Title: See What The Lord Has Done For Me
Artist: Davis, Gary Reverend
Label: Stefan Grossman's
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
The songs on this collection, recorded in 1968 and 1970 at the Pittsburgh apartment of Ernie Hawkins find Reverend Gary Davis in a relaxed mood. The playing is light and loose at times as he reaches back into his vast musical memory to pull one surprise after another from his "bag of tricks" (his nonchalant term for guitar playing). Fingerpicked on the Rev's Gibson J-200 and a borrowed Martin D12-35, these performances were not for the stage or the recording studio; rather, they chance upon Davis playing reflectively to himself and Ernie, you the listener privy to the intimate musical camaraderie caught on tape. So while not every note is perfectly played, it is perfectly Davis, who wows us with marvelous additions to his songbook and performances that stretch out in masterly ways: a "Blow, Gabriel" that swells in fiery exhortation over twelve minutes; an emotionally wrenching "Crucifixion" just under twenty minutes with neither note nor word wasted. As the title says, these are rare and previously unissued recordings, ones of historic and musical value. It's uncommon for an artist to bemuse us anew nearly fifty years after his death, but Davis does so here. "That suits me," he sings joyfully on the opening track, and I guarantee it will suit you, too.
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