Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

 |   |  <1 min read

Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

Before you look at the title and the cover art -- Davis laughing and surrounded by smoke -- let's get it straight: this isn't a stoner album but (apparently) takes its title from a notorious chicken thief F. Samuel Skunkmello "who founded the Lazy Liars and Loafers Club Inc. which was not really incorporated because he was too lazy to go downtown to fill out the paperwork".

If you believe that. Davis, from around New York, is one of those younger black musicians about two generations removed from cotton fields, juke joints and the original country blues but who has the gruff sixtysomething-sounding voice, the schooling and the sensibility to be -- not just sound like -- the real deal.

Here he threads together traditional and original songs (delivered in the rural manner on banjo, acoustic guitar but sometime embellished by rolling keyboards) which loosely essay the idea of outsiders and bad men like Skunkmello.

He brings it right up to date with Uncle Tom Is Dead which is a dialogue between an iconoclastic rapper ("blues is the bucket that I use for crapping in") and a bluesman ("rap and blues is about brothers killing brothers, you might not shoot but you're hurting one another").

Davis is one of the few blues musicians who confidently has one foot in the past and one in the now, and while that's a delicate balancing act he again pulls it off.

And will always sounds two decades older than he is.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues at Elsewhere articles index

Kokomo: A Little Something From the Attic (Boatshed/digital outlets)

Kokomo: A Little Something From the Attic (Boatshed/digital outlets)

Elsewhere has always been favourably disposed to blues albums by local artists because we know they don't sell in large quantities and rarely get much, if any, mainstream attention. Over time... > Read more

Dani Wilde/Victoria Smith/Samantha Fish: Girls with Guitars Live (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Dani Wilde/Victoria Smith/Samantha Fish: Girls with Guitars Live (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

As mentioned about a previous album of this concept of gals with guitars, there's nothing like giving 'em what it says on the box. And yep, these three are blues-rock women with guitars and that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE EXPERIMENTAL GUITARS OF AOTEAROA SERIES (2021): Twang bang and spanky you, man

THE EXPERIMENTAL GUITARS OF AOTEAROA SERIES (2021): Twang bang and spanky you, man

Further to saxophonist/facilitator Jeff Henderson's series of interesting improv albums under the collective title Jazz from the Underground Nightclubs of Aotearoa on the new Kiwijahzz label, our... > Read more

NILS-HENNING ORSTED PEDERSEN INTERVIEWED (2001): All basses covered

NILS-HENNING ORSTED PEDERSEN INTERVIEWED (2001): All basses covered

Think jazz and you invariably think the saxophone. Or trumpet. Or piano. Rarely does the acoustic bass, that pulse and often warm soul of this difficult improvised art form, come to mind.... > Read more