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  • Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Th: April 30, 2011

Author Topic: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre  (Read 3088 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2011, 08:07:41 AM »
It was a great night of music, stories about the Reverend and his students, and - given that Pat Conte, Mr. O'Muck, Jerron Paxton and Andy Cohen were involved - wisecracks. Such a fabulous place, the Fabulous Jalopy Theatre, and thank God we had O'Muck to get us there, as it's also fabulously impossible to find.

There were so many fine performances and musical moments I could never pick a favorite, though I will add to frankie's nominations and say that Kim and Frankie Basile performing "Tired, My Soul Needs Resting" had people's jaws on the Jalopy floor. I agree about O'Muck's "Table In Heaven" and would add that his performance of "Lord, Search My Heart" was also inspiring, and not just to me but the audibly appreciative audience around me.

Frankie started his set with a tremendous version of "I Belong to the Band" and reached into the more obscure RGD bag with "Baby, What You Gonna Do?" and "Little Boy Who Made Your Britches?" He also played some on 12-string, which my brain can't dredge up at the moment, maybe he can remind me,  :P but suffice to say the whole set was delivered with characteristic brilliance, depth and crunchiness, to use his own term.

There was much more. Andy Cohen playing "Children of Zion," "Have More Faith In Jesus," O'Muck playing "Great Change In Me," and "Please Baby" on six-string Swiss banjo-guitar. Pat Conte opened up everything on 5-string banjo. More than three hours of music I think. There was even birthday cake.

As O'Muck said towards the end of the evening, Davis is a giant of an artist who deserves much more recognition beyond the small aficionado crowd that currently knows his name. Kudos to all involved in putting on a great show.

Offline frankie

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2011, 05:59:38 PM »
I agree about O'Muck's "Table In Heaven" and would add that his performance of "Lord, Search My Heart" was also inspiring, and not just to me but the audibly appreciative audience around me.

Nobody does that better.

Frankie ... played some on 12-string, which my brain can't dredge up at the moment, maybe he can remind me

From memory, I played:

I Belong To The Band
Babe, What Are You Gonna Do?
I Decided To Go Down
My Heart Is Fixed
Little Boy Who Made Your Britches
Don't Know Where To Go

Kim sang:  Tired, My Soul Needs Resting

Looking at most of my set, I'm reminded of how Allan Evans described Rev. Davis's songs in F:  that they're songs about "thinking."  With the exception of the first and last songs, kind of introverted stuff, maybe.  As Pat would say...  "straight to the DARK SIDE."

brilliance, depth and crunchiness

Thanks, UB - crunchiness is definitely what I like!  :P

As O'Muck said towards the end of the evening, Davis is a giant of an artist who deserves much more recognition beyond the small aficionado crowd that currently knows his name. Kudos to all involved in putting on a great show.

Well said by O'muck at the time, and thanks for reprising it.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 06:07:21 PM by frankie »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2011, 07:48:05 PM »
Frankie ... played some on 12-string, which my brain can't dredge up at the moment, maybe he can remind me

From memory, I played:

I Belong To The Band
Babe, What Are You Gonna Do?
I Decided To Go Down
My Heart Is Fixed
Little Boy Who Made Your Britches
Don't Know Where To Go

Oh yeah, forget those! "Don't Know Where to Go" - who the hell plays that? Brilliant choice. "My Heart Is Fixed" - easily on a level with the Rev's.

Quote
Looking at most of my set, I'm reminded of how Allan Evans described Rev. Davis's songs in F:  that they're songs about "thinking."  With the exception of the first and last songs, kind of introverted stuff, maybe.  As Pat would say...  "straight to the DARK SIDE."

One of the things that struck me about the concert was how little of the ragtime and novelty material got played. There was some, probably just enough, but the evening was dominated by the other sides of the Davis repertoire.

Quote
As O'Muck said towards the end of the evening, Davis is a giant of an artist who deserves much more recognition beyond the small aficionado crowd that currently knows his name. Kudos to all involved in putting on a great show.

Well said by O'muck at the time, and thanks for reprising it.

He said it better than I did.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 07:50:06 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2011, 08:35:39 PM »
Thanks for the good words UB (& Frank). It was a real pleasure finally getting to meet you and Sylvia at last and have you in the audience at an event that I know Frank & I took as a very serious responsibility (I'm sure Pat and Andy did too) with all the attending anxiety that implies. I think its safe to say that Frank & I found ourselves feeling appropriate awe for this great master's work and were hyper aware of confronting our own limitations in playing his music. It was very good to have you there as a witness. My condolences on the surprise election results...shit!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Johnm

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2011, 01:19:29 PM »
I sure wish I had been able to attend this event.  I've been trying to put my finger on what factor or factors were so special about it, and a couple of thoughts come to mind.
   * The honoree was so special.  The magnitude of his musical gift was so out-sized and his relationship to the hearing and making of music so immediate that there really aren't other musicians/composers who can aptly be compared to Rev. Davis.
   * The fact that Rev. Davis was a teacher by profession, offering instruction in private lessons for payment, makes him an anomaly among his contemporaries who played in the same style.  There were plenty of musicians of his generation from whom you could sit and learn, while playing, but almost no one who would teach different people the same song, according to their aptitude and the rate at which they were comfortable absorbing material, a phrase at a time.  The presence of a number of Rev. Davis's former students among the performers at the show must have made the connection to him and his music that much more compelling.
   * The idea of having a single musician honored by having a variety of musicians playing songs and tunes from his/her repertoire is brilliant in the first place, because it allows for the different musicians to cherry-pick the honoree's repertoire in accordance with their own musical tastes and preferences, and ensures that a greater range of material is played and heard, not just the "greatest hits".  It was exciting just reading the list of songs that different people played that night.  I can imagine theme nights made up around various other musicians being wonderful to hear, too, but they wouldn't have the richness of this particular night because for most of such musicians, there would be no one among the participating players who had known or studied with them.

Anyhow, the show sounded wonderful, and thanks to uncle bud, frankie and O'Muck for describing it in such detail.

All best,
Johnm  
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 10:42:58 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Reverend Gary Davis Birthday Tribute @ Jalopy Theatre
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 05:58:47 AM »
The Reverend's wide-ranging repertoire sure made for an exciting mix in the setlists. And while there were lots of unexpected treats in song selection, there were also some of the expected treats. Danny Kalb played "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well" and "Samson and Delilah". Andy played "Twelve Gates to the City" and led a group version of "O Glory How Happy I Am". "Twelve Sticks" got played at some point (don't ask me when!). Mr. O'Muck picked out "Devil's Dream" on the guitjo. And Jerron Paxton played "Whistling Blues" on the piano. And there was more I'm still not remembering.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 06:02:24 AM by uncle bud »

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