|Reverend Gary Davis’ O, Glory: The Apostolic Studio Session (Genes) is a valuable addition to the Genes’ Blues Vault Series, featuring one of the most extraordinary musicians of the Piedmont school of ragtime blues. After his conversion in the thirties, he would rarely perform or record secular lyrics, though few illustrate the commonality of blues and gospel as did Davis. |
This album is particularly valuable in that it contains some rare examples of Davis with accompaniment, vocal chorus, tracks on which he plays piano and banjo, and a harmonica solo (Birmingham Special, a train imitation with spoken asides). Most of these recordings date from March 1969 for what would prove to be his last studio album. They are augmented by four recordings that Stefan Grossman recorded in 1964 and 1965.
His instrumental work is exemplary and, while I would not call these the greatest examples of his art, there are some typically spectacular moments, and the rare examples of his piano, banjo and harmonica which add to the album’s historical value.
Not from this CD, but here is the late musical legend in performance.