The Reverend Gary Davis At Newport on 180g Import LP from Pure Pleasure
Reverend Gary Davis was a towering figure in at least two realms. As a finger-style guitarist he developed a complex yet swinging approach to picking that has influenced generations of players, including Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder, Dave Van Ronk, Jorma Kaukonen and Stefan Grossman. And as a composer of religious and secular music he created a substantial body of work that has been recorded by, among others, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Peter Paul & Mary and the Grateful Dead, not to mention Davis's own releases.
The present recording captures a 69-year-old Reverend Gary Davis in fine form performing at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival alone on vocals, six and twelve string guitars and mouth harp. Comprised of compelling secular blues and gospel numbers, Davis' earnest vocals and distinct fretwork are as direct and passionate as ever on standout material like "Samson And Delilah (If I Had My Way)," "I Won't Be Back No More," "Death Don't Have No Mercy," "Lovin Spoonful," and "Twelve Gates to the City."