The Best of the Vetco Years

The Best of the Vetco Years

by Dave Evans & River BendDave Evans & River Bend


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Dave Evans fully inhabits every song he sings, to a point that's almost frightening. He burrows so deep into sad songs that they threaten to collapse in on themselves, like musical black holes. But plenty of energy escapes from these musical counterparts, thanks to the ineluctable power of Evans's deeply committed readings. He simply will not deny his listeners a chance to experience the full range of life described in the turmoil and exultation of his narratives, whether it's the sorrow of a mother's death (the desultory "Sweeter Than the Flowers," with Jim Rigsby's raspy, "oh no!" tenor vocal on the chorus adding a double wallop to the unfolding tragedy), the inescapable horror of the violent deed that's landed him behind bars for a lifetime ("99 Years Is Almost a Life"), or the buoyant, unbridled certainty of better days ahead (as celebrated in a breakneck treatment of A.P. Carter's "Sun's Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday"). Having acquired the tapes of Evans's first two albums, released in 1979 and 1989 on the long-defunct Cincinnati-based Vetco label, Rebel has repackaged a sampling of 15 cuts from those essential long players into one powerful single disc survey. But Evans doesn't do it by himself. His River Bend band-the basic lineup at this time was Evans on banjo (who speeds picks a positively jaw-dropping solo on "White House Blues"), Mike Hamilton on guitar, Danny Cady on fiddle and Art Wydner on bass -- is more than up to the task of putting the hurt on. Dave Evans has a lot more powerful music left in him, but as he moves forward it's always instructive to be reminded of how far he's traveled in finding his singular voice. The Best of the Vetco Years is an indispensable component of this vital history.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/06/2008
Label: Rebel Records
UPC: 0032511751928
catalogNumber: 7519
Rank: 44125

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