The classic 1957 release from one of the greats of gospel blues, a rough diamond of hard, pure country gospel expression, at odds with the earthly concerns of the blues and yet entwined with the devil's rhythms. Listen to the splendid Moon Goes Down , the skittering guitar figures on Bad Company and classic ragtime of I Didn't Want to Join the Band for confirmation of his brilliant originality. 17 cuts total, including a couple of unreleased items.
Rev. Gary Davis
NR (Not Rated)
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enough has been written about Gary Davis' unique guitar style, so it's time to do some serious listening, and this is the disc with which to do it. It was recorded when Davis was about sixty years old, and at that moment he had as much power and imagination in his playing as he'd had as a younger musician, while at the same time having reached a level of control that only comes with decades of experience. His tempos are not as frantic as those on his 1930s sides, and his playing is even better. To boil it down: There is no better acoustic guitar playing to be heard in all of American music than you'll hear on this disc. It's always been a problem to capture the sheer "squeeze power" of a street performer like Davis, and this recording does so better than any of his others. And at exactly the right time in his life, for in all his later recordings except "Harlem Street Singer" - magnificent as they may be - his age shows to a lesser or greater degree...
it is only too bad that Rev. Gary Davis is no longer with us and that we do not have enough recordings of him. This is a fantastic collection of songs and his guitar work at times is pure genius. The perfect way to enjoy this album is to sit back, close your eyes and imagine listening to it on a street corner, which he is known for. His vocals can sometimes be rough, but he sings from the soul, and his playing styles will simply amaze you. Highly recommended.
This is one of the classic albums. Rev Davis plays blues/ragtime picking acoustic guitar. If you don't know him yet then this is a good example of his excellent work. Personal, individual and heartfelt like the best country blues but very free with his guitar arrangements. Proper.
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