Transcribed by Ernie Hawkins
Historical Notes by William L. Ellis
Rev. Gary Davis is the real thing. The authentic blind-seer. He is a genius with a brightly burning spirit, enormous musical intelligence, technical brilliance, an encyclopedic memory, driving passion, deep faith, a raunchy and gracious sense of humor. He (1896-1972) was born black in deep poverty in South Carolina, blind from an early age. He overcame these longest of odds to become world famous, a giant of American music. He brought together black and white styles, country gospel, folk themes, blues, jazz, ragtime, minstrel songs, dance tunes and popular song. He developed his own brilliant fingerpicking style that was deep, economical, and adaptable enough to easily cover all these genres. Supporting all his creativity was an unshakable faith that pulled him through the obscurity, the bitter hard times and crushing poverty he would endure until the folk music awakening of the fifties and sixties caught up to him.
In this 72 page book and accompanying CD, Ernie Hawkins has transcribed 9 of Rev. Davis's best known rags, minstrel shows tunes and novelty instrumentals. These are challenging and very rewarding to master. Included are: Buck Dance, Devil's Dream, Sally Where'd You Get Your Liquor From, Fast Foxtrot, St. Louis Tickle, Darktown Strutter's Ball and his tour de forces Twelve Sticks and Soldiers March. The unique bottleneck/slide tune Whistlin' Blues is also presented, played in an open D6 tuning!
This collection is a companion piece to Ernie's two double DVD lessons Rags, Minstrel Shows Tunes and Novelty Instrumentals of Rev. Gary Davis (GW982/3) and Novelty Instrumentals of Rev. Gary Davis (GW984) and contains all the tunes presented in those lessons.
Titles include: Buck Dance, Devil's Dream, Sally Where'd You Get Your Liquor From, Twelve Sticks, Fast Fox Trot (Buck Rag), St. Louis Tickle, Soldiers March (United States March), Darktown Strutter's Ball and Whistlin' Blues