Hans Theessink, guitarist and collaborator for the past twenty years, shared on Facebook," One of the greatest voices in American music won't sound no more." Terry Evans passed on January 20 at age 80.
Born in the heart of the Delta in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Terry Evans got his start in the church choir. Only allowed to sing gospel, he would have to "slip away" to sing secular songs and secretly listen to music from Elmore James, Little Walter, Albert King and B.B. King. Influenced by those great musicians, Terry decided to be a soul singer and toured the South with an a cappella group called The Knights. After moving to the west coast, Terry learned to play guitar and began making his mark as a songwriter. Terry's soulful voice made him demanded session vocalist working with John Fogerty, Ry Cooder, John Lee Hooker and Boz Scaggs.
A duo with Bobby King in the early 1970s led to a regular touring schedule, two albums and a position as background singers with Ry Cooder. With Cooder they toured internationally and recorded multiple albums including the soundtrack to the 1986 film "Crossroads". The movie, inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson, featured Terry on lead vocal for "Down in Mississippi". After all, Cooder had said that he always thought his long time singer, Terry Evans, made a better "front man" - and he did.
From 1994 to 2005 Evans released seven solo records with Sledgehammer Blues (née AudioQuest Music), Telarc, Point Bank and Valley Entertainment. His 2001 album "Mississippi Magic" would be nominated for a Blues Music Award as the "Best Soul Blues Album of the Year". After first singing backing vocals with Dutch singer and guitarist Hans Theessink on his 1997 album "Journey On", the two would form a duo and release three albums between 2008 and 2015. Terry continued performing and touring through 2017 as Theessink noted, "We had a fantastic tour in Europe last September and Terry enjoyed doing what he loved most: singing with heart and soul. Singing with Terry was a powerful experience."