Music is a full-body experience for Guy Davis.
And the New York-based bluesman hopes to share this feeling with his audience during his stop at the Errington Hall this weekend.
“I got songs that make you want to do the downward-facing dog and the upward-facing turkey,” he said with a laugh. “It (the music) gets in your body and makes you want to move.”
Davis plays the old-style of acoustic blues, or as he describes it, the music you would have heard on someone’s porch 75-80 years ago. He particularly focuses on Delta blues, the more ragtime-sounding East Coast blues and a folk-blues.
Davis feels a connection with this music even though he did not grow up with the blues played in his home. “I felt it was already in me,” he said of the first time he heard the music, calling it a “magic” thing that’s “bigger than the sum of the parts.”
In order to learn the blues, Davis looked to the masters of the various styles he now plays. According to his website, the musician taught himself the guitar and learned by listening to and watching other musicians.
“I did a lot of stealing,” he said. He also added that once he stole the music, he worked to make it his own. Aside from writing plenty of originals, Davis said he likes to “spice it (the old-time sounds) up and play a bit modern.”
While Davis is above all else a bluesman, he has worked as a musician, composer, actor, director and writer over the years. His career has included a lead role in the film Beat Street opposite Rae Dawn Chong and a stint on television in One Life to Live. He also performed in a theatre piece with his parents, the late actors/writers Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, entitled Two Hah Hahs and a Homeboy.
Davis has also had the opportunity to combine music and acting on the stage. He made his Broadway musical debut in 1991 in Mulebone, which featured the music of blues great Taj Mahal, and in 1993 he performed off-Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil. He received rave reviews for the later and became the 1993 winner of the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award.
Davis also created material for himself, writing the one-man show In Bed with the Blues: The Adventures of Fishy Waters.
Still, for the past two decades, Davis has concentrated much of his efforts on writing, recording, and performing music. His albums have garnered numerous accolades, and he hopes to return to the studio within the next month to lay down more tracks.
First, however, Davis said he will preview a number of these yet-to-be-recorded originals to the audience at the Errington Hall. The multi-talented performer will play on Sunday, April 12 starting at 8 p.m.
Adult tickets are $20 at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach and the Errington Store. Youth aged 13-18 are $10 at the door.
As usual, there will be Creekmore coffee and baked goods available for purchase during the show.
For more information, call the Hall at 250-586-6583.