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

Jeff Healey: Heal My Soul (Warners)

Jeff Healey: Heal My Soul (Warners)

Blind blues guitarist Healey – who died in 2008 – would have been 50 this year and these previously unreleased songs confirm he was in a class of his own (Mark Knopfler, George... > Read more

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

At 90, the great and late-discovered bluesman T-Model Ford still sounds like he is one man who isn't going to let the road of life weary him. Here with his touring band GravelRoad, he delivers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Noel Coward: London Pride (1941)

Noel Coward: London Pride (1941)

A glance at the year puts this classic Noel Coward song into the context of its era. It was the height of the Second World War and London was being battered by the Blitz. Coward was real... > Read more

Kurt Vile: Wakin' on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

Kurt Vile: Wakin' on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

The improbably-named Philadelphian here opens this beguiling fifth album with the nine minutes-plus sorta-title track which lazily reassures his love/the listener that it's okay, he's fried,... > Read more