December 2, 2006


... 100% pure blues

Guy Davis uy Davis has an instinctive desire to give each listener his ‘all’, and his ‘all’ is the Blues. The routes, and roots, of his blues are as diverse as the music form itself — it can be soulful, moaning out a people’s cry, or playful and bouncy as a hay-ride.

e's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of Davis' creativity. Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.

uy can tell you stories of his great-grandparents and his grandparents, they’re days as track linemen, and of their interactions with the infamous KKK. He can also tell you that as a child raised in middle-class New York suburbs as the son of actors/writers Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, the only cotton he’s picked is his underwear up off the floor.

is musical influences are as varied as the days. He enjoyed such great blues musicians as Blind Willie McTell (and his way of story telling), Skip James, Manse Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and Buddy Guy, among others. It was through Taj Mahal that he found his way to the old time blues. He also loved such diverse musicians as Fats Waller and Harry Belafonte. Guy's writing and storytelling have been influenced by Zora Neale Hurston, Garrison Keillor, and by the late Laura Davis (his one hundred and five year-old grandmother).

is creative roots run deep. Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents, and they made their way into his own stories and songs. Davis taught himself the guitar (never having the patience to take formal lessons) and learned by listening to and watching other musicians. One night on a train from Boston to New York he picked up finger picking from a nine-fingered guitar player.

Guy Davis uy’s performances explode with passion and rhythm, and display his breadth as a composer and powerhouse performer. Guy pays tribute to the blues masters, and then moves nimbly towards his own powerful originals — solidifying Davis' position as one of the most important blues artists of our time.

his was a tantalizing evening of live performance music that we won't soon forget  

Praises for his performances:

  • "Davis never loses sight of the blues as good time music, the original forum for dancing on top of one's sorrows. Joy made more exquisite, of course, by the sorrow from which it springs"
      Music critic Dave Marsh

  • "Davis' tough, timeless vocals blow through your brain like a Mississippi dust devil."
      San Francisco Chronicle

  • ... his style and writing "sounds so deeply drenched in lost black traditions that you feel that they must predate him. But no, they don't. He created them."


Link to Guy's web site:  

Link to his music clips:  

Opening for Guy Davis tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Ira Perlman   IraPerlman

  • John Taylor   John Taylor

  • Jan Sharlun   JanSharlun

  • Tim Dillon   TimDillon

  • Andy Romanoff   Ken

  • Hank Stone   Hank Stone

  • Nick Ventresca   Nick Ventresca

  • Denise Romas   Denise Romas

  • Phil Minissale   Phil Minissale

  • Bob Westcott   Bob Westcott

  • Our host this evening was Ira Perlman. IraPerlman

    If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...