2004-10-08 Grand Haven Tribune A Legacy Of Blues Guy Davis' concert to benefit LEDA

A Legacy of Blues: Guy Davis’ concert to benefit Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance
Grand Haven Tribune

Guy Davis plays old music. More importantly, he plays forgotten music, the acoustic blues, born in the Deep South out of slavery and during share-cropping. It’s a legacy he wants audiences to remember. “I get to play guitars, I get to play a banjo, I play harmonicas, I try to tell stories, and I like to make the blues feel alive to people. That’s how it feels to me. It’s what I seek to do,” he said.

Davis plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Holland’s Knickerbocker Theatre in a fund-raiser for the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. It’s a continuation of a series which last year included Sapphire, the Uppity Blues women.

“Every year LEDA intends to hold a musical fund-raiser,” said LEDA executive director Gail Harrison. “It only raises about $6,00, but it’s a way to bring in some great talent and expose the community to some blues and some music from different ethnic groups that might not otherwise be available, as well as to provide some funding to a really important program. “And it’s just fun, to have a good time. There’s so much fund-raising and projects and work, it is great to get out and have a good time.”

Singer/songwriter Davis has previously offered his song “Let’s Be Friends” to the Southern Poverty Law Center for its Teaching Tolerance program. Race often informs Davis’s music and view of the world. His parents, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were writers, actors and activist in New York at the height of the civil rights movement.

Currently, he said, much of the discussion on race ignores a few points. “At this point, it’s all to less popular to treat minorities badly-you can’t get away with badmouthing Hispanics and blacks like you used to could do,” he said. “But there are a lot of issues still not being addressed that have to do with jobs. Historically, since slavery ended, the black man has had to scramble harder than anyone else to keep a job. A lot of it’s to do with education, the enforced lack of it, form way more than a century ago.

Race is being talked about, but there is vast room for improvement when it comes to economics.” The aftermath of that time, and especially the terrible times before it come through on Davis’s newest album, “Legacy.” He plays songs of the early 20th century, along with his own work, grappling with the soul of the blues, sparked in tragedy.

Tickets are $20 online at www.ethnicdiversity.org and $22 at the Bookman in Grand Haven.

For more information, call 846-0074