Blues Scholar to Perform

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The next performance in the Fridays at Noon series will feature David Evans, noted blues scholar and  musician who has been instrumental in documenting some of the remaining vestiges of traditional blues in Memphis and the surrounding region. Evans will perform at 12 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Thomas County Public Library.

Author of “Big Road Blues,” Evans heads the doctorate program in Ethnomusicology at the University of Memphis. Born in Boston, he came to the blues through the folk revival of the mid-’60s. After seeing such legendary performers as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, and Sleepy John Estes, Evans decided to pursue the study of the blues tradition as a career. In 1966, while in graduate school at UCLA, he began making field trips to the South to research and record blues musicians.

In 1970 Evans recorded Bentonia bluesman Jack Owens. The record, “It Must Have Been the Devil,” was reissued in 1995. He produced Jessie Mae Hemphill’s “She Wolf” in 1981 and “Feelin’ Good” in 1987, playing rhythm guitar accompaniment on both records.

In 1994 Evans recorded a number of regional artists on an excellent record, “The Spirit Lives On, Deep South Country Blues and Spirituals.” In 1997, Evans’ group – The Last Chance Jug Band, an ensemble modeled on the jug bands of Memphis during the 1920s and ’30s – released its debut album, “Shake That Thing.”

Fridays at Noon is part of Arts for the Community at Thomas University (ACTU). For more information, call 229-227-6964 or email

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