Review: Hans Theessink & Terry Evans (feat. Ry Cooder) – Delta Time

Posted on: Sunday, Oct 7, 2012


Hans Theessink & Terry Evans (feat. Ry Cooder) – Delta Time

(Blue Groove: BG2220)

The first duo album from Hans Theessink and Terry Evans was the wonderful “Visions”, and it’s a pleasure to report that their follow-up “Delta Time” is another gem . . . the Vienna-based, Dutch-born Theessink and Evans, originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi make beautiful blues and roots music together . . . with the ‘icing on the cake’ here seeing the legendary Ry Cooder supplying  guitar on three tracks.

Hans Theessink and Terry Evans both have tremendous voices that cover several ranges, and another treat on “Delta Time” is the presence of Arnold McCuller and Willie Greene Jr. on backing vocals, to form a male vocal trio with Evans . . . thus the vocal work is as standout as the exemplary guitar work, on this 13-track collection of blues standards and original songs.

The opening title track, “Delta Time”, is a joyous gospel-flavoured blues with the interweaving guitars of Theessink and Evans and some quite glorious vocal harmonies from the ensemble; the following Delmore Brothers tune, “Blues Stay Away From Me”, sees Ry Cooder adding some lovely delicate guitar. Tampa Red’s often-covered “It Hurts Me Too” is covered with the duo taking vocal turns and again with some delightful harmonies, and Theessink also adding some fine mandolin.

Bobby Charles “How Come People Act Like That” is a rousing stomp, with Ry Cooder’s second appearance and sees him laying down some gritty electric slide; “The Birds And The Bees” is a song Terry Evans sang some 50 years ago, and as the liner notes reveal, earned him his first real money, when as a member of The Turnarounds, it was an international hit.

“Build Myself A Home” has some delightful fingerpicked guitar and, again, glorious vocal work from the trio of Evans, McCuller and Greene Jr. A lengthy version of J.B. Lenoir’s “Down In Mississippi” is a highlight . . . as Evans tells the tale of the tough times in ‘The South’ over a leisurely near nine minutes . . it’s full of lovely shimmering slide guitar and sounds just so good, never overstaying its welcome! Hans Theessink’s warm baritone voice is to the fore on his own “Shelter From The Storm”, again with gospel flavours.

Elsewhere there is a sweet take on the classic “Pouring Water On A Drowning Man”; a cover of Jimmy Reed’s chestnut “Honest I Do”; this lovely album ending with 10:11 of Theessink’s “Mississippi” . . . a journey through the blues history of the area with  namechecks for some of the legends, both male and female . . . with driving guitars, harmonica and all having a ball vocally. A supremely classy album and highly recommended from two masters of the blues and roots genre.



Pic: Milica Theessink

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