Match Box Blues

Dr. David Evans

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Match Box Blues Review

by Steve Leggett

A scholar, field researcher, and director of the ethnomusicology program at the University of Memphis since 1978, David Evans isn't your typical blues man. But don't worry, he doesn't let his academic pedigree prevent him from having a whole lot of fun with this ragtag set of folk-blues pieces, and the result is a delightful and lively reimagining of some country blues classics, complete with kazoos, jugs, and washboards as well as guitars and pianos. Evans doesn't attempt to copy the original versions on any of these songs so much as he tries to reanimate them, and his versions of Booker White's "Shake 'Em on Down," Leroy Carr's "Prison Bound Blues," Babe Stovall's "Candy Man," and Tommy Johnson's "Big Road Blues" are all revelations, reminding you that the worst thing that can happen to any of these songs is that they become set in stone.

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