In the Bag 

One of the brightest stars in the blues-scholarship constellation lives and teaches right here in the Bluff City: David Evans has been a professor of music at the University of Memphis for almost 30 years and directs the school's ethnomusicology/regional-studies doctoral program. He will be at the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange this Thursday, December 21st, at noon for the December entry in the "Brown Bag Author Talk" series.

Evans is the author of The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Blues, a book that explains the music form, examines its history, and extols its masters for the curious, if not for dummies. The secret to the continued success of the blues a century after its formal inception may lie in its accessibility -- it's emotional, and everyone can relate -- and the extent to which it rewards audiophiles -- along with jazz, no other music is so geared toward wonks. Evans is definitely one of those last, a cognoscente of the blues stripe. But don't let that fool you: The guy is as easygoing as a down-home Ethel Waters tune. Evans will be talking about his book at the museum and will bring his guitar along too to illustrate points and play some of the music that made the Delta famous.

As the name indicates, guests are encouraged to bring their own chow. An accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and Grammy Award winner for liner notes along with everything else, Evans is a regular Y'all-aissance man. Expect a lunchtime as enjoyable as watching the Mississippi River lazily eddy southward right down the street from the museum.

"Brown Bag Author Talk" with David Evans at the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange. Thursday, December 21st, noon. Go to www.memphiscottonmuseum.org for more information.

Speaking of David Evans

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