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Rev. Gary Davis had an enormous repertoire that spanned from gospel to blues, rags to folk tunes and old minstrel show songs. In this double DVD lesson Ernie Hawkins presents some of Rev. Davis's most requested rags and minstrel tunes. These vary from Sally Where'd You Get Your Liquor From (made popular by Jorma Kaukonen and Hot Tuna) to the complex dance rhythms of Buck Dance and Twelve Sticks to Devil's Dream, an instrumental played in the Key of F. These are arrangements that will challenge any guitarists. A detailed tab/music instructional booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. Ernie Hawkins teaches each tune phrase by phrase and carefully shows you the right hand picking as well as the left hand fingerings that were unique to Rev. Davis's approach. You will be able to easily follow the instruction with the tab/music booklet. Also featured are split screen segments where each section is played slowly and you can study the movements of each hand. As a bonus we have included various audio performances of Rev. Davis playing each song. DVD is region 0, playable worldwide.


Reverend Gary Davis was a giant. He was a master guitar player as well as a wonderful and patient teacher. He was an exciting performer who could entertain a college audience, bring 25,000 people to their feet at an outdoor festival, move the spirit of a handful of men and women in a small Harlem storefront church, or bring smiles to a few students and friends who gathered around his home to hear his stories and music. He was an innovator in the story of the guitar. He was as important to the acoustic guitar as Andres Segovia was to the Spanish guitar or Earl Scruggs to the five-string banjo. In the last decades the influence of Rev. Davis's music has been felt on the broad pop level. Many of his arrangements and songs have been recorded by popular artists. Taj Mahal, Hot Tuna, Donovan, Dave Van Ronk, Bob Dylan, Ralph McTell, David Bromberg and Peter, Paul and Mary are some of the artists who have performed Rev. Davis's material. It is his guitar styles and techniques that have probably influenced today's music even more than his songs. He has been the teacher of many black and white guitarists. The sound usually associated with North Carolina guitar players, i.e. Blind Boy Fuller, can be traced back to the ideas and techniques that Rev. Davis explored and perfected. Many guitarists of today have been greatly influenced by his music and carry on his tradition. As Rev. Davis used to say, "I have no children but I have sons." Rev. Davis was a competitor. He wanted to be the best. He always wanted to stay a few yards ahead of all his students. This he easily managed. Even in his last years Rev. Davis was an exciting guitarist and performer. He lost some of his speed in playing but this he replaced with a new emotional content. On hearing him perform at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1971 listeners were amazed that all the intricacies of his playing were still present. He had wisely slowed down each tune so that he could play all the parts. Rev. Davis died on May 5th, 1972. He was 76 years old. His death somehow came as a surprise to all the people who knew him well. He had seemed like a person who would live and play forever.

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