Rev. Gary Davis: The Video Collection on DVD
The first two tracks are taken from a short film that played in theatres in the early 1960s. This was shot while Rev. Davis lived in the Bronx. The filmmaker was very interested in the ambience but we do get a chance to see Rev. Davis play. Pete Seeger‚Äôs Rainbow Quest had one show that featured Rev. Davis along with Donovan and Shawn Phillips. The next two tunes are from this program. In 1969 Rev. Davis traveled to Seattle, Washington to play for the Folkore Society. Tracks 5-12 were filmed by the Anthropology Department of the University of Washington at the home of John Ullman.. This is rough footage but shows Rev. Davis relaxed amongst friends and his trusty cigar! During that stay John was able to take Rev. Davis in to a proper television studio and tracks 15-23 are from this session. These are seminal performances. The independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin brought Rev. Davis together with other musicians for his film Black Roots. Tracks 24-26 are from this film. This collection ends with some very rough footage from the wedding celebration of John Gibbon (one of Rev. Davis‚Äôs earliest New York students). This was originally recorded on reel to reel tape and over the years the tape disintegrated. So what we have left is a faint video image with good sound that shows Rev. Davis enjoying himself at a party with friends.