Guy Davis

This artist performed at the VFMF in 2018

Guy Davis (NY)

Guy Davis once said, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing. It’s no wonder his reverence for the music of the Blues Masters who’ve gone before him has been evident in every album he’s ever recorded or concert he’s given.

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’ much-praised 1995 debut, Stomp Down the Rider on Red House Records, marked the arrival of a major talent, earning acclaim for his deft acoustic playing, his well-­‐traveled voice and his literate, yet highly accessible songwriting. He’s barely rested since then. He’s spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues”.

Guy has had his musical storytelling influenced by artists like the above-mentioned Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy, and his musicality from artists as diverse as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Babatunde Olatunji. However, there’s one man that Guy most credits for his harmonica techniques, by stealing and crediting from him everything that he could, and that man is the legendary Sonny Terry.

Guy’s album, “Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train – A Look Back at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry”, is an homage to these two hugely influential artists, not only on Guy’s career, but to thousands of musicians around the world.

He calls himself a blues musician –to him, the blues is a broad title that includes some ragtime, a nod to New Orleans, a nod to the fife and drum players, and tunes that make you want to dance. And he always combines modern with traditional blues, the somber and the celebratory. That’s all we need.

Don’t miss the Ambassador of the Blues at his Vancouver embassy in Jericho Beach Park this summer!