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Scottish and Celtic Music Discussion
Davey Graham died
Jack Campin
Posts: 1785
Posted: 15-Dec-2008 23:54
According to a report on Charlie Gillett's forum, Davey Graham died today.

Posts: 2035
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 01:02
From Johnny Guitar A Supergroup in Heaven BOOGIEING WITH THE ANGELS . Sad news more later .
Posts: 2138
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 08:42
Sorry to hear this. Had bought his last CD, Broken Biscuits, on the subscription model, and had hoped he would pull it together again, despite reported fragility on tour. More deserving of the 'legend' label than most.
Posts: 1670
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 11:56

I posted this yesterday under another thread-thought it was worth repeating -with due respect:

Posts: 1536
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 12:03
I was opening act for a Davey Graham gig at The 12 Bar Club in London around 1996. It was hotly tipped that he wouldn't turn up at all but he did (eventually). He borrowed my guitar and it has never before or since sounded that good and probably never will again.

I had the offer of putting him on at a popular North Edinburgh Folk venue a couple of years ago but his reputation preceeded him unfortunately.

A great loss, mind. Check out the clip on BBC4 series 'Folk Britannia' where Davey plays his version of 'She moved throught the Fair'. Unbelievable.

Posts: 14820
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 14:06
Thanks Jack for passing on this news in your usual "matter of fact" manner. :-)

I am very sorry to hear this news. Davy had been suffering from lung cancer of late which was only diagnosed fairly recently. Apparently he had put off visiting his doctor.

His contribution to folk, jazz, blues and acoustic music in general was immeasureable. One of his biggest contributions was, of course, the "invention" of the DADGAD tuning.

One of his early albums "Folk Roots, New Routes" with Shirley Collins was an early classic as was "Folk, Blues, and beyond"

It's true that he had a rather mercurial personality and his performances could often be a "hit or a miss". However, I was fortunate enough to catch some very memorable performances by the man in the early days.

Sadly, I have to admit to never getting around to learning Angi all the way through.....

Posts: 1591
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 15:15
In the mid 1960s's I possessed a copy of the EP titled '3/4 AD' which featured Alexis Korner and Davy Graham on guitars. On one side Davy and Alexis played 3/4 AD as a duet. On side 2, Davy performed two solo numbers - Angie, and Davy's Train Blues.

The playing and the tunes were wonderful - and Angie of course became the piece that all budding guitartists had to try and learn. The way Davy played it was slow, gentle, and simple - not at all like Bert Jansch's more frantic recording a few years later (which even had the temerity to add several phrases which weren't in the original!).

Davy showed us what the guitar could sound like. Sadly my EP was lost some years ago. Even more sadly Davy himself has now gone.

Posts: 1536
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 17:28
I've got a copy of that on a cassette somewhere. It was copied for me by Jim Wright, co-founder of Redcar Jazz Club also now sadly deceased.

Actually last time I looked for all the great stuff he's taped me I couldn't find any of it. I think he took it with him...:))

Posts: 2138
Posted: 16-Dec-2008 22:38
The Guardian has collected 5 YouTubes on one page, with a bit of a tribute.


Posts: 3461
Posted: 17-Dec-2008 11:16
"Folk Roots, New Routes" has been playing since I heard the news (I had that EP till someone 'borrowed' it, too.) Davey was a great artist, OK he had his off moments but as they say 'only mediocrity is always at its best'.
nic a' phlutes
Posts: 2289
Posted: 17-Dec-2008 14:27
Sad news. I first heard of Davey when I was reading about Indian music and how the sitar and raga's influenced some of his music in the 60's.

How cool does the guitar sound in the following clip?

Posts: 1536
Posted: 17-Dec-2008 16:17
'The Guitar Player' and 'Fire in my Soul' are also excellent. The CD where he was recorded in someones Student Halls in (I think) Leeds is also worth a listen for those who never heard any of his stuff.
Posts: 306
Posted: 17-Dec-2008 17:47
This is sad news. He was a genius player.

Davey Graham was a cousin of Kathleen, Magnus and Deirdre, all featured recently in BBC Alba programmes. His father, Hamish Graham, came from Skye and was a Gaelic speaker and there was a nice documentary made a couple of years back where Magnus (a keen guitarist himself) met up with his long lost cousin.

Katarina Juvancic
Posts: 70
Posted: 17-Dec-2008 19:42
Very sad news indeed! He still is one of my favorite guitar players, not just technically, but also symbolically/spiritually - his music showed us that there is a strong connection and symbiosis between East and West, folk, jazz, blues...

If you're on Facebook you are more than welcome to pay respect or share some thoughts on Davey's (or Davy's) music @ Davey Graham's Facebook Appreciation Community.


Posts: 46
Posted: 18-Dec-2008 09:38
Another one bites the dust - it's amazing that Davy Graham lasted so long really, all things considered but really sad that's he's gone. I'm thankful to have seen and heard him play when he was at his best in the early 60's and was producing all that fantastic fusion work though he never really developed all that he could have notably on jazz influenced folk and vice versa; he was quite the best and most individualistic guitar player of his day and possibly one of the best ever and of huge influence.
There's a wee cameo of him in Joe Losey's film - 'The Servant', playing and singing a blues in a cafe in Chelsea, by the way.
PS Was Davy Graham by any chance a nephew of or related in any way to Calumn Graham, late of Kyleakin, who was a great gaelic singer and skipper of the 'Coruisk' on the Kyle - Kyleakin ferry, does anybody know?
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