Saturday, July 05, 2008

Liner Notes to "The Sun of Our Lives, Rev. Gary Davis

It's wonderful to see liner notes from old albums appearing on the web. The liner notes for The Sun of Our Lives at Arbiter Records are very extensive and biographical:

Seated on his footstool, I offered an approximation of Buck Dance, expecting only minor corrections. Davis broke into a warm grin: "Heh, heh..., now. . . watch my fingers. . . this is how it goes. . . and if you see something you don't understand. . . you just stop me and I'll explain it to you." He spoke slowly, spacing his words, often silent for awhile after a question, leading you to wonder if he had heard you, yet sometimes he responded at once. As he played my amazement grew. Not only were most of my chords wrong but I had overlooked a wealth of details which gave the piece its meaning. His nesting right hand seemed to brush or stroke against the strings, rarely moving. Two fingers picked as the others anchored his hand onto the body slightly below the sound hole. He wore a plastic thumb pick and one metal pick on his index finger ("it saves your fingertips", although his left hand calluses were quite developed, for he preferred thick strings which felt like phone cables.) "Why don't you use the middle finger too?" I wondered. "You don't need more than two." His left hand's shaping of the chords on the neck was sculpted elegance, ...continue reading
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