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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”