Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Davey Graham 1940-2008



Oh dear...one of the greatest folk/blues guitarists, an inspiration to many, dead at 68 just as he'd been persuaded out of obscurity and was back gigging again. His most famous tune, 'Anji' was THE test of guitar prowess when I was a young thing - I can only manage the bass line myself.

'Blue Monk' (written by Thelonius Monk) is played by Davey; 'Angie' (sic) is played by his mate Bert Jansch. I've added 'Better Git It In Your Soul' a Mingus tune.
Blue Monk
Angie
Better Git It In Your Soul

8 comments:

ShivSidecar said...

Thanks for this trib, tfd - my throwaway mention on the Festive 24 blog was in the hope that somebody else would do the rounding up of photos, birthdates etc. You were that soldier.

If you haven't read it, Will Hodgkinson's book "Guitar Man" is actually predicated by the author's desire to learn to play "Angie"/"Anji". He has some suitably bizarre encounters with Graham, whose behaviour is entirely befitting of a cult muso... (Colin Harper's Bert Jansch book has more of the same...)

May1366 said...

What little I know of Davey Graham (basically a snippet from the Folk Britannia TV series) made me want to know more and, in a year when we've lost so many people whose music has figured massively in my life, I felt something of the same sadness at the news of Davey's death even though my relationship with his music is still pending, if that makes sense.

Actually what makes it make sense is this version of Blue Monk. We've had a few chats about routes from other music into jazz and hip-hop, and if there's ever a track that's likely to stimulate my listening of this branch of folk music to a few notches above its current 'lazy' status (esp. when you consider that I've metaphorically had that Bert Jansch in the back of my cab a couple of times from when I was a venue programmer), this is the tune.

treefrogdemon said...

Thanks, Shiv - I'll have a look for that book. And May, I picked that tune for that very purpose, so I'm glad it worked! I was surprised to find that I only had two Davey albums in my collection and neither had Anji, so that's why I posted the Bert Jansch version.

Davey's father was from Skye and his mother from Guyana, so you get your musical fusion right there.

Mnemonic said...

May, if you find a copy of Davy's Folk, Blues and Beyond (he spells his name either way) and I think it was rereleased a few years back, he does a cover of Mingus's "Better Git It In Your Soul". I put it on my last RR social compilation if DsD ever made you a copy. (I lost track of who got copies of what qute early on that evening.)

I saw him do it live in the mid-sixties while he was still on peak form and couldn't believe my ears.

treefrogdemon said...

Oh, I'll put that one on...

CaroleBristol said...

A fantasic player, one of the real "influential players", unlike some of the other names that get bandied around.

I still can't play "Anji" after years of trying.

May1366 said...

tfd/Mnemonic - superb, thanks for the recommendations - I'll definitely follow it all up.

bethnoir said...

Just to echo the feeling already expressed here. I spent my childhood listening to my dad play Anji/Angie and I was really sad to hear the news. A great guitarist.