By the time of these 1971 recordings, documented a year prior to his passing, Rev. Gary Davis' legend was firmly established. The studio sides included here feature Davis on vocals, accompanying himself on the distinct 12-string 'Bozo' guitar custom-made by Serbian-born master luthier Bozo Podunavac. The instrument's liberated tone is aptly matched to a loose and limber delivery. Even through his advanced years, Davis' inimitable finger-picking remains clean, with the pure and direct timbre that had become his trademark. If anything, age seems to have actually enhanced his performance style and improvisational abilities from beyond his somewhat limited Piedmont blues origins and into an increasingly improvisational space. Much of the repertoire can be considered seminal contributions into Davis' catalog, including "Sally, Where'd You Get Your Whiskey From" (aka "Sally, Where'd You Get Your Liquor From,") "Cocaine Blues," "Samson & Delilah," "Children of Zion," and "You'd Better Get Right." Even at the advanced age of 76, his ardent 'fire and brimstone' vocal delivery is countered by an equally aggressive and fervent age-defying instrumental prowess. Unlike many of Davis' contemporaries, there are far too few audio documents such as this one available. As such, the inherent value of these is much greater than may be immediately manifest by this package, as all dimensions of enthusiast are well-served by this collection, especially when considering the era it was conceived in.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer