‘The Complete Guitarist’ was always a very strong set from Graham - here it is re-mastered and brilliantly boosted by the addition of 8 bonus tracks.
Davey Graham’s joyful, earnest, eclectic guitar playing encompasses countless influences: blues, jazz, English, Scottish and Irish folk, classical and world music. It may sound unlikely that he brings these together – but he does, and with deep affection and care.
His own compositions here are superb – the jazzy, punchy, totally addictive, ‘Lashtal’s Room’ and ‘Blues for Gino’ where he really gets under the skin of the blues – leaning into the bluesy chords with perfect judgement. No British player reaches into the heart of the blues with a feel quite like Graham’s. In his blues-folk composition ‘Forty-Ton Parachute’, he jumps athletically all over the fret board.
Other pieces are sourced widely from: traditional sources, works for lute, classical, British and Irish folk, hymns, and the American blues.
Some other stand-out tracks are a tremendous self-accompanied blues vocal (one of only two on this otherwise solo instrumental CD) – ‘When I Been Drinking’, and ‘Renaissance Piece’, ‘Sarah’, ‘Prelude From The Suite in D Minor’, ‘The Gold Ring’ and ‘Panic Room Blues’.
Graham utilises a variety of steel strung acoustic guitars, nylon strung guitars and employs standard and non-standard tunings all to great effect.
If you want a superb collection of eclectic guitar music and to start, or improve, your Davey Graham collection - you can’t go much wrong here.
[Note: the original album (1977) of 16 pieces is supplemented here with 5 tracks from its follow up ‘Dance for Two People’ (1979) plus 3 contributions taken from the ‘Blues Guitar Workshop’ album (1980)].