There is a reason that we treasure the music of the masters and hold it so dearly, so close to our hearts. For one thing, the masters have left us, and all that remains are the stories they told, the time they shared with us, and the stories we can tell of that time. And then, there is all that glorious music!
Rediscovered and or newly uncovered music is always a welcome treat, and The Avant Garde Recordings by Reverend Gary Davis is no exception.
As it turns out, Davis was recorded at the famous Avant Garde coffeehouse in Milwaukee in October of 1966, his performance captured on a single microphone. The late ’60s proved to be a revival period for his career and here performs one classic after another including, “You Got To Move,” “Samson And Delilah,” “I Feel Like My Time Ain’t Long,” “She’s Funny That Way,” and “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning.”
The Avant Garde was an intimate setting that showcased performers at their best. Here we have previously unreleased material that speaks to us. In his memories of the venue John Stropes [University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee] writes: “It was a classroom. You went there to learn. You could actually sit down and have a conversation with these performers. Without the Avant Garde, there would have been no centrality for these older traditions or the recasting of these traditions by revivalists.”