Sunday, May 19, 2024

Davy Graham - Midnight Man (1966 uk, fantastic rockin' folk blues, 2005 remaster)

Graham went into a somewhat harder-rocking bluesy groove on this record, though a strong jazz feel was always present in the rhythm especially. More than any other Graham LP, this offers proof that the guitarist would have established himself as a major star on the folk circuit in the '60s -- if only his singing was better. As a guitarist, he's simply wonderful, combining folk, jazz, and blues styles into an invigorating, idiosyncratic style that can both swing and attain a delicate sadness. 

As an interpreter, he's relentlessly imaginative, breathing new vigor into overdone R&B standards, or devising fresh folk arrangements for Beatles and Paul Simon tunes. But as a vocalist, he's adequate at best; if he had even possessed the modest expressiveness of a Bert Jansch, the material would be that much more striking. Almost none of these tracks are available on Graham compilations, and this rare LP is definitely worth seeking by those who are familiar with some of his other '60s work. Especially excellent are the jazzy "Hummingbird" and the instrumental cover of Lalo Schifrin's "The Fakir," which blends the rhythmic drive of Charles Mingus with hypnotic raga-esque riffs. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. No Preacher Blues (Davy Graham) - 2:13
2. The Fakir (Lalo Schifrin) - 4:10
3. I'm Looking Thru' You (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) -2:01
4. Hummingbird (Davy Graham) -2:37
5. Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock) -2:57
6. Stormy Monday (Traditional) -3:37
7. Money Honey (Jesse Stone) -2:23
8. Walkin' The Dog (Rufus Thomas) -2:36
9. Fire In My Soul (Blind Willie Johnson) -1:50
10.Lost Lover Blues (Traditional) -2:03
11.Neighbour Neighbour (Alton Joseph Valier) -2:33
12.Jubilation (Junior Mance) -1:46
13.Rags And Old Iron (King Curtis, Oscar Brown Jr.) - 3:20
14.Jelly Roll Baker (Lonnie Johnson) -2:43

*Davy Graham - Vocals, Guitar
*Tony Reeves - Bass
*Barry Morgan - Percussion

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