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Rev. Gary Davis’ Spirit Goes On… Free & Powerful

October 26th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fall was certainly wrapping itself around us as we moved into the Rev. Gary Davis Weekend at the Fur Peace Ranch.

The Fall road behind my little studio

The Fall road behind my little studio

On this glorious weekend the Wonderful Woody Mann came to teach and to amaze and enthrall us on Saturday night at the Fur Peace Station with the Empire Roots Band.

Seth Farber came to join Woody, and played the Birman’s old 1913 Chickering baby grand.

Seth at the Chickering

Seth at the Chickering

Also on stage was Bill Sims Jr. Even though with the band, Bill sang and played guitar… he sat down at the grand also.

Bill Sims Jr. at the Chickering...

Bill Sims Jr. at the Chickering...

The music… touching and powerful!

The men, with Brian Glassman on bass

The men, with Brian Glassman on bass

Brian Glassman played upright bass… awesome, in every respect!

Seth, Bill and Woody... Brian in the background

Seth, Bill and Woody... Brian in the background

A fantastic measure of sound, passion and tradition!

Brian, Bill, Jorma, Woody and Seth

Brian, Bill, Jorma, Woody and Seth

These aren’t the only moments that uplift my soul… but they’re a big part.

Then before we knew it… Sunday came, Student Performance… pictures…

The gang...

The gang...

Big thanks to Roy Book Binder and Tom Feldmann for helping to make this weekend possible.

I would like to think that Rev. Davis would have enjoyed this little tribute to his memory!

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  1. Ham n Eggs
    October 26th, 2016 at 10:54 | #1

    Amen Alleluia brother
    Love All Ways

  2. johno
    October 26th, 2016 at 11:43 | #2

    Wow…big class you had for the Rev Gary Davis tribute weekend. Wish I was there. His music is food for the soul – it has a spiritual message – and it’s blessed from above. That’s why we love it so much. And to think we’re still listening to it all these years later. You guys must’ve felt his presence there with you. Thanks Jorma for keeping his legacy alive.

  3. carey georgas
    October 26th, 2016 at 12:44 | #3

    Dang, I hope I can get up that way for a show someday. I reckon tickets are scarce as hen’s teeth?

    Am I anywhere near correct in assuming that the Reverend Gary Davis is to the piedmont sound what Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin’ Hopkins were to the Brazos bottom/Texas blues sound?

  4. David W
    October 26th, 2016 at 13:31 | #4

    An excellent and wonderful weekend! It was great to be back at FPR and part of it all. Looking forward to my next visit to the ranch. I’m already missing all that great music and friendship. Thanks Jorma!

  5. October 26th, 2016 at 15:58 | #5

    The Holy Trinity of Piedmont players…
    Blind Rev. Gary Davis
    Blind Boy Fuller
    Blind Arthur Blake

    These are the Big Dogs!

  6. Carey Georgas
    October 26th, 2016 at 16:39 | #6

    I’ll have to study a little history@Jorma

  7. Mark K
    October 26th, 2016 at 17:52 | #7

    It seems right that like The Reverend later in life you have become the teacher to so many guitar players. I wonder how many of his “students” went on to careers in music and continue to preform today and how many of yours will follow in that tradition. They continue influence others even over 40 years after his passing. Many hope for legacies, and I think it does not get any better than that.

  8. Ham n Eggs
    October 26th, 2016 at 21:05 | #8

    Dion DiMucci (yes Dion and the Belmonts Dion) was certainly one of his students and in my humble and prejudiced opinion one of the greatest rock and rollers to ever walk the planet. If I ever won lotto I would contact Jorma and Dion’s agents and put on an acoustic /electric show at the Loew’s Paradise on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Red Apples as you left in memory of Bill.

    @Mark K

  9. Robert Eustis
    October 27th, 2016 at 10:51 | #9

    Amen is right. It was a great weekend.

  10. carey georgas
    October 27th, 2016 at 12:13 | #10

    Wow. It’s amazin’, the stuff you never think of until you sit down and think a little. I’m not a musician, but I love music, and I love history. It’s always been for me, Delta blues, Texas blues, and Chicago blues. But of course, there were great populations of African-Americans east of the Appalachians, so why the heck wouldn’t there be a different style coming from the east? The first Reverend Gary Davis I listened to immediately brought to mind the call-response I’ve heard at black churches I have attended. I’ve listened to some Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Willie McTell, and the difference is striking. Somehow, seems a little more folksy, and the picking style is quite evident. I’m so glad I found this blog. Onward, through the fog!

  11. Doug Mlyn
    October 27th, 2016 at 14:58 | #11

    on another note, I just received my 2016 Hot Tuna Shirt that I ordered from the fur peace ranch and couldn’t be more pleased with the design, quality of the material and ease of ordering. Thanks FPR!!!!

  12. Carey Georgas
    October 27th, 2016 at 18:29 | #12

    One more question. Are Sonny Terry and Sonny Boy Terry one and the same? That’s the only Piedmont player name I recognized. I mean, I heard the Levon Helm Band play “Blind Willie McTell” once, but I didn’t know at the time if that was a fictional character or not.

  13. jimhitchcock
    October 27th, 2016 at 19:33 | #13

    Carey, good job in the NYT interview, fun to read.

  14. Carey Georgas
    October 27th, 2016 at 19:43 | #14

    Thank you, Jim. It’s been a trip.@jimhitchcock

  15. rich l
    October 28th, 2016 at 09:16 | #15

    living in the moment…

    I was cutting the grass last weekend and two kids about in 7th grade walked by. It was a gorgeous Fall day in Chicago. I said hi to them and then quoted one of my favorite verses from Psalms;

    Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

    The kids walked on a few more steps and then one of them throws there hands in the air and shouts, “Hallelujah!”

    It made my day.

    Can I get an amen?

    Jorma, your life seems to be an shining example of that verse. I wouldn’t know who those blind pickers were if it weren’t for you. Keep those lamps, trimmed and burning…

  16. carey georgas
    October 28th, 2016 at 12:42 | #16

    I found my own answer. They are not one and the same, even remotely.

  17. johno
    October 28th, 2016 at 13:59 | #17

    The Beacon is less than a month away. I can’t wait. Hot Tuna is gonna rock NYC once again. This will be the original 3 member band that I first saw in 1973. Haven’t seen that in awhile. I get the feeling that this will be epic. Can you please play Feels So Good – for old times sake.

  18. eaglesteve
    October 29th, 2016 at 17:00 | #18

    Happy # 77 Grace

  19. Ham n Eggs
    October 30th, 2016 at 17:04 | #19

    who’d a thunk it
    Buon Campleanna
    Love All Ways

  20. Brett
    October 31st, 2016 at 13:03 | #20

    This was My 3rd Rev Weekend at Fur Peace….and 7th workshop weekend at The Ranch…




    Great Class (Thanks to Jorma and Tom!) Damned if I didn’t actually learn some tunes this go ’round !!

    The Saturday night concert was a truly spiritual experience

    And the food! …….The bread bowl soup for lunch on a rather chilly Saturday was sooooooooooooo perfect.

    Thanks again to my Fur Peace family


  21. John B
    November 4th, 2016 at 15:58 | #21

    AMEN.@rich l

  22. phil
    November 10th, 2016 at 10:16 | #22

    Or should we talk about the Four Aces of Piedmont Blues including Blind Willie Mc Tell ? In any case, you can be blind and still see the light.