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Give In Kind

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Album Review

Guy Davis has developed into a consummate bluesman. He's listened hard to classic Delta blues and based his style on it, without ever becoming a carbon copy of the greats. Instead they're his jumping-off point into something as individual as "Layla, Layla," where didgeridoo makes an appearance, or the poignant "Joppatowne." Equally adept on guitar, banjo, and harmonica, he's become a force of nature, with the ability to write a song like "I Don't Know" that sounds as if it had come directly from the '30s, alongside covers of Fred McDowell, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sleepy John Estes. The originals and older work mesh perfectly, the sign of a real bluesman. And, of course, he's capable of working the other side of the coin to blues, in gospel, as the closer, "God's Unchanging Hand," clearly shows. This is the tradition reborn and revitalized. Davis' support is wonderfully sympathetic, but he's completely at the center of things, the motivator and mover of this music, and a purveyor of the real blues. His lineage is obvious, and he's the new generation, doing it right and keeping it real.


Born: 12 May 1952 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Updating the rural blues tradition for the modern era, Guy Davis was among the most prominent ambassadors of African-American art and culture of his generation, additionally winning great acclaim for his work in the theater. The son of the noted actors, directors, and activists Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, he was born in New York City on May 12, 1952; though raised in the city, Davis was frequently regaled with stories of Southern country life as a child, and over time became so enamored of the music...
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Give In Kind, Guy Davis
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