Once upon a time in the ‘60s in the Beantown area there lived a couple of guys who were both bookish and musically inclined. Sometimes they played together and sometimes they studied together and sometimes they shot the shit together. One went on to become a founding member of probably the most recognized blues band in the world, while the other went on to become the preeminent blues scholar alive today. If Canned Heat wasn’t the most recognized blues band in the world in its day, I don’t know who would fill the top spot. And if Doctor David Huhn Evans, Jr., isn’t the preeminent blues scholar of today, then s/he hasn’t been born yet.
This is the first in a series of articles on David Evans. The man has such a lengthy and forceful curriculum vitae that he can’t be done justice without at least several articles. His plaudits are many, his papers are many, his teaching credentials are impeccable, his musical credits are many, he's a Grammy winner, and on and on.
Even though I’ve known him for a few years, and I’ve known of him longer, I wasn’t aware until a short time ago the length and breadth of his achievements. If two people each took credit for half his achievements they’d still rank in the top three blues scholars in the world.
It’s truly amazing how a person who’s so heavily involved in a certain field of endeavor can be so relatively unknown to the majority of its followers. He’s a well-kept secret. For instance, in the field of country blues, how many people would readily recognize the name of Doctor David H Evans? Yet here’s a man whose curriculum vitae runs to 34 pages, all pertaining to country blues. (On a related note, why doesn’t Blogcritics allow the words "country blues" to be capitalized, to not be a field of its own? It’s one of the most studied genres of American music, as well as one of the most emulated and played.)