The Reverend Gary Davis Story
Harlem Street Singer tells the story of Reverend Gary Davis, the great blues and gospel musician whose unique style and remarkable skills on the guitar inspired a generation of musicians. The film traces Davis’s journey out of poverty in the Deep South to his iconic status in the folk and rock scene in 1960s New York. It includes rare documentary footage plus interviews with celebrated folk and rock musicians who knew and studied with Davis: Bob Weir, John Cohen, Jorma Kaukonen, Peter Yarrow, Happy Traum, John Hammond, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Stefan Grossman, Barry Kornfeld, Woody Mann, David Bromberg, John Cephas, Dave Keyes, Brian Glassman, Bill Sims Jr., Len Chandler and Robert Tilling.
The film was co-produced by guitarist Woody Mann (who received his first musical schooling in Davis’ living room), and includes recently discovered concert footage of both Davis and Peter, Paul & Mary from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
Special Features Over 2½ hours of previously unreleased material, including rare footage of the Reverend in concert in Montreal, as well as performances by John Cephas, David Bromberg, Jorma Kaukonen, Peter Rowan, Roy Book Binder, John Dee Holeman, and the Empire Roots Band (Bill Sims, Jr., Dave Keyes, Woody Mann and Brian Glassman). Additional interviews include outtakes with Peter Rowan, Ernie Hawkins, Tokio Uchida and Wavy Gravy, as well as extended interviews with many of the film’s main characters. Audio recordings of Woody Mann’s guitar lessons and jams with the Reverend are also included.