Englishman Dan Evans has been captivating audiences at concerts and festivals here in the States since his first trip to our fair shores back in 1997. Let It Me Be is Dan’s first recording since 2002 and he admits that it’s long overdue but my ears tell me that it has been well worth the wait. He gets some super support from Sylvia Seaton on violin, Andy Crowdy on nylon-string guitar and string bass, and from Hilary Davies on harmony vocals.
The new recording focuses on traditional folk songs from the British Isles and showcases Dan’s clear and precise dulcimer and guitar playing along with his superb vocals. He has a very natural vocal style with a warm presence that definitely complements his great dulcimer playing. His guitar playing on the non-dulcimer numbers features dulcimer-like open tunings which, similar to his finger-style dulcimer playing, incorporates interesting rhythmic textures and flowing melodic lines. Above all, I am gobsmacked by Dan’s amazing ability to provide such compelling and lyrical dulcimer accompaniments to his singing.
I am gobsmacked by Dan’s amazing ability to provide such compelling and lyrical dulcimer accompaniments to his singing.
The material ranges from spritely dance tunes to powerful songs with a message with an emphasis on stately traditional tunes with some contemporary flourishes. Highlights for me were his version of Amanda Broom’s The Rose, Let It Be Me, and We May and Might Never. You’ll note that I am very partial to the vocals but I’m betting you’ll love it all.