David Evans has had a double career in blues since the early 1960s as a performer and 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), and edited Ramblin’ on My Mind: New Perspectives on the Blues (2008), 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, and his notes to Revenant Records’ Charley Patton box set won a Grammy™ award.
As a musician he has recorded six 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 and/or recorded with such blues greats as Hammie Nixon, Van Zula Hunt, Johnny Shines, Robert Belfour, Jack Owens, Jessie Mae Hemphill, and Al Wilson (Canned Heat). Evans learned most of his repertoire and style directly from these and other traditional blues artists he met in the course of his research.
“David Evans, who made the blues live again as if they were some phantoms from the past.”- Soul Bag (France)
“Damn if it doesn’t ring with musical truth, the kind that cuts deeper than words, and the kind with which Evans, an old blues hand from way back, is not just familiar, but utterly comfortable.” – Blues Revue (US)