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Author Topic: Davy Graham
smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Davy Graham
on: September 3, 2012, 15:25
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At the moment I'm listening to one of my beloved Davy Graham albums and he merits a mention. I've only met a couple people my age that know his work, so I'll mention him now for the unfamiliar. He covered pretty much every genre - often merging them. Folk, Classical, Blues, hints of jazz, indian, morrocan, african, etc. So, for those of you who were asking about fingerstyle techniques, he is a prime example of someone who excelled at adapting and incorporating a range of approaches and styles.

Here's a good introduction vid:

Some Blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E45y_PHrKQ8&feature=related

The Original Anji: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n8cxvzol3E&feature=related

Arabic (Fakir): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcTUL51tubU

Enjoy!

Digital-
Larry

Posts: 192
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 4, 2012, 05:20
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His LP "The Complete Guitarist" is awesome! Sadly, his demons were extensive.

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 4, 2012, 08:55
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quite so.

Oinkus

Posts: 236
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 5, 2012, 03:28
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Hear some Jimmy Page right there at the start of that song .52 Black Mountain Side ?

Double D

Posts: 195
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 5, 2012, 08:26
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Wasn't Mr. Graham the go-to artist to steal from in Zep? Their sound didn't emerge from a vacuum, that's for sure...

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 5, 2012, 11:05
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Yeah, I think he influenced a ton of players on both sides of the pond. Both directly and indirectly. Paul Simon learned a lot from him. Nick Drake definitely latched on to some of his chords and phrasing.

That's the thing about a lot of innovative musicians. Many of them have some degree of manic depression and the addiction/psychosis that goes along with it. So while they lack the desire or capacity to go mainstream themselves, they occasionally inspire enough impressionable young players that the sound gets out there eventually. For the rest of us, tracking there music down is a fun part of the learning process. Townes Van Zandt, Roy Buchanan, etc.

joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 9, 2012, 14:58
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Yeah, I would definitely list Paul Simon and Jimmy Page as fans -- the kind of fandom that borders on plagiarism, actually.

Thanks for mentioning him!

joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 16, 2012, 19:04
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What do folks think of the tone Graham and Bert Jansch get from those super-slinky strings? I've always sort of wished both guys had used bigger strings and higher action for a more substantial tone. (The sublime Martin Simpson is pretty much my gold standard in this regard.)

Or am I missing the point? Do folks dig their tones just as they are?

And just so I don't have to conclude this post without talking out of both sides of my mouth, I have a perverse love for the second guitar tone on the Faces' "Ooh La La," which I'm always assumed is Ron Wood countering Ronnie Lane's 10th-fret-capoed chords. The strings are so thin, there's just <i>no</i> tone there. But I love it.

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 17, 2012, 07:14
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Interesting question. You've pretty much got to listen to that stuff at full volume in a big room to give it space and dimension. It's not mp3 friendly. I assume the string selection was largely based on availability and playability. So I'm fine with that. My first impulse would be to place any criticism on the recording engineers for not choosing the right mic and position to draw the tone out - and then to set it properly in the mix. They sound like ribbon mics from about a 2ft out where a close valve mic would have warmed and rounded it out more. If those master tapes still exist, they deserve to be remixed and remastered. For the most part, I think the folk recording scene was pretty ghetto until the Mulholland Dr/Troubadour scene went mainstream.

Although, there is something to be said for the inherent genuineness of the thin recordings and/or ridiculous vocal/guitar balance. The majority of my early scratch recordings were done sitting on my roof with a $12 guitar and a cheap voice recorder. The balance is terrible, the guitar alternates between thin and chunky, and my vocals suck, but they fit a folk aesthetic somehow. I didn't properly re-record many of them because the tunes just wouldn't sound good with a robust guitar, clean mic signal, etc. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I'm content with the scratches.

Thanks for bringing up Martin Simpson. I just dug some out and am listening to the superb Bold General Wolfe at the moment. I have a feeling that Christy Moore will get loaded up next.

Digital-
Larry

Posts: 192
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Post Re: Davy Graham
on: September 17, 2012, 14:24
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My conclusion is that the performance is more important than the tone and I can easily overlook a crappy tone if the performance is bitchen. One exception I can think of was a recording by The BattleField Band, which is a Scottish band that plays traditional and traditional sounding tunes, with bagpipes, fiddle, cittern/guitar and electronic keyboards (occasional drum machine onstage too!)

One of their recordings featured an electric guitar, and it really struck me while listening that nobody in the studio knew what one should sound like, other than it should be distorted and sound like sh*t. So it did.

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