"Guy Davis: On Air" - 2007
The soulful depth and inspired nature of his studio work can also be found on this new live recording. “On Air“ provides more striking evidence of the man’s unique qualities as singer, player and story-teller, while Radio Bremen’s famed concert hall once again provided perfect acoustics. Along with Mark Murphy (bass) and Nerak Roth Patterson (electric guitar) Guy Davis was yet again delivering the goods that night and a very attentive audience was there to applaud him and his band. The longer they played, the more their talents shone. A tradition revitalised, with classic repertoire by Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and Willie Dixon standing next to original songs and Bob Dylan’s exquisite ballad „Sweetheart Like You“. The gruff Davis voice was in fine form, communicating the message with feeling and with authority. The past of the music came alive and one could feel the continuous pulse of its heartbeat. Starting with Sleepy John Estes’ classic „Drop Down Mama“ and closing with the poignant storytelling blues „Joppatown“, the musicians shared the intensity of the moment. The man responsible was very moved when the evening drew to a close.
“On Air” provides another glimpse into Guy Davis’ musical mind as a consummate present-day bluesman. When he sings and plays, he also talks about the past and where he’s coming from. A number of his stories are connected with the ones he heard as a kid, sitting around the kitchen table, listening to his Grandmother talk about old life in the Deep South. Memories concerned with black traditions far removed from the urban environment. Today, Guy Davis provides an authentic new voice for the cultural traditions of Black America, communicating a contemporary version of classic blues in a variety of styles. This is music coming from the heart and soul, giving new meaning to an old form. It’s precisely this extraordinary quality that can be experienced on this latest chapter in T & M’s „On Air“ series. One more Radio Bremen recording that doesn’t leave anything to be desired.
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