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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What blues guitar is all about, 18 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Blues & Ragtime (Audio CD)
As soon as the first track (an instrumental) begins you sense that the notes are almost being punched out of that big Gibson jumbo acoustic guitar, an emphatic rhythm supporting a strutting melody line. Rev Davis was essentially a street performer who was used to making himself heard!
Many of his recordings are under-appreciated largely because of their predominantly gospel material. This CD focuses almost entirely on the Rev's secular blues and, as such, is an ideal introduction to the Reverend. Don't let the rough-edged sound of the music deceive you, this is playing of the highest calibre, with numerous tricks and improvisations along the way.
Highlights are "Hesitation blues" (though a little long at nearly twelve minutes!), "Cincinnati Flow Rag" and, if you can cope with the vocals, "Candyman," one of Rev Davis' trademark tunes. Another favourite of mine is "Cocaine blues" with the guitar loping and warbling behind the spoken lyrics. "Whistling blues is a remarkable piece of playing in imitation of a piano, apparently achieved by surreptitiously re-tuning one guitar string part way through the tune!
I suspect that Rev Davis appeals particularly to guitarists or would-be players, and listening to him makes you realise why his playing inspired a host of players and would-be's. Frankly, though, this album deserves a wider audience than that. It is blues unpolished but powerful, and that, surely is what blues is all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Blues & Ragtime (Audio CD)
I've been listening to and trying to play Rev Davis' music for many years (I met him on his last tour of UK, drove him to Heathrow when he left). This collection is as good as any of the albums released in his active career IMHO. I've already learnt a couple of numbers from it and intend to perform them best as I can (Buck Rag, Little Boy...). Don't hesitate!
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Blues & Ragtime
Blues & Ragtime by Rev. Gary Davis (Audio CD - 2000)
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