a sketch of Reverend Gary Davis by Rory Block
Reverend Gary Davis, born April 30, 1896, died May 5, 1972, was an amazing guitarist and a remarkable person.  This website is dedicated to honoring him and his legacy.
you are on the Rev. Gary Davis home pageread news about the Reverend, including recent and upcoming releasesread biographies about Rev. Gary Davissee a complete discography of the Reverend's works, including records, compact discs, films and videosgo to a list of songs by Rev. Davis, including lyrics and links for purchasing tablatureread stories about Rev. Gary Davissee pictures of the Reverend and memorabilia from his careerdetails of books and videos on how to play the Reverend's musiclinks to other websites related to Rev. DavisFrequently asked questions like who has publishing rights to the Reverend's songs, how to contact the webmaster, site map and more

 

"More than three decades after his death, the influence of Reverend Gary Davis can still be felt.
As each new generation is introduced to blues, folk, and other forms of traditional American music,
Davis' signature guitar stylings and heartfelt vocals continue to move, entertain, and educate." - Paul Andersen

"He was the most fantastic guitarist I'd ever seen." -Dave Van Ronk

"Rev. Davis taught me, by example, to completely throw out my preconceptions of what can or can't be done on the guitar."
-Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead)

"Gary Davis took you out of playing baby guitar and made you play it like a grown man." -Taj Mahal

"In Davis we encounter a complete musician, a composer aware of all musical details, exploring new possibilities. Davis has not been acclaimed as Robert Johnson, yet he alone brought many traditions to culmination through an artistry which surpassed nearly all others during his lifetime." -Allan Evans

Listen to some samples of the Reverend's music:
(
Click on a song title below to hear a Real Audio sample of that song:)

 

News:
  • Lifting the Veil: The First Bluesmen (1926-1956) Rev. Gary Davis & Peers is released by World Arbiter Records in December 2007. The Davis cuts are unissued session tapes from 1956-57, recorded by Fred Gerlach & Tiny Robinson. A 300 page manuscript of an oral history of Reverend Gary Davis, taken in 1951 by the wife of Alan Lomax is quoted in the liner notes. The text is up the World Arbiter web site

  • Reverend Gary Davis Live: Manchester Free Trade Hall 1964 is released by Document Records in December 2007.
    Win a Free Exclusive Personalized copy of this CD: Did you or any of your friends see Gary Davis that night (Manchester Free Trade Hall 1964) or did you or any of your friends see Gary Davis perform live in the 1960s? Document Records has 10 CD to give away. All you need to do is send them a written description of the show, 250 words or more.You can email: gillian@document-records.com or write into: Document Records Ltd, c/o 7 Prestwich Avenue, Culcheth, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 4NA. All entries will be posted on the Document Records web-site.

  • There is a huge article on  the Reverend Gary Davis in the August 2006 issue of Seventh Hour Blues-- the downloadable music and arts magazine. Part one features Bob Weir, Allan Evans, John Cohen and Stefan  Grossman. Part two features Jorma Kaukonen, Roy  Bookbinder, Alex Shoumatoff and more!

  • A Tribute To Reverend Gary Davis concert was performed at Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio on Saturday, August 28, 2004 with performances by Jorma Kaukonen, Roy Book Binder and Ernie Hawkins.

  • A Tribute To Reverend Gary Davis titled "If I Had My Way: Blues, Gospel & Ragtime of Reverend Gary Davis" was held at Kaufman Center, Merkin Hall (part of Lincoln Center) in New York City on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 as part of the New York Guitar Festival with performances by Jorma Kaukonen, Roy Book Binder and Ernie Hawkins. Presented in association with WFUV and broadcast on 90.7 FM. Listen to the entire concert online here (or visit www.wfuv.org click on 'archives' and then enter a search for "Gary Davis").
  • Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released "If I Had My Way: Early Home Recordings of Reverend Gary Davis" on February 25, 2003. These historic recordings of the Reverend, made by young folk music disciple John Cohen in the home of Reverend Gary Davis in early 1954, predate his seminal albums, and provide a window into the world of this blind preacher caught between the blues and church (...read more)

  • The Folk Alliance honored the late Rev. Gary Davis with the Lifetime Achievement award
    during the organization’s 15th annual conference in Nashville Feb. 6-9, 2003 (...read more).

  • "The Sun Of Our Life; Solos, Songs & Sermons 1955-1957" is released by World Arbiter Records
    Includes new material, many compositions otherwise unrecorded, with a sermon too. (...read more)

  • "Mean Little Poodle", the latest cd by Ernie Hawkins is released. No one can touch Ernie when it comes to playing Rev. Gary, and his version of "Fox Trot/Buck Dance" is a killer (...read more)

  • "The Gospel Guitar of Rev. Gary Davis" taught by Ernie Hawkins is released in a four VHS/DVD set
    Almost six hours of instruction is presented, and anecdotes about and film footage of Rev. Davis
    and a comprehensive 80 page tab/music booklet are included. (...read more)

  • “Gary Davis Style: The Legacy of Reverend Gary Davis” released. Twenty diifferent performers
    interpret Davis's music; half the numbers were taken from existing CDs, including two 78s.
    The other half were newly minted by the performers. (...read more)

    catch up on all the news here...

 

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