Terry Evans Mississippi Magic

This is Terry Evans' fifth solo release in a career that can only be labelled "outstanding." From his days with Bobby King, Evans has been filled with the Southern soul of Sam & Dave and the Stax-like chemistry of the King & Evans combination. They ultimately attracted the attention of Ry Cooder who set them on a distinctive career path that included work with Bob Dylan, Boz Scaggs, Pops Staples and John Fogerty. A tribute to his blues roots, Evans ably demonstrates the confidence of his own signature sound across a gamut of blues, soul and gospel tracks. "Big Bad Daddy Good" is an uplifting track not dissimilar to Cooder's "Get Rhythm," showcasing the skills of guitarist Jesse Samsel. Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy" gets an up-tempo makeover with Evans' gruff vocal adding colour to the original. "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You" is a Stax-style ballad capitalising on Jeff Alviani's Hammond B3 and David Woodford's tenor sax. Two of the album's stand-out tracks are self-penned: "Where We Gonna Go" and "Let Love Begin." The first is a brooding, R&B groove and the second, a swampy, meandering ballad that especially benefits from Samsel's sparse, yet striking, string bendings. Terry Evans possesses magical powers and Mississippi Magic weaves a definite spell that acknowledges talent capable of standing tall on its own merits. Evans is long overdue. (Valley)