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Dave Evans

The Best of the Vetco Years – 2008 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Dave Evans

Dave Evans is no stranger to bluegrass. He got his start with familiar names like Larry Sparks and the Boys From Indiana, but has been out on his own for almost three decades. This CD is a reissue of his earliest work with a regional label, Vetco.

His songs stand the test of time. Known as one of the most soulful singers in bluegrass, what you hear on his recordings is just what you hear sitting under the trees at a festival. His music is a crowd pleaser: you hear fans calling out for "99 Years Is Almost For Life" and "Short Life of Trouble," songs he calls the stories of his life. He kicks into "Highway 52," then removes his hat as he sings "Call Me On Home, Too." As you listen to his music, you can picture the stories he tells, you can feel the pain he feels. That's the way bluegrass should be.

His early recordings covered "his" songs as well as standards like "White House Blues" and "Dark As The Night, Blue As The Day" and "Barbara Allen." Today's bluegrass has a tendency to be smooth and substantially produced; this recording may not have new songs, but it takes you back to the bluegrass of old music barns and campfires, and it is most certainly an enjoyable trip.