Evans played as sideman for Z.Z. Hill, Willie Clayton, Lynn White, Percy Sledge, Bobby Rush, Chris Thomas King and Glenn Holmes before finally deciding to build his own following, which he does very well with his debut recording Blues & Grooves, sweeping the southeast, leaving the audience begging for more.
Now, it’s time the rest of the country enjoys the natural treasure Mississippi has given us with James Evans’ Blues & Grooves.
Swinging out for Bag’s Groove opens the CD with an uplifting, wailing good time with Louis Lee on tenor sax and Mark Whittington’s sexy slide on guitar.
Straying to the sultry inner-city of Marvin Gaye’s classic, What’s Going On, the saxes stretch, bringing to life, struggles of the late 70s and all the feeling those times evoked.
Without fear, Evans and his crew begin Like Hank (I Wish I Were), with a slow burn on guitar, adding fancy finger-work for texture, layering with a soft roll on drums until Brady kicks in on organ for a real down home slinky blues. An up front wailing sax takes this song the rest of the way to the ground.
Cleo’s Mood pumps up the tempo, keeping this album varied and interesting. Sax is smooth but sweltering, interplaying with a soft beat of drums and smooth guitar. This is one of those tunes that stay in your head long after the stereo is turned off.
Whittington’s guitar offers complicated fingering as an opening on Bill Whithers’ Ain’t No Sunshine as Abdul Rashied projects strong vocals, taking the listener into another dimension before returning to the Down Home Blues.
The last tune, Glen Holmes Blues, is a Louis Lee, James Evans original.
This entire album is well planned and executed to perfection, taking the listener on a ride through the delta blues, to the inner city, through a ballad and back to the jazz inspired blues, keeping the listener in touch with each tune.
You don’t have to wait till the good song comes on they’re all good.
This album was recorded at Sam’s House Studio. It’s marketed at : www.cdbaby.com