Dave Evans iTunes Tracks

Dave Evans

Somewhat overlooked by many folk buffs, probably due to there being another Dave Evans around at the time, albeit an American bluegrass player, this Bristolian fingerpickin’ guitarist (tuned to CGDGAD) Dave was surely another in the mould of JANSCH, GRAHAM, RENBOURN and DRAKE. He was the acoustic ROBIN TROWER – not only in looks. Dave also played his custom-made green-topped guitar at gigs from 1968 onwards.
However, with a penchant for the sound of singer-songwriter CLIFFORD T. WARD, his debut set THE WORDS IN BETWEEN (1971) {*7} – recorded on a 2-track and featuring some harmony vox by Adrienne Webber, harmonica playing from Keith Warrington and second guitar by Pete Airey – was independently released by Village Thing boss and solo artist in his own right IAN A ANDERSON. Many folk buffs might recognise the lyrical genius of the opener `Rosie’ (a song subsequently covered by a handful of artists); `Doorway’, `Magic Man’ and the “autobiographical” `Sailor’ were also worthy period pieces.
EVANS’ sophomore effort ELEPHANTASIA (1972) {*6} was a disappointment by comparison, a bluesy-based record co-produced with his aforementioned label owner ANDERSON (guests this time around were Steve Swindells, John Merrett, Rodney Matthews and Warrington); check out `Lady Portia’, the excellent title track and three of the best on the CD re-issue of his debut.
Psychedelic bluegrass was a term never used around the time of his instrumental third album SAD PIG DANCE (1974) {*7} – but it should’ve cropped up if anyone had taken the time to listen to Dave’s sliding licks on `Stagefright’; Kicking Mule Records and new boss/producer STEFAN GROSSMAN had always been an inspiration. TAKE A BITE OUT OF LIFE (1977) {*6} was the guitarist’s swansong before he disappeared from the music scene
MAGGIE HOLLAND (former wifey of IAN A ANDERSON) covered a handful of Dave’s songs on her subsequent sets, others too have offered up their takes of a very underrated artist who’s growing in stature as the years subside. As of 2009, with shorter locks and spectacles, the acoustic guitar hero has no plans in a comeback.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS May2015

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