"Sing-a-longs a speciality," the booking package for the band Bloodwood promises, a hint that the Dave Evans who comprises one fourth of this Australian quartet is not the same Dave Evans who howled like a banshee as an original vocalist with AC/DC. While both of these Dave Evans indeed hail from down under, the Bloodwood Evans handles several different traditional stringed instruments and is not a heavy rocker. The name of his band might hint otherwise, but "Bloodwood" is actually the name of a type of gum tree that grows on the sand plains of Central Australia. A focus on this type of flora could literally yield many combo names smacking of hard rock or grunge, including Spotted Gum and Blackbutt.
Evans' group plays folk music of the sort that is traditional to the Northern Territories of Australia. Tradition being based in great part on local interests, it is no surprise to find out that the group's repertoire is heavily soaked with drinking songs. The group's album, A Taste of Australia, features a huge can of Foster's lager on the front cover. The so-called "lager phone" is part of the band's instrumental arsenal, once again a marriage of the homemade instrument in traditional music with whatever props are readily available.
The group was formed in 1979, emerging out of another ensemble called the Public Service Robots, a name most likely not inspired by anything that was growing in the outback. At first, the ensemble had only short-term plans, although the concept certainly turned out to be in-line -- and on tap, in a can or in a bottle -- with the group's philosophy. Bloodwood premiered as musical talent in a stage show entitled And Then We Choked Down mounted for the Melbourne National Folk Festival. Since then, Evans and bandmates Scott Balfour and Bob Barford have toured extensively within Australia at venues that would make a committed punk rocker wince: mining camps, classrooms, opera houses, and something called a cattle station camp draft. Prestigious overseas jobs have included the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Portsmouth Festival.