Margie Evans was discovered in the late 1960s by Johnny Otis. She stayed with The Johnny Otis Show for a good four years. In 1973 Willie Dixon produced a few sides with her for his Yambo label, but soon realized, that Margie Evans was different and such a unique kind of vocalist deeply rooted in Gospel music, and with a range so wide, that he wanted his good friend, Chicago Soul legend Monk Higgins, to work with her. Higgins & Evans almost instantly had their first success with the Higgins-penned song “Good Feeling” (United Artists 246). The single entered the Billboard R&B charts on June 30, 1973 for four weeks, reaching number 55. It took four more years for “Good Thing Queen – Part 1” (ICA 002) to enter the same Billboard R&B charts for eight weeks, peaking at number 47.
In 1975 Margie Evans participated as featured artist at the Jazztage in Berlin, collaborating with Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Bo Diddley, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, James “Gonzo” Booker and Billy Boy Arnold. She got introduced to Berlin-based photographer and author Norbert Hess, who in return introduced her to Horst Lippmann, founder and promoter of the famed American Folk Blues Festival that featured every major US Blues artist on tour in Europe between 1961 and 1985. L&R Records was founded and managed by Horst Lippmann and his protégé and later partner Fritz Rau. Margie recalls these years being her most joyful, invigorating and productive. Horst Lippmann took her under his wings and taught her how to produce records, take care of publishing, and other business aspects important to an entertainer. Horst Lippmann produced and co-produced the two Margie Evans albums “Mistreated Woman” in 1982, and “Another Blues Day” in 1984. 1985 he co-produced Evans’ family Gospel album “Margie Evans presents Rickey Grundy & the Williams Family”. Margie Evans participated in three American Folk Blues Festival tours: 1981, 1982 and 1985. The respective AFBF albums pay testimony to her critically acclaimed performances.
“To me there is no other female Blues singer who can be compared with her. Margie Evans shouts the Blues in a way no other Blues Lady has ever done before. She is preaching the Blues with a strong Gospel influence. Last but not least, she is one of the great personalities of the Blues of our time!” Horst Lippmann, 1982
She got called by Al Bell and Monk Higgins to write with, and coproduce Bobby Bland for ICA Recording Group. Such luminary songs as “Giving Up The Streets For Love”, “As Soon as The Weather Breaks”, “You’d Be A Millionaire” and “A Song For You” came out of that creative collaboration. Margie Evans co-founded The Blues Society of Southern California, and she was part of the efforts to re-open the 5-4 Ballroom in Los Angeles. She founded and presided over The Los Angeles Music Week for over 15 years, and appeared in several movies and stage-plays.
Philipp Fankhauser (pronounced Funkhouser) is a multi gold and platinum selling Blues singer from Switzerland. In a career that spans over three decades, he has brought Blues music to a mainstream audience in Switzerland like nobody else before him.He’s been touring the US as guest vocalist of the late great Johnny Copeland from 1994 until Johnny’s untimely death in July of 1997. With 15 albums under his belt, Fankhauser is incessantly touring, playing up to 100 shows a year.
“Philipp is one of the Blues futures!”
Johnny “Clyde” Copeland
Fankhauser doesn’t sound the least bit like a visitor from Switzerland that unrealistically fancies himself as a blues singer!
Frank Hadley, Downbeat
You Swiss? Amazing!
Robert Jr.Lockwood at B.B.King’s Blues Club in Memphis after hearing Philipp Fankhauser opening the set for Johnny Copeland in May of 1994.
Those who were expecting Swiss guitarist-vocalist Philipp Fankhauser to come out with ax swinging will be surprised by the soulful sound of this CD!
Jeff Johnson, Chicago Sun Times
“Unplugged – Live at Mühle Hunziken” is a joyful reunion with the young man Margie Evans grew so fond of in the late eighties, and whom she agreed to be a guest star on his first album – “Blues For The Lady” in 1989.
Three sold out nights at the famed Mühle Hunziken in Rubigen, Switzerland.
When Philipp Fankhauser first saw and heard Margie Evans while she appeared with the American Folk Blues Festival in 1981, he swore he’d just experienced the greatest Blues singer that ever walked this planet. Today, 35 years later, that is still what he is saying!
The CD contains 15 songs, while the DVD shows the complete set with 18 songs. As a bonus there’s a 30 minute “Behind the Scenes” special that shows the making of the album and gives some insight into what still drives Margie Evans after a career that spans over five decades.
Music produced by Marco Jencarelli.
Video produced by Richard Spooner. Co-produced and directed by Phil Ranstrom.
Executive producer Thomas Bähler.
Airway Records / Funk House Blues Productions. (with NTSC DVD)
Recorded live at Mühle Hunziken, Rubigen, September 2nd – 6th 2015.
Engineer Patrik Zosso,
Assistant engineer Anna Murphy.
Editing, mixing and mastering Marco Jencarelli at Soundfarm, Obernau
Margie Evans, vocals
Philipp Fankhauser, vocals and acoustic guitar
Marco Jencarelli, acoustic guitar
Hendrix Ackle, acoustic piano and Wurlitzer
Angus Thomas, acoustic bass
Richard Spooner, drums
Lukas Thoeni, trumpet and flugelhorn
Thomi Geiger, tenor saxophone
Special guest appearance: Lesley Bogaert and Will G., vocals