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Album Review

Guy Davis is a smart singer/arranger, having realized sometime back that the blues world encompassed more than electric Chicago bands and Delta-style soloists. On Skunkmello, he finds joy in moving from style to style, and even improvising by throwing several things into the mix to see what will happen. The collection kicks off with two covers, the first a rewritten version of "Natural Born Eastman" followed by a take on "Goin' Down Slow." The first moves at a brisk pace, fired by Davis' gruff vocal and backed by a spry acoustic mix, while the latter delves deeply into electric barroom blues. There's fancy claw-hammer banjo on "Shaky Pudding," and banjo blues on the lazy "Po' Boy, Great Long Ways from Home." To the average blues fan, this eclectic approach adds variety and keeps the collection intriguing from beginning to the end. Purists, on the other hand, may question Davis' loose approach, combining both new and traditional elements in his blues stew. It's easy to gain the impression that he wants it both ways: a sound and lyrics that evoke elements of the past (gruff vocals, songs about shaky pudding), but that is really no more than an approximation of it. Davis deserves points for moving beyond the typical blues recording, but Skunkmello remains too dependent on a clean version of traditional blues. Only "Uncle Tom Is Dead [Milk 'n' Cookies Remix]" moves beyond tradition to emerge as something that one might call progressive blues. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

A Hoot!

The album as a whole is pretty good. Skunkmello's Dance of the Chickens will have you grinnin' and toe tappin' at the same time - best song of the album.

The world needs more Guy

I saw Guy Davis live and met him after the show. He is the real deal! Anyone who thinks that the "orgin-of-blues-sound" is dead, needs to check out everything Guy Davis has done. Its Banjo/Guitar, Harmonica, Storytelling, in a fresh yet mature and hardened way Few performers can conjure the full spectrum of an art form like Guy.


If you like the blues this is perfect! he is the real blues guy! Also if you want to learn about the blues this has some great songs! I saw him in concert today and he is so nice and a really good musition!


Born: May 12, 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...
Full Bio
Skunkmello, Guy Davis
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Customer Ratings