Rev. Gary Davis

Rev. Gary Davis and the Guitar Evangelists, Vol. 2

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In the Depression era 1930s and on into the 1950s, the blues and sacred music often went hand and hand like two sides of the same coin in the repertoires of street musicians, who clearly understood both the differences and similarities between Saturday night music and its Sunday morning counterpart. The two styles actually shared the same yearning for a better life and an almost blind hope in deliverance and redemption, and often just the change of a line or two could make a blues song sound sacred or a religious folk hymn sound like street-corner blues. This four-disc set features various street-corner guitar preachers working the sacred side of the street, and includes 17 tracks by the Rev. Gary Davis, along with a disc and a half of sides by Blind Joe Taggart, 15 cuts by Two Gospel Keys (Emma Daniels and Mother Sally Jones, a guitar and tambourine duo), and additional material by Elizabeth Phillips, Henry Green, Blind Willie Davis, Eddie Head, Brother Willie Eason, Rev. Charles White, Blind Gussie Nesbit, Bull City Red, Mother McCollum, and Sister Matthews. Among the highlights are a couple of versions of Taggart's "I Wonder Will My Mother Be on That Train?," his pointed "Scandalous and a Shame," Two Gospel Keys' gentle and kinetic "I Can't Tarry," Sister O.M. Terrell's odd "God's Little Birds," and Blind Gussie Nesbit's "Canaan Land." Also worth noting are Davis' amazing "Civil War March," which is neither blues nor sacred but is instead an instrumental guitar tour de force; Mother McCollum's bizarre and infectious "Jesus Is My Air-O-Plane"; and a strong pair of songs featuring electric guitar from Henry Green, "Storm Thru Mississippi" and the eerie "Strange Things."

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:41
2
2:44
3
2:53
4
3:05
5
2:43
6
3:14
7
2:33
8
2:54
9
3:26
10
2:46
11
2:54
12
2:35
13
3:09
14
2:59
15
2:56
16
2:50
17
3:13
18
2:46
19
2:55
20
3:07
21
3:00
22
3:12
23
2:57
24
3:04
25
2:58
26
3:01
27
3:04

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:02
2
3:21
3
3:00
4
2:55
5
2:32
6
2:13
7
3:09
8
3:05
9
3:12
10
2:47
11
2:29
12
2:55
13
2:42
14
2:51
15
3:12
16
2:55
17
2:52
18
2:39
19
2:57
20
2:49
21
2:56
22
3:06
23
feat: Henry Green
2:31
24
feat: Henry Green
2:42

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:58
2
2:52
3
3:08
4
3:13
5
2:40
6
2:46
7
3:07
8
3:07
9
3:07
10
3:14
11
2:54
12
2:53
13
2:43
14
2:36
15
2:27
16
2:50
17
2:49
18
2:55
19
2:51
20
2:34
21
2:42
22
3:21
23
3:24
24
3:09
25
3:16

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:51
2
3:04
3
3:15
4
3:11
5
3:05
6
3:05
7
3:08
8
3:08
9
3:03
10
3:18
11
3:13
12
3:18
13
3:04
14
3:08
15
3:08
16
5:28
17
2:52
18
2:41
19
2:58
20
2:55
21
2:37
22
3:20
23
3:03
24
2:55
25
2:55
blue highlight denotes track pick