Guy Davis says his blues music is inspired by the Southern speech of his grandmother. Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural South from his parents and especially his grandparents, and they made their way into his own stories and songs. Davis taught himself the guitar (never having the patience to take formal lessons) and learned by listening to and watching other musicians.
“With the world falling apart it’s up to all of us to be ambassadors and to spread the music everywhere we can. There’s nowhere that I don’t want to play.” – Guy Davis
One night on a train from Boston to New York he picked up finger picking from a nine-fingered guitar player. His first exposure to the blues was at a summer camp in Vermont run by Pete Seeger’s brother John Seeger, where he learned how to play the five-string banjo.
Guy will be leading guitar workshops during the 2019 Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, July 28-August 4.
His parallel careers—as a musician, an author, a music teacher, and a film, television and Broadway actor—mark Davis as a Renaissance man, yet the blues remain his first and greatest love. Guy’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.