blues guitar davis music

objét & images


Students (Real, Alleged, and Rumored) of the

Reverend Gary Davis

AFAIK, there is no all-in-one-place listing of the Reverend's lineage, let alone a definitive one. These are sloppily researched at best and presented in the order inwhich I found them referenced.

Some are wanabees. Some are only "students" by virtue of blues circuit gossip. A few deny it and are probably right, although you'd never know it from popular opinion. And a few, just maybe, actually studied with that man, paid their five dollars for a giutar lesson week after week, touched his magic, and grew from the True Vine.

When I'll get rich I'll buy them all and hear for myself.

Rev. Davis (L), and student

Update 11-Nov-07:

I note this page is still cited in Wikkipedi, whcih I feel rather proud of, even though I'm the one who wrote it.










< ^ >
words link to websites. pictures link to (at least slightly) higher-res versions (sometimes even a different picture).

Ernie Hawkins

Stefan Grossman

Roy Book Binder

Dave Van Ronk

Eric Von Schmidt

Bob Weir (Grateful Dead)

David Bromberg

Ry Cooder (doubtful)

Blind Boy Fuller, of course

Ian Buchanan (Jorma Kaukonen's famous roomate when he was at Antioch College in NY)

Woody Mann

Alex Shoumatoff, the author and editor of the Dispatches books (apparently actually did study with RGD and knew him and Annie for many years)

Andy Cohen

Dennis, and younger, more
methodical and modest Kenneth McNichol (who plays on the album pictured here, but I don't know if there's a shot of him on the cover).

Aurora "Rory" Block

"Guitar Gabriel" (Robert Lewis Jones) (claims to have "learned from"

Rolly Brown (" I spent a weekend chaperoning him at a festival in Ohio in 1969+ 2 hours of unsolicited guitar teaching at the end of the weekend"); bluesmaster, Tai Chi instructor, acupuncturist, Aussie Dog breeder.


Barry Kornfeld. "The building was filled with musicians. Barry was the Reverend Gary Davis' sidekick..." in the photo, that's him on the far right. Played guitar for Bob Dylan and others (at least according to the track listings) but I can't find much else about him.

Spencer Bohren "left his Wyoming birthplace in 1968, drawn by the burgeoning folk scene at the Denver Folklore Center. He was fortunate to learn first-hand from excellent performers like the eccentric Reverend Gary Davis..."

Michael Castle "was a student of the Reverend's
who was also married by the Reverend- at the Reverend's house in Queens in the late '60s", but I can't find a single reference to him on the web, unless he's the former Governor by the same name...

Ragtime Rick Blaufeld "got hooked on the country blues in 1963, after hearing and meeting Mississippi John Hurt at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. After taking informal lessons from Mississippi John, Rev. Gary Davis, and Dave Van Ronk, backstage at club dates..." Yeah. Maybe.

Alan Smithline - "a celebrated performer and guitar teacher in the Bay Area, Alan was the companion and protege of the legendary blues player the Reverend Gary Davis during the final years of his life."

"As a former student of Brother Davis($5 a guitar lesson)"..."joel"-- from an review (or maybe reprinted from somewhere else) of the Reverend's music