News / Arts & Entertainment

    Blues Man Guy Davis Earns Praise for Storytelling Skills

    Left to Right - Nerek Roth Patterson (Electric Guitar), Guy Davis and Mark Murphy (Bass) (Photo: Thom Wolke © 2006)
    Left to Right - Nerek Roth Patterson (Electric Guitar), Guy Davis and Mark Murphy (Bass) (Photo: Thom Wolke © 2006)
    Doug Levine
    Blues maverick Guy Davis is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, actor, educator, and the creator of his own one-man blues show.

    Davis conceived Fishy Waters, a singing hobo traveling in the American South during the Great Depression, playing his country blues and telling tales to all who will listen.  He embodies the title character in his tour de force performance of  The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues.



    Davis inherited his gift for performing from his parents: actors Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis.  He says there was never any pressure to follow in their footsteps, and even though he’s done plenty of acting, music has always been his first love.

    “Mom and Dad just made it really clear to me that I had to go to school and get a good education," Davis explains. "They didn’t care whether I went into show business or not, because words and acting and reading and directing was their business.  I wanted to get away from that, I wanted to have my own voice, so I chose to sort of lean it over into music.”

    Davis wrote The Adventures of Fishy Waters while working as an understudy in the Broadway play “Mule Bone.”  Since 1994, he has presented his show to audiences around the world, scheduling it between club dates and tours throughout the year.  He says recording it was just as intense as performing live.

    “I sat in a studio with some guitars, told it straight through and then told it again with some editing," Davis says. "And then the recording engineer put in some sound effects.  So it’s a wonderful story telling CD along with the blues music.”

    Call it Delta blues or Southern folk - Guy Davis simply refers to his music as good old-fashioned storytelling.  He believes that in this day and age storytellers are becoming a rare breed.

    “Here in America our specialty is the media," Davis notes, "so we grow up being able to take for granted all the entertainment that’s available, [because of] all the ‘zillion’ channels you can get on television.  So you don’t feel the need necessarily to gather in people’s living rooms or kitchens or schools or people’s homes and just play songs and tell stories and play games.”

    Guy recently visited VOA where he performed several selections from The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues, including the blues standard “Candy Man.”

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures