Release Date: 08/20/21
The Rev. Gary Davis enthralls his UK fans with a repertoire hinged on his considerable prowess on guitar and harp.
This is a revealing and wonderfully honest album of traditional songs, including 'If I Had My Way,' a ritual first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson decades earlier and lucratively covered by the Caucasian folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Also present at the Free Trade Hall was whoop-and-holler harmonica ace Sonny Terry, an expressive performer who exchanges words and blows up a duet with Davis on 'The Sun is Going Down' and solos at length on 'Coon Hunt.' There is also a sampling of Davis' own excellent harp playing. Davis alternately sang both sacred as well as bracingly worldly blues tunes and tapped into his own early roots with the 'Cincinnati Flow Rag' and Scott Joplin's 'Maple Leaf Rag,' syncopated episodes that, along with everything else on this excellent album, link him directly to old time ragtime/blues guitar legends Henry Thomas, Blind Boy Fuller, and Blind Blake. Nothing was required to elevate the enjoyment of any performance by Reverend Gary Davis. It never fails to amaze me that at around 70 years of age, he still seemed to be at his prime when more artists of his generation were in rapidly accelerating decline. In the 1960s he was enthralling blues fans worldwide with a repertoire hinged on his considerable technique, and around 40 UK minutes were preserved on reel-to-reel tape, presented here with good, crisp, sound quality.
|Label: Document Records|
|Run Time: 40:38 mins|
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