John Evans

Biggest Fool In Town – 2001 (Shakeabush)

Reviewed by Ken Burke

CDs by John Evans

For those who missed it the first time around, this is a rerelease of John Evans' 1998 debut disc. Supplemented with a previously unreleased track from his early band, and a preview number from his upcoming LP, this 12 song set bursts at the seams with solid honky-tonk shuffles, Bakersfield twang, and pleasing shades of rockabilly.

Evans, a former quarterback for the New York-New Jersey Knights of the now-defunct WFL, is a promising triple threat singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His low-note runs on the Buckaroo-influenced material ("My Kind Of Love," "Two Mommas"), and bluesy accents on ballads ("Just Today," "Two Swingin' Doors"), are fresh and atmospheric. The Houston-based singer is entirely convincing while performing straight rockabilly ("Lovesick Blues," "Midnight Train") or a Western swing hybrid of the same ("Pasa-Get-Down-Dena"), employing plenty of boisterous Southern-fried vocal grit. However, the highlights are the throbbing paeans to heartache ("Cry You A Bayou," "Too Much," "I Still Taste Your Kisses"), echoing both Roy Orbison's emotive sweep and Conway Twitty's sensual growl.

Boasting tasty Bill Lloyd-style production replete with punchy guitar playing, and a smart danceable groove, this is one enjoyable album. (John Evans)