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Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:42 pm
by spud camp
I was watching some old video this weekend, and one of the performers was Gary Davis......uh wow. The way he makes it look so simple, and natural was fascinating to me. He just sat there with his pitch black shades on so you cant even tell if hes looking at the guitar or not. It was great! Anyone else out there A Gary Davis fan?

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:46 pm
by jeffl
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-13-06 AT 10:47 AM (EST)]I cut my teeth on Rev. Gary Davis,comin' up with harp accompaniments for his stuff. I had a buddy who played guitar who stumbled onto Davis's stuff. I went out and ordered his "Holy Blues" songbook,used,last year,just so we could go back and do his stuff again. If you don't try to figure out exactly how he plays his riffs,his stuff is relatively easy to learn. There's a ton of info. out there on that guy,and a surprising number of blues guys have played his stuff,including a number of fans here at BRB.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:53 pm
by spud camp
Thanks Bubba, hey maybe you know. I was watching him, and he has a 12 string, but looks like he only had like 9 strings on it. Is that correct I couldn't really tell, and if so why? Probably a stupid question, but I really dont know. I'm still a rookie, LOL

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:04 pm
by ricochet
I understand he was blind, so he likely wasn't looking at the guitar.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:12 pm
by dcblues
I'm a big Gary Davis fan. I've been lucky enough to jam with Ernie Hawkins, who is one of Davis' students.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:31 pm
by jeffl
>Thanks Bubba, hey maybe you know. I was watching him, and he
>has a 12 string, but looks like he only had like 9 strings
>on it. Is that correct I couldn't really tell, and if so
>why? Probably a stupid question, but I really dont know. I'm
>still a rookie, LOL
I don't think he regularly played with just 9 strings..but I'm a harper remember,so there's things like that I wouldn't know. I've got a double vinyl set of his too,in excellent condition. He does some pickin' with the thumb on his frettin' hand occasionally...so unless you have access to a DVD of him, I'm guessin' it'd be hard to figure out how he does summa his stuff.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:17 pm
by bighollowtwang
I don't think Gary Davis played a "half-strung" 12 string, but Lonnie Johnson used a 12 with only the three low strings doubled, and of course Big Joe Williams extensively used 9-string guitar.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:51 pm
by spud camp
Big Joe Williams extensively used
>9-string guitar.

And what a sight to behold, nothing like a few modifications. His guitar should be in the Smithsonian. I believe he used to hang pie tins, and stuff in front of the speaker to get some sort of percussion going on too, seems like I read that somewhere once. I could be wrong.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:57 am
by cllvt
>I was watching some old video this weekend, and one of the
>performers was Gary Davis......uh wow. The way he makes it
>look so simple, and natural was fascinating to me. He just
>sat there with his pitch black shades on so you cant even
>tell if hes looking at the guitar or not. It was great!
>Anyone else out there A Gary Davis fan?

Hi Spud,

Rev. Gary Davis is one of my favorites! I got a fingerstyle book/cd with some of his stuff a while back, and it was worth the few $ for the CD - some of his old recordings, that I had never heard before. Awesome! Enjoy!
Chris

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:30 pm
by david
I was bring my 13 and 14 year olds home from their music lessons yesterday. They--in typical teenager fashion--each had their headphones in listening to Kelly Clarkson or some such.

I slipped a CD of the Rev. Gary Davis into the truck stereo and they both pulled their headphones off. I just smiled and didn't say a word. The guy was doing something that was timeless and anybody that hears it just has to acknowledge that he was a master.

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:09 pm
by cas
Sometimes it's all in the timing.

Carol

RE: Reverend Gary Davis

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:24 am
by richard
I'm a fan of the good Reverend - i have just learned 'Death don't have no mercy' - i thought i knew it but was only using about half the chord changes ! Such as well - thought out song. A lot of his music is 'pre-blues' - stuff that comes from the same vein as a lot of old traditional stuff you might usually hear on banjos, etc.

Richard