Posted by: David Harley | August 4, 2015

Blues for Davy

I am sometimes accused of trying to copy Bert Jansch’s guitar style. If only I could… Of course, learning to play acoustic guitar in the late 60s, I learned a lot from listening to Bert, and probably more from John Renbourn, as well as folkier people like Martin Carthy and Nic Jones, country blues players, singer/songwriter types like Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, and many more. But if there was anyone I really wanted to sound like, it was Dav(e)y Graham. ‘Blues For Davy’ was the nearest I got to DG in jazzy mode (as he so often was). It was originally recorded on home equipment for the ‘Sheer Bravado’ cassette. That version didn’t survive migration from cassette very well, but there’s a link to it below. There’s a good guitar piece in there somewhere, and I quite like the energy and economy of the two-minute version.

I’ve recently been revisiting it, though, with a view to giving it more light and shade. Using an electro-acoustic guitar has also given it much more of a ‘classic’ jazz feel – less DG, more Jim Hall or Charlie Byrd. I wish. Actually, this is the most recent version I’ve recorded: after I posted a slightly shorter audio version, someone suggested that it would be nice to have a video version so that they could some idea of the fingering.

Blues for Davy (Harley): 2020 video

To my surprise, this actually turned out to be the best of the recent versions, though maybe too long for some tastes. So I grabbed an audio capture, added a little reverb and mastered it to bring up the sound level.

Backup version:

And here’s the acoustic version from the 1980s.


There are a couple of other recent versions on the instrumentals page here and here, but these two very different versions are IMHO the best.

David Harley

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