Guy Davis

Give in Kind

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Guy Davis has developed into a consummate bluesman. He's listened hard to classic Delta blues and based his style on it, without ever becoming a carbon copy of the greats. Instead they're his jumping-off point into something as individual as "Layla, Layla," where didgeridoo makes an appearance, or the poignant "Joppatowne." Equally adept on guitar, banjo, and harmonica, he's become a force of nature, with the ability to write a song like "I Don't Know" that sounds as if it had come directly from the '30s, alongside covers of Fred McDowell, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sleepy John Estes. The originals and older work mesh perfectly, the sign of a real bluesman. And, of course, he's capable of working the other side of the coin to blues, in gospel, as the closer, "God's Unchanging Hand," clearly shows. This is the tradition reborn and revitalized. Davis' support is wonderfully sympathetic, but he's completely at the center of things, the motivator and mover of this music, and a purveyor of the real blues. His lineage is obvious, and he's the new generation, doing it right and keeping it real.

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