collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Listen to that man play that Tennessee chicken. Watch him, he taps both feet at the same time. Boy, he likes his Cincinnati chicken. Go crazy. Aint gonna live long now! - John Dilleshaw, Streak O' Lean, Streak O' Fat

Author Topic: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson  (Read 488 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline outfidel

  • Member
  • Posts: 344
Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« on: August 15, 2017, 10:22:00 AM »
I recently stumbled across this interview with Dave Van Ronk. This passage was surprising to me:

"I know, for example, that he loved Blind Blake and he hated, he said, Blind Lemon Jefferson. Well, I could hear Lemon Jefferson in his playing, but I can?t hear any Blake. Now, that?s a curious phenomenon. I mean, you hear Lemon Jefferson in the key of C and you hear Gary in the key of C and you?re going to hear a lot of the same ideas played very differently."

Rev Davis covered "West Coast Blues" and spoke highly of Blake's "sportin' right hand", so I thought there was a lot of Blake in his playing (at least in his right hand). But perhaps his left hand shared something more in common with Blind Lemon? I haven't studied Blind Lemon closely enough to know what he was doing.

Thoughts?
Support musicians in need - join the Music Maker Relief Foundation

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2058
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 11:04:45 AM »
I would say that some of Lemon's ideas in "Black Horse Blues" and "Bad Luck Blues," both in C position, show up in Davis' material in C, in religious tunes and in instrumentals like "Buck Rag." Lemon in A was very influential on many musicians, I think, and even some of Lemon's licks in E show up in Davis' playing. I don't know that you could say he was a main influence though.

Blake shows up more in Davis' right hand, I think. Davis' dislike of Lemon from the quips I have read (including in other Van Ronk interviews) had more to do with his singing that his guitar playing.

Offline Lastfirstface

  • Member
  • Posts: 384
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 06:59:12 AM »
Didn't the Rev say Lemon sang "like he had a knife to his throat?"

Offline jpeters609

  • Member
  • Posts: 232
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 07:12:24 AM »
"I remember one time I asked him about Blind Lemon Jefferson. Well Lemon was a little older than Gary but they were sort of contemporaries...I thought and still do think that Lemon was a very good guitarist. Gary disagreed (laughter). Gary started to play a very accurate pastiche of Lemon's 'Black Snake Moan,' and Gary just opened his mouth and let out with this incredible blood curdling scream, and then he stops and says, 'Man, he couldn't have sung no louder if someone was cutting his throat.' "

Dave Van Ronk on Rev Gary Davis,
as quoted in Robert Tilling's "Oh, What A Beautiful City," page 29
Jeff

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2605
    • MuckOVision
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 07:19:25 AM »
Rev. Davis was notoriously short on praise for his guitar playing rivals, and often Artists in all fields will conceal or disparage their biggest influences. There is no question in MY mind that he was greatly influenced by BLJ and not only in specific licks and general musical structure, but also in his obsession with invention and originality. He liked Blake but Rev. Davis' right hand was far more idiosyncratic and free of generic patterning than Blake's. It's one of the things that makes him the most difficult player to get at in a deep way. He's rarely the same player twice as far as his right hand goes.
The only person I asked him about that he had unequivocal praise for, and that actually brought a smile to his face, was Big Bill. I was also there when he was played the Willie Walker cuts on the Yazoo "East Coast Blues" album for the first time, and he went through the roof with joy! "Willie Walker, he was one of my Boys!" We used to play together, He was somethin' great, he was the best one!"
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline oddenda

  • Member
  • Posts: 597
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 07:01:08 PM »
Phil -

          Can't disagree with Gary's comments to you regarding Willie Walker. "The Art Tatum of blues guitar" - Josh White.  "He played in all the keys with all his fingers" - Baby Tate. It was Tate's knowing Walker that blew away Larry Johnson at New Paltz back in the day (1972).

Peter B.

Offline Lastfirstface

  • Member
  • Posts: 384
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 07:59:10 AM »
If only we could hear what that street band with Gary Davis and Willie Walker sounded like. In "Red River Blues" Bruce Bastin posits that "Make Believe Stunt" and "Cincinnati Flow Rag" were pieces that the Rev lifted from Walker, but I'm not quite clear on who is source is for that info.

Offline RobBob

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
  • Blues is truth.
Re: Dave Van Ronk on Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 02:06:43 PM »
Willie Walker was great and not nearly enough of his work exists today.  Those old guys did not spare the criticism but always had favorites they held in high regard.  There was some mighty fine guitar playing going down back in the day here in the upstate of South Carolina.

Tags:
 


anything
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal