History Of The Country Music Group Evangeline

The country music group Evangeline began its short, but productive career in 1988. This talented band had a traditional country sound, and its members often played more than one instrument. The lead singer was Kathleen Steiffel. Beth McKee was both the keyboardist and accordionist. The lead guitarist was Rhonda Lohmeyer. Nancy Buchan played both the fiddle and the mandolin for the group. Sharon Leger played the washboard as well as the bass guitar. Dudley Fruge played the drums.

Their career started when they performed in several country music competitions. The first was Jazz Search, a musical competition they entered in 1988. Evangeline also competing in the True Value Country Music Showdown, a competition sponsored by the well-known hardware store chain. They also participated in the Marlboro Talet Roundup. Their performance at these competitions attracted the attention of the famous Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy Buffett was so impressed by their talent that he signed them to Margaritaville Records. Margaritaville Records was a subsidiary of MCA Records at the time. Margaritaville Records is owned by Mr. Buffett, who founded the label in order to promote new talent that he thought showed promise.

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,Margaritaville Records produced Evangeline’s debut album. Their self-titled first album was released on May 19, 1992, four years after the band’s inception. This album was most successful in Canada, where their track “If I Had A Heart” received an enthusiastic response from country music fans. The song eventually reached #81 on the RPM country music hit list. Although this song made it onto the charts in Canada, it did not receive much attention in America. After the release of the first album, drummer Dudley Fruge and fiddler/mandolin player Nancy Buchan left the band to pursue other projects.

Evangeline’s second album was titled French Quarter Moon. This album was released on November 23, 1993. Jimmy Buffett’s label Margaritaville Records produced Evangeline's second album as well. French Quarter Moon brought the band more domestic success than their first release did. Their single “Let’s Go Spend Your Money Honey” was a Billboard ranked single, topping out at #70 on the country music charts. The ground released a music video for their hit single in 1994. Another single from the album was covered by the well-known country music artist Faith Hill. Faith Hill did change the title of the song, which was originally called “She’s A Wild One.” When Faith Hill released her version she shortened the title to “Wild One.”

The third and final album recorded by the county music group Evangeline was released on July 16, 1996.The third album was titled Louisiana Aye Yi Yi. At his point in the band’s career, they had stopped working with Jimmy Buffett’s label and were working with Renegade Records instead. Their third album did not achieve the popularity of their second album, and the band disbanded shortly after its release.

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