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Terry Evans: Walk That Walk

Ed Kopp By

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Terry Evans' earthy music combines the grit of the Mississippi Delta (his birthplace), the chooglin' power of the rowdiest electric blues, and the heartfelt intensity of deep soul and gospel. Walk That Walk is yet another terrific release from the bluesman/soulman.

Every Evans album comes with an added bonus: the rootsy guitar playing of Ry Cooder, the perfect counter to Evans’ growly singing. Cooder adds vitality to every track here, and his inspired string bending can transform an ordinary song like "The Story of My Life" into a magical creation.

Evans creates plenty of magic on his own. Just listen to his performance on the mournful slow-blues tune "I'll Get Over You." This is a song about pain, frustration and unrequited love, yet it's as soulful as any song can be. You can't help but love the chorus on the inspirational anthem "Don't Give Up." Singers Ray Williams and Willie Green Jr. accentuate the lyric's steely resolve by echoing Evans' refrain with heart and fire.

Green's deep baritone voice is just one of the many subtleties that lends this album its depth. Another is the incomparable drumming of veteran Jim Keltner.

There are plenty of upbeat tunes here, too. "Walk That Walk" is a bouncy rustic shuffle with an irresistible chorus. "Dancin' With Your Belly Up" has Evans growling and howling while the band chugs along behind him. The rowdy tunes "Let's Have a Ball" and "Credit Card Blues" will energize the most laid-back party. Perhaps the best song is "A Stone's Throw Away," a slow spiritual number about leaving bad memories behind and moving on, both physically and emotionally. Evans' performance here gives me goosebumps.

If Terry Evans had arrived in the '60s instead of the '90s, we 'd be mentioning his name in the same breath with Otis Redding. He's that good.

| Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Blues


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