Monday, June 29, 2015

"Say No to the Devil" by Ian Zack (2015)

This is the story of Reverend Gary Davis, the blind preacher who gave up blues and jazz to play gospel music on the streets of New York City. He lived in Jamaica, Queens in the 1960’s when I was growing up. Along with Moondog; the Viking poet of 6th Avenue; he was an iconic figure in the life of the city.This is the story of how he came to be there and his influences upon modern folk music and even bluegrass. 

If you are a Jorma Kaukonen fan then you are already familiar with Reverend Davis’ work; though you might not even know it. His guitar style was completely his own and his delivery of contemporary classics such as "Hesitation Blues" is a spontaneous romp. While the rest of the country was "discovering" many of the old Delta Blues players like Sun House and John Hurt, Reverend Davis was championing the old time gospel music of his youth.

Instead of the usual review of the book by me, here’s Reverend Davis; let him tell you the story in his own way.

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