Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis by Ian Zack

Jun 28th, 2015
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Alabama State University
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Who was the greatest of all American guitarists? You probably didn’t name Gary Davis, but many of his musical contemporaries considered him without peer. Bob Dylan called Davis “one of the wizards of modern music.” Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead—who took lessons with Davis—claimed his musical ability “transcended any common notion of a bluesman.” And the folklorist Alan Lomax called him “one of the really great geniuses of American instrumental music.” But you won’t find Davis alongside blues legends Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite almost universal renown among his contemporaries, Davis lives today not so much in his own work but through covers of his songs by Dylan, Jackson Browne, and many others, as well as in the untold number of students whose lives he influenced.

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Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary DavisbyIan ZackWho was the greatest of all American guitarists? You probably didnt name Gary Davis, but many of his musical contemporaries considered him without peer. Bob Dylan called Davis one of the wizards of modern music

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