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The songs on this collection, recorded in 1968 and 1970 at the Pittsburgh apartment of Ernie Hawkins find Reverend Gary Davis in a relaxed mood. The playing is light and loose at times as he reaches back into his vast musical memory to pull one surprise after another from his “bag of tricks” (his nonchalant term for guitar playing). Fingerpicked on the Rev’s Gibson J-200 and a borrowed Martin D12-35, these performances were not for the stage or the recording studio; rather, they chance upon Davis playing reflectively to himself and Ernie, you the listener privy to the intimate musical camaraderie caught on tape. So while not every note is perfectly played, it is perfectly Davis, who wows us with marvelous additions to his songbook and performances that stretch out in masterly ways: a “Blow, Gabriel” that swells in fiery exhortation over twelve minutes; an emotionally wrenching “Crucifixion” just under twenty minutes with neither note nor word wasted. As the title says, these are rare and previously unissued recordings, ones of historic and musical value. It’s uncommon for an artist to bemuse us anew nearly fifty years after his death, but Davis does so here. “That suits me,” he sings joyfully on the opening track, and I guarantee it will suit you, too.

A 37 page PDF booklet by William L. Ellis featuring detailed notes on each song is included on Disc One. An appreciation of Rev. Davis by Ernie Hawkins is also featured in the booklet


Track List:

1. Come on Brother, Let's Go Round the Wall

2. I Belong to the Band

3. The Old Ship of Zion

4. Save up Your Money, John D. Rockefeller Put the Panic On

5. Blow Gabriel

6. 'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

7. Don't Move My Bed 'Till the Holy Ghost Come

8. Great Change Since I Been Born

Disc 2 

1. Home (When Shadows Fall

2. Penitentiary Blues

3. Let's Go Down to Betty's

4. Hard Walking Blues

5. Chicken You Can't Roost Too High

6. Pray for the Lights to Go Out

7. Florida Blues

8. Little Boy, Little Boy, Who Made Your Britches

9. Walkin' the Dog

10. St James Infirmary

11. Tie Me to Your Apron Strings Again

12. Yes Sir, That's My Baby Now

13. Old Fashioned Love

14. God's Gonna Separate

15. See What the Lord Has Done for Me


Disc 3 

1. Down Home Rag

2. Dill Pickles Rag

3. That'll Never Happen No More

4. Piece Without Words

5. You Want a Good Man, Treat a Good Man Right

6. Don't Let My Baby Catch You Here

7. I Wonder What's Become of Sally

8. Crucifixion

9. Hesitation Blues

10. Cincinnati Flow Rag

11. Joy to Know

12. St James Infirmary #2





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