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L.A. Beat

Guy Davis brings the New York blues to Lethbridge Folk Club

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Thursday shows can be hit and miss for attendance. While the Lethbridge Folk club was worried about ticket sales for New York blues and  folk musician Guy Davis, they had a decent crowd at an early show at the Lethbridge College Cave, April 23.

Guy Davis playing for the Lethbridge Folk Club, April 23. Photo by Richard Amery
 They ended up selling 57 tickets to the awesome show which included obscurities, blues classics and originals.

 I caught the second set which was full of traditional blues, original music,  deadpanned jokes, nimble fingerpicking and a laid back vibe.
 While a lot of blues shows end up being about the solo, Davis’s was all about the song, his gravelly voice and mournful harp. He began the set with a cover of Muddy Waters’ “My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble,” then chuckled as he played “a love song by a black bluesman,” which was  Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” while doing a pretty solid imitation of Dylan’s voice.

 He stayed in the love/ lust frame of mind with a quirky original “ The Chocolate Man” which featured a lot of amusing innuendos.
 He followed that up with a medley of “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Boom Boom Boom,” which had the audience singing along.
He introduced  his song “Liontown” by saying some of  it came from an old bluesman called Hambone Willie Newbern.”

“ If you have a name like Hambone Wille Newbern you  know you have something the world needs to hear,” he rumbled, tapping out a relentless rhythm on the stage with his left boot. A highlight was when he switched guitars to an old 12 string and wandered through the crowd playing a bumblebee themed song by  Amos “Bumblebee Slim” Easton.

 He  seemed willing to play all night, but officially ended his show with blues classic “Going Down Slow,” but stuck around for another half hour to play an encore including  new, moving number called “ I Wish I Hadn’t Stayed Away So Long.” which had the crowd singing along again.

 He played a couple more covers including Tommy Johnson’s “ Cool Drink of Water” which allowed him to use the well worn line “ I asked for water, she brought me gasoline.”
 He ended again with a song including the fitting line “ Even though I love you, I’m going to have to say goodbye.” But returned for another train song “KC Moan” and ended for real with a cover of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “ See That My Grave is Kept Clean.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 April 2015 12:28 )  
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