Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop presents a definitive portrait of the hugely influential folk blues icon Rev. Gary Davis in a comprehensive three-CD set titled Demons & Angel. Compiled by disciple and historian Stefan Grossman (who calls Davis “the Stravinsky of the acoustic guitar”), this sprawling set showcases the full stylistic range of Davis’ music, encompassing blues, gospel, ragtime, minstrel songs and other bits of Americana. The recordings were culled from over 100 hours of studio, concert and home recordings... Rev. Gary’s eccentric genius shines brightly on this substantial collection. – Bill Milkowski/Jazz Times
The definitive collection from one of the true giants in early blues and gospel, Reverend Gary Davis, a man positively worshipped by latter-day folkies and rockers (Dave Van Ronk, for one, called him “the most fantastic guitarist I’d ever seen”). This 3-CD set contains 57 tracks - many unreleased - highlighted by such spine-tinglers as Baby, What You Going to Do, I Am the True Vine, Mean Old World, Devil’s Dream, You’re Going to Quit Me Baby, Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning, and more.
A PDF booklet is included featuring all the song lyrics plus a bio of Rev. Davis by Ian Zack.
This three CD set, full of treasures, is issued by Stefan Grossman, who was a pupil of the Reverend. These are unissued recordings: CD 1 was recorded at the Columbia University,1958-1959; CD 2 was recorded at home, 1964-1966 and CD 3 comes from concert dates,1962-1966. Of course, it includes some amazing music. Gary Davis was really alone in his field, that way of playing and singing sacred songs with this Carolina touch. His incredible, extremely difficult picking style (surely the most difficult along with Blind Blake's), with many ragtime touches, is a real delight. I don't speak of the guitar he's playing; I just hope I'll have the opportunity to play such an instrument once in my life.
Gary Davis stopped playing blues in the 1940’s, and it's a great chance to hear him play it here. But if you buy this set, please start listening to "Sporting Life Blues", (no, it's not Brownie McGhee's, even if the melody and chords are close to it). This is an amazing guitar solo which will drive you directly into Gary Davis's music. And Lord, what a sound!!! I won't try to tell you about all the songs, there are too many and they're all amazing. The only regret I have, like another reviewer said, is that Gary Davis' masterpiece, "Death Don't Have No Mercy", doesn't figure here. Too bad. But there are other masterpieces: "God's Gonna Separate", for example, or many others. Nothing here has to be rejected. This here is an absolute concentrate of talent.
Gary Davis is one of my favorite musicians for twenty years. One of my favorite guitar players. And of course, one of the most magnificent voices I've ever heard. I think this 3 CD set is the first opus to buy if you really wish to be introduced to the Reverend's music. Every minute of music played or sung by Gary Davis is one of the most essential ones of all times. So, don't miss this magnificent set full of things that have never been heard. Full of noise and fury. Some of the most important music of the 20th century is here. The booklet is a fine one and there are many lyrics transcribed. Sorry, you won't find the tablatures. So, try to find the Reverend's chords. Good luck! Sincerely. – Jean-Marie Juif/Amazon Customer Review