Reverend Gary Davis Live at Newport
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by Reverend Gary Davis ~ Harlem Street Singer $9.99
- Released: March 13, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Vanguard Records
Uncut - 8/01, p.884 stars out of 5 - "...This live album comes up in perfectly detailed sound, offering New Acoustic aficionados a chance to get close to one of the greatest gospel-blues performers of the 20th century..."
Living Blues - 5-6/01, p.84"...His picking is admirable and...superb....singing with the same choked, brimstone-flecked fury that characterized his vocals throughout his career....pulling off challenging extended phrases with aplomb..."
No Depression - 9-10/01, pp.122-3"...A fine intro to this minister of the blues and the gospel."
- 1.Samson and Delilah (If I Had My Way)
- 2.I Won't Be Back No More
- 3.Buck Dance
- 4.Twelve Sticks
- 5.Death Don't Have No Mercy
- 6.You Got to Move
- 7.Lovin' Spoonful
- 8.She Wouldn't Say Quit
- 9.I've Done All My Singing For My Lord
- 10.Twelve Gates to the City
- 11.I Will Do My Last Singing in This Land Somewhere
The 2001 edition of LIVE AT NEWPORT contains 2 previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Personnel includes: Reverend Gary Davis (6 & 12-string guitars, harmonica).
Recorded at the Newport Folk Festival, July 1965. Includes liner notes by John Milward.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Rev. Gary Davis (guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, harmonica); Barry Kornfeld (guitar).
Liner Note Author: John Milward.
Recording information: The Newport Folk Festival (07/1965).
Photographer: Ray Flerlage.
Long before Christian rockers were using so-called "Devil's music" to promote a religious message, the Rev. Gary Davis demonstrated that acoustic blues and folk didn't have to be about matters of the flesh. Davis, a fascinating cult figure, was as authentic a blues/folk singer as Leadbelly, but he was also a Baptist minister -- and he managed to bring Christian-oriented lyrics to people who weren't necessarily religious. Davis didn't believe in preaching to the choir exclusively; blues and folk venues often became his "pulpit." This reissue focuses on Davis' appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival; by that time, he was 69, and many of the people who were attending his live performances weren't even born when he made his first recordings in 1935. Live at Newport isn't for gospel purists any more than it is for blues purists. Most of the performances (which find Davis accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harp) are acoustic folk rather than actual 12-bar blues, and even though Davis picks a lot of songs that reflect his Christian beliefs (including "I've Done All My Singing for My Lord," "Twelve Gates to the City," and "Samson and Delilah"), he doesn't exclude secular material altogether. Eleven of the CD's 13 tracks originally appeared on Davis' old At Newport LP of 1967, although collectors will be glad to know that "Get Along Cindy" (a humorous vocal duet with Barry Kornfeld) and the instrumental "Soldiers Drill" are previously unreleased bonus tracks. Live at Newport is a highly soulful and rewarding document of Davis' late period. ~ Alex Henderson
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