Reverend Gary Davis - An Afternoon With Reverend Gary Davis At Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, 1964

Published Friday 13th November 2015
Reverend Gary Davis - An Afternoon With Reverend Gary Davis At Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, 1964
Reverend Gary Davis - An Afternoon With Reverend Gary Davis At Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, 1964

STYLE: Blues
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 158945-23436
LABEL: Document DOCD5693
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

In the autumn years of the Reverend Gary Davis' life, it seems the South Carolina bluesman was just at home showing budding guitarists the ropes as he was on stage or in a recording studio. In fact, modern day guitar virtuosos like Larry Johnson, Stefan Grossman and Roy Bookbinder all benefitted from the good Reverend's tutorage and, as this recording of a workshop that took place at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1964 shows, Davis' teaching style was more about showing than telling. Containing eight instrumental tracks that unfortunately vary widely in terms of volume levels, Davis showcases his trademark ragtime picking technique with the likes of the lengthy "Cincinnati Slow Drag" and the Scott Joplin tune "Maple Leaf Rag" containing the spluttering guitar style that many have tried and failed to copy over the years. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, Davis offers up a couple of banjo tunes plus a harmonica chase whilst the small but appreciative audience take it all in. Undoubtedly rough around the edges and never originally intended for commercial release, this document contains none of Davis' more familiar gospel blues songs but is nonetheless a fascinating insight into the world of one of the blues genre's most respected exponents.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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