Mississippi Magic

For more than 25 years, singer Terry Evans has been a fixture in roots music. You might not know his name, but you probably know his music.

Since going solo, Evans has found an especially warm welcome in Europe, spending ten to twelve weeks each year there on tour. His CD sales have been especially strong in Italy and Switzerland, and he won an award from an association of German nightclub operators. Three years ago, Evans and band also were part of the first open-air blues concert ever in Beijing, China. Sponsored by a major European brewery, the show was held in a 12,000-seat stadium so packed that the crowd spilled over into surrounding areas outside, where big-screen TVs were set up so all could see and hear. Without much previous exposure to the blues, the Chinese audience initially may have regarded Evans and the other acts on the bill as curiosities, but their enthusiastic response to the music so gratified Evans that he wants to put together a more extensive tour of China and the Far East.

Though he's used to working outdoor shows and large venues, Evans welcomes the occasional gig in more intimate surroundings. "I like a smaller place, too, where I can reach down and touch the people," he says.

Straddling the borders of soul and the blues, Evans has carved out a personal sound that earned him the nickname that's also the title of his last record: Mississippi Magic. "The name came from the bass player," he explains. "When the group introduces me onstage, that's his line: 'Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Mississippi Magic, Terry Evans.'" Given that his last St. Louis appearance was a single set five years ago at the ill-fated blues festival held in Buder Park, St. Louis roots-music fans should seize the opportunity to enjoy a full evening of Evans' soulful sorcery.

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