We haven't heard any ragtime for a while. It was one of the more recent popular American forms before the recording industry, so it doesn't have quite the ancient quality of traditional pieces that are rooted in Africa or England or colonial times. But there is a quality of movement to it, an aliveness that keeps you on your toes, never staying in one chord for too long. It's one of those musical forms (like Choro) that sits equally well in classical and folk traditions. Being blind, you can bet Gary Davis never read the sheet music for these pieces though, and you know he was improvising as he went too. This music is every bit as idiosyncratic, virtuosic, dynamic, and complex as Joseph Spence's. You can see why he was so revered as a teacher -- a whole school of guitar playing developed in the 60s and 70s based on Gary Davis' ragtime guitar pieces, which he rarely performed, using them instead as teaching tools for his guitar students. You'll hear a very raw quality to these pieces, and the recording as well. It may not have the smooth precision of Stefan Grossman or Woody Mann, but it has a life that those more technical players never attained.
For more Gary Davis, see the post in the archives
Rev. Gary Davis - Ragtime Guitar
Label/Year: Kicking Mule 106 (1974) / Transatlantic 244 (1971)
rec. 1962 - 1970 at Rev. Davis' house
- Cincinnati Flow Rag
- West Coast Blues
- Buck Rag
- St. Louis Tickle
- Two Step Candyman
- Walkin' Dog Blues
- Italian Rag
- Waltz Time Candyman
- Make Believe Stunt
from vinyl | mp3 256 cbr | 61mb
get your candy
note: i'm trying out rapidspread, which gives more options than sharebee. but it may go the way of massmirror and shareonall, so whenever you download, post the direct link in the comments and then we'll have a backup if rapidspread goes belly-up.
originally posted by sussex i think. big thanks!