe lawn firepits, enjoy live music from Wind in Sails’ Evan Pharmakis while you sip and savor. Enjoy wine tastings, wine, beer and sangria from the Vineyard Cafe bar and light nosh from their Wine-d Down Menu. Then head upstairs to cozy up by the Brix fireplace for Executive Chef Andy’s Fireside Friday Special Menu and $10 wine -OR- beer flights.

Friday, March 24
5pm – 8pm: Extended Tasting Hours
5pm – 10pm: Dine at Brix – RESERVATIONS
Wine Tasting is $12 or $15 with the souvenir logo glass
Glass of wine, beer, sangria and Wine-d Down nosh available for purchase in the Cafe
SPECIAL: 1/2 price wine tasting for Cru/Case Club Members AND DOUBLE POINTS in the Marketplace and Brix that evening only
RSVP HERE | Pay at the door