Guy Davis

Norwich Arts Centre

Norwich Arts Centre

He grew up in New York hearing his grandparents' tales of the old South and Guy Davis readily admits that the nearest he's come to picking cotton is “picking up my underpants”.

This hasn't stopped the 54-year-old musician from developing into a convincing and highly impressive exponent of the old-fashioned country blues, played like someone hailing from the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s.

Davis's show on Tuesday night saw him alternate between instruments, showing that he's equally adept at six- and 12-string guitar, banjo and harmonica. His slide playing on the 12-string summoned up the ghost of the great Blind Willie McTell, and his whooping harmonica was reminiscent of the best of Sonny Terry.

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He showed that the blues can sound great on banjo, too, with his version of Muddy Waters' I Can't Be Satisfied.

His voice is perhaps his most limited instrument, a deep and gravelly growl with power but a limited range.

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But overall, this was a treat for anyone who loves to hear the blues played well, with soul and real feeling.

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