Rockin’ blues guitarist Eve Monsees didn’t waste any time. Born in Houston in 1983, and an Austin resident since age eight, she got her first guitar and began taking lessons at twelve. Eve learned guitar more or less in tandem with her neighbor and schoolmate, the much acclaimed, and Grammy award-winning Gary Clark Jr.
“We basically began playing together, showing each other what we’d learned, turning each other onto records we’d discovered,” she said.
In those early years, Monsees picked up on Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and other Austin blues cornerstones. When she encountered Albert King’s compilation of 1966-8 Stax sides, King of the Blues Guitar, there was no turning back. It wasn’t long before local blues patriarch Clifford Antone took both Monsees and Clark under his wing and the young guitar slingers found themselves playing with Hubert Sumlin, Lazy Lester and other greats at Antone’s namesake club.
Although Monsees had her purist phase, she came out the other side with a taste for a more garagey kind of blues that’s the contemporary equivalent of the Rolling Stones’ early career. In 2002, the year she graduated from high school, she and drummer Mike Buck formed Eve and the Exiles, releasing a debut album in 2004.
In 2007, Eve was approached by Kathy Valentine and Dominique Davalos to join the BlueBonnets, an all female rock band, for a one-off gig. Things clicked and Eve stayed. Knowing Kathy also led to a last-minute sub job on a 2008 Go-Go’s tour when one of the guitarists had to leave unexpectedly. Valentine said “no one but Eve could learn a set of songs in a couple of days and be professional enough to get out there on stage and do the job justice!”
Eve keeps busy with a number of bands; her own Eve and the Exiles, The BlueBonnets, The Unseen Eye, and The Leroi Brothers. She is also a co-owner of the iconic Antone’s Record Store.