Guy Davis is a Blues singer, guitarist and harp player who has deep roots in Delta history that inform his playing and writing as he goes about his work of preserving acoustic country Blues. Travelling the world playing clubs and Festivals, Guy is an accomplished actor as well as a musician, and his writing includes dramatic works as well as Blues songs.
Born in New York in 1952, Guy is the son of the late Ossie Davis and Ruby Lee, both actors and directors, and his parents’ and grandparents’ stories of the hard times the family had endured in the South resonate throughout Guy’s work. He taught himself guitar and a Seeger summer-camp added some banjo technique to Guy’s fingerpicking. Moses Asch
recorded Guy’s 1978 album ‘Dreams About Life’ for the Folkways label, but acting dominated Guy’s activities in the 80s. In 1991, his twin careers came together when he made his debut in the play ‘Mule Bone’, with music by Taj Mahal
and poetry by Langston Hughes. Two years later Guy played the lead in ‘Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil’ when he drew international attention with his portrayal of the Delta legend. He then wrote his one-man-show ‘In Bed with the Blues- The Adventures of Fishy Waters’, recently released as an album, as well as further theatre pieces, short stories and Emmy-winning screen music.
Guy covers Blind Lemon Jefferson’s ‘Matchbox Blues’;
‘Stomp Down Rider’ in 1995 was a self-composed album of acoustic Blues that signalled the emergence of a serious talent. Guy’s dextrous playing, his deep, gravelly voice and the heart-felt commitment of his songs has continued over eight more albums on the Red House label as well as a handful for other outlets. His collaborations have included work with many other Blues stars and contributions to albums on the work of Charley Patton
and Robert Johnson
, on Blues roots in African music and on Pete Seeger
‘s songs of resistance show the scope of Guy’s interests. His work for children’s projects includes the title track of the package ‘I Will Be Your Friend’ which was sent to every public school in the USA to promote tolerance, and his work with Dr. John
and Whoopi Goldberg for Nickelodeon.
Robert Johnson’s ‘Walking Blues’ performed on an iceberg!
Guy Davis Discography
You can’t go wrong with any of Guy’s albums and Give in Kind, Skunkmello and Legacy are all superb too.
BUTT NAKED FREE
Guy continues to play his music around the world in all kinds of venues, but seeing him up close and personal in a small club is a spine-tingling experience as the sound of Delta Blues becomes a very immediate reality.