Roots & Shoots Concert: Guy Davis
Saturday, June 3, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$25 – $30
“With two recent back-to-back Grammy nominations for traditional blues, the Recording Academy knows what every Guy Davis fan champions—that he is a standard-bearer for a contemporary American roots music that reaches way back to its formative years,” says Academy Music Committee Chair Gerald Seligman.
Davis uses a blend of roots, blues, folk, rock, rap, spoken word, and world music to comment on, and address, the frustrations of social injustice, touching on historical events, and common life struggles. He sings and plays 6 and 12-string guitar, harmonica, 5 and 6-string banjo, and the didgeridoo. He has played the four corners of the world, with tours taking him from the equator to the Arctic Circle.
His parallel careers—as a musician, author, music teacher, and film, television, and Broadway actor—mark him as a renaissance man, yet the blues remain his first and greatest love. Growing up in a family of artists (his parents were Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis), he fell under the spell of Blind Willie McTell and Fats Waller at an early age.
Davis’s one-man play, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, premiered Off-Broadway in the 90s and has since been released as a double CD. He went on to star Off-Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, winning the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. He followed the footsteps of another blues legend when he joined the Broadway production of Finian’s Rainbow, playing the part originally done in 1947 by Sonny Terry. Along the way, he cut nine acclaimed albums for the Red House label and four for his own label, Smokeydoke Records; and was nominated for nearly a dozen Blues Awards.
When asked about his experience as a performer, Davis replied, “There is no tale so tall that I cannot tell it, nor song so sweet that I cannot sing it.”