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Two-time Grammy winner, and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, David Evans is well known to blues aficionados the world over, and has been performing traditional guitar blues since 1962. His first musical partner was the late Alan Wilson of Canned Heat.
Although mostly known as a blues scholar with more credentials than Mississippi has mud, his skills as a vocalist and guitarist are astounding, having learned directly from many of the original blues musicians who were still performing during the 1960s and later years. In addition, he is the producer of High Water Records and has been involved with the careers of blues artists including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Jessie Mae Hemphill, among others.
As a musician he has recorded six albums/CDs for the Inside Sounds (USA) and Blind Lemon (Germany) labels and has made over seventy tours in twenty-two countries of Europe, South America, and Africa. He has toured, performed, and/or recorded with such blues greats as Hammie Nixon, Johnny Shines, Robert Belfour, Jack Owens, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Van Zula Hunt, and Al Wilson.
David is also equally well known for his exceptional academic achievements as a researcher, scholar, writer, and teacher. He recently retired after 38 years as Professor of Music at The University of Memphis. Evans has authored Tommy Johnson (1971), Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues (1982), The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Blues (2005), Ramblin’ on My Mind: New Perspectives on the Blues (2008, edited), Going up the Country: Adventures in Blues Fieldwork in the 1960s (2022, co-authored with Marina Bokelman), as well as many articles, reviews, album notes, and LP and CD productions of traditional blues artists. He has published major biographical and analytical works on Tommy Johnson, Charley Patton, Bukka White, Blind Willie McTell, and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
David has won two Grammy® awards and a further nomination for "Best Album Notes." He was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and his book Big Road Blues is inducted separately as a "Classic of Blues Literature."
Evans is also a member of the Last Chance Jug Band, a three-piece group based in Memphis that since 1989 has recreated the sounds of that city’s jug band tradition. They have performed in a number of Mid-South and national concerts and festivals and have twice been featured artists on the nationally syndicated radio program Beale Street Caravan. The band consists of Evans (vocals, guitar, kazoo), Elmo Lee Thomas (harmonica, jug, background vocals), and Ted Maclin (jug, washboard). Evans has also performed at concerts and festivals in the United States and abroad with harmonica partners Jobie Kilzer, Elmo Lee Thomas, Joe Filisko, and Little Victor (France) and mandolin partner Jan Sobotka (Czech Republic).
Evans has presented country blues guitar workshops and lectures at many venues in the United States and abroad, often in conjunction with concert and festival appearances. If you interest in having David deliver a lecture or workshop please get in touch with us.
Evans has recorded Match Box Blues (Inside Sounds ISC-0514, 2002), Needy Time(Inside Sounds ISC-0532, 2007), Live at Alte Post (Blind Lemon BLR-CD1203, 2012), Under the Yam Yam Tree (Blind Lemon BLR-CD1401, 2014), and Lonesome Midnight Dream (Blind Lemon BLR-CD1801 (2018), and has tracks on anthologies released in Germany, Venezuela, and the United States. The Last Chance Jug Band released Shake That Thing! (Inside Sounds ISC-0501, 1997), featuring Evans on vocals, guitar, and kazoo. He has also played guitar on records of Jessie Mae Hemphill and Hammie Nixon released in the United States, France, and Australia.