Dead Musicians 5/11/11: Davy Graham Makes Everyone Look Like They're Trying Way, Way Too Hard
Those immersed in a music scene often hold unexpected opinions and perspectives. Anyone who spent the late 1960’s in San Francisco will tell you the best band was Quicksilver Messenger Service. “Their records weren’t that great,” they’ll say. Those in Seattle for the late 1980’s claim that everyone, including Kurt Cobain, agreed on the greatness of Screaming Trees, a band I can’t understand at all. But I suspect that, if I’d been there at the time, I’d have witnessed something different from what I hear on their records or what I see in their Letterman performance. If you come upon someone who hung out in London’s music scene in the late 1950’s and ask him to name the best guitar-player, he won’t say Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton; he’ll say Davy Graham. Supposedly, when London musicians would pass around a guitar at parties and take turns playing, no one was willing to follow him. If Davy Graham showed up and performed, the guitar would sit untouched for the rest of the night. I heard these sorts of Davy Graham myths before I listened to his music. I wondered, naively, why a guitarist who could intimidate Page and Clapton wasn’t famous. Graham’s records didn’t kill me, so I doubted, naively again, that he had really been as impressive as the stories claimed. It wasn’t until I came across this footage of nineteen-year-old Graham playing his instrumental blues interpretation of the jazz standard, “Cry Me a River”, that I understood.Graham plays very little and expresses a lot. He doesn’t need epic solos. He just sits there and plays the melody and bends a few notes and it’s the coolest. Perhaps this is why Graham scared guys like Clapton and Page: he exposed the desperation behind virtuosity. Watching Graham’s performance here, I can’t help but see Clapton and Page as talented young music-nerds playing a lot of notes to prove they can play the blues. This performance clip comes from a 1959 BBC documentary about guitar-playing in Britain. It was supposed to be the world’s introduction to London’s greatest guitarist, a big break for Graham. But it didn’t work out that way.
Here's 11 Awesome Things About Petite Meller's Video for "Ice Bear" ft. Joe Fleisch
Parisian pop princess goes winter wonderland weird.
Here's "Hero"—The Brand New Tune by Diplo, Frank Ocean, and The Clash
We hung out with the boys in Brooklyn about this unlikely collaboration
"Daughter, Daughter" by D/C Will Make You Root for the Supposed Bad Boy
When will parents understand that when they butt into your love life, you're gonna run 100 miles per hour in the other direction?
An Interview With Georgia Nott of BROODS
Gorgia Nott has a lot to be happy about. At 19, the New Zealand musician is half of BROODS, one of the quickest rising duos in electronic pop music at the moment.
Keep Up With Our SXSW 2014 Coverage Here
Hopefully, we don't die.
The Score: Mapping the Music and Style of 'That Thing You Do!'
Sixties chic via the 90s and that one song over and over and over.
We're Premiering Big K.R.I.T.'s "Steps" Documentary & a New Song Feat. Big SANT & Smoke DZA
#weekofKRIT Is Almost Over.
Kanye West and Crustpunk: Together at Last
It's the Leftöver Crack/Kanye mashup you've been waiting for.
Welcome to Koch Boyz, Where We Document What French Montana and the Koch Brothers Are Up To
Welcome to Koch Boyz, a column dedicated to any time the Koch Brothers and French Montana do anything within a few days of each other.
Watch Mark McGuire's Pretty Personal Video for "The Human Condition"
Former Emeralds guitarist incorporates footage from his Dad's "celebrity roast" back in 89...