Hans Theesink and Terry Evans review, September 22 2012…

HANS THEESINK AND TERRY EVANS

FEATURING RY COODER

DELTA TIME

BLUE GROOVE RECORDS  BGO 2220 CD

 

DELTA TIME–BLUES STAY AWAY FROM ME–IT HURTS ME TOO–HOW COME PEOPLE ACT LIKE THAT–THE BIRDS AND THE BEES–BUILD MYSELF A HOME–DOWN IN MISSISSIPPI–SHELTER FROM THE STORM–I NEED MONEY–HEAVEN’S AIRPLANE–POURING WATER ON A DROWNING MAN–HONEST I DO–MISSISSIPPI

 

Hans Theesink is one of Europe’s best-known and most respected bluesmen, with some twenty albums to his credit and forty years “on the road.”  Vicksburg, MS, native Terry Evans remembers his first “paying gig” well.  As a member of The Turnarounds they cut the original version of “The Birds And The Bees.”  He’s done several albums under his own name, and one other album with Hans, “Visions,” from 2008.  They have just released their second set, “Delta Time,” (which does include  a cool cover of “The Birds And The Bees.”) for Blue Groove Records.  Behind Hans’ stoic baritone and flawless flat-picking and Terry’s gospel-fueled voice and spot-on rhythm playing, the two men flourish as duet partners over thirteen cuts.  Also joining in the fun is guitarist Ry Cooder for three cuts, and additional harmony vocals are provided by two of Terry’s closest gospel colleagues, Willie Greene, Jr., and Arnold McCuller.

 

The set begins with Hans “packing his bags” to leave all the “big-city fighting” behind, to catch a southbound freight to a place where things run a little smoother, on “Delta Time.”  Terry and the gospel chorus give this one a real shot of fire and brimstone, too.  Terry sings the poignant and powerful “Down In Mississippi” as if it could have been his autobiography, from picking cotton and growing up a young black man in the Jim Crow south.  His gospel background adds perfect authenticity to this cut, and Hans’ call-and-response vocals and slide are right on the money.  There’s more great gospel-flavored blues, too, with “Build Myself A Home,” and “Shelter From The Storm,” which features Ry Cooder on guitar.  Hans takes us on a journey from Memphis down Highway 61 along the Blues Trail to close the set in a tune called “Mississippi,” where he name-checks darn near everyone associated with that trail, from Peetie Wheatstraw, “the devil’s son-in-law,” to Memphis Minnie, and even Aretha.  The sound of his National Steel brings it all home, while Terry and the backing chorus add the perfect touch.

 

We had two favorites, too.  Another cool gospel tune has Hans singing of the Second Coming on “Heaven’s Airplane.”  And, the harmonies that Terry and Hans create on the Delmore Brothers classic, “Blues Stay Away From Me.” are breathtakingly brilliant, and perfectly complemented by Ry Cooder’s guitar.

 

Altho Hans and Terry are an ocean apart, their souls are united by the music that they share with us.  “Delta Time” creates a  stripped-down, powerful vibe that is both mesmerizing and extremely entertaining!    Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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