December 16th, 2008
Davy Graham passed away on Monday. He will be sorely, sorely missed.
Graham made a cameo appearance in the 1963 movie The Diner starring James Fox and Dirk Bogard. The song is Rock Me Mama.
Here’s a clip of Graham playing Rock Me Mama in a 1969 documentary about notorious Scottish beat writer and junkie Alexander Trocchi, which also featured William Burroughs.
Often emulated but never bettered, Graham’s most famous song was Anji. It can be heard here – along with the Irish song She Moves Through the Fair and a brief interview – on the BBC’s Folk Britannia series, in which Graham was afforded a long overdue critical appraisal.
Fifty years on and Davy Graham was still performing and continually soaking up techniques from around the world. Here he is in 2007 showcasing a Romanian playing style during an impromptu performance backstage at the Mosley Folk festival.
October 22nd, 2008
Allow me to alienate myself for a moment here and say that while I love Davy Graham’s first album, The Guitar Player, I always thought that the sound was slightly overproduced in comparison to his first three cuts on his first EP 3/4 AD and a rare BBC outtake where you get to see him in his more raw and natural element. Sometimes I think the only proper way to hear him in album form is on “After Hours,” a performance recorded after a gig at the University of Hull in 1967, with a hand-held mic in a student bedroom at 1am with a bunch of drunk students in the background. If this is your first experience with Graham’s music I think this is the perfect place to start. I’ll try and get some of the After Hours songs up soon but for now you can hear the newly remastered version streaming for free on his website.
I think the difference between the E.P.’s earlier sound and his first album is well evidenced by his two versions of Anji-his most famous song- that was somewhat popularized by Bert Jansch and more so by Jimmy Page obsessing over it. Regardless the first take of it to me sounds more full and the 2nd sounds a bit hollow to my ears. Both are fantastic though…
Davy Graham – Angi (From 3/4 AD)
Davy Graham – Anji (From The Guitar Player)
Stunning live video of Davy Graham in 1959 appearing on a BBC special about the rise of Folk guitar in Britain playing “Cry me a river”