Blues guitarist Guy Davis comes to Next Stage

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project continues its Shades of Blue concert series with singer/guitarist Guy Davis on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

A great storyteller, musician, and actor with his roots solidly in the blues and Americana, Davis has garnered multiple Blues Music Awards and has appeared on “Late Night With Conan O'Brien,” Garrison Keillor's “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Mountain Stage,” “World Café,” and at theaters and music festivals across the world.

Davis grew up in New York City and is the son of the celebrated actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. He says that while the only cotton he's ever picked is his underwear off his bedroom floor, he constantly heard accounts of life in the rural South from his parents and his grandparents while growing up, and these stories made their way into his stories and songs.

A multi-instrumentalist, during his shows he plays six- and 12-string guitars, bottleneck guitar, banjo, and harmonica. He claims to have learned fingerpicking guitar from a nine-fingered guitar player on a train from Boston to New York, and he learned five-string banjo from Pete Seeger's brother John at a summer camp in Vermont. Davis has performed with Pete Seeger many times.

Throughout his life, Davis has had overlapping interests in music and acting.

He made his Broadway musical debut in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes collaboration “Mulebone,” which featured the music of Taj Mahal, and he performed Off-Broadway as legendary blues player Robert Johnson in “Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil,” which led to The Blues Foundation awarding him the Keeping the Blues Alive Award.

He also wrote and recorded with Dr. John for Whoopi Goldberg's “Littleburg” Nickelodeon series, and contributed songs to collections on bluesmen Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, Putumayo Records' “From Mali to Memphis,” and the children's album “Sing Along With Putumayo.”

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