Davy Graham – Folk Blues and Beyond

Album Review | Bread and Wine | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 5/5

Listening back to what is now considered a folk classic, Folk, Blues and Beyond, Davy Graham’s second album release, now sounds pretty pedestrian in the vocal department, although his mastery of the acoustic guitar is still startlingly vibrant.  Whether tackling blues standards such as “Cocaine”, “Rock Me Baby”, “Leavin’ Blues” or “Ain’t Nobody’s Business What I Do”, the influence on the young guitar explorers of the mid-1960s such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Wizz Jones is all too evident and a great debt is still owed to Graham by young guitarists even today.  Whilst we continue to cite The Beatles, The Incredible String Band and to a certain extent Paul Simon as early explorers of World Music, Graham was already at it in 1964 with such melodies as “Maajun (A Taste of Tangier)”, an instrumental the guitarist found whilst visiting Morocco around this time.  In the early Sixties, even the most adventurous folk musicians couldn’t escape the influence of Bob Dylan, and here Graham turns his attention to “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”, which here receives one of its earliest cover versions, complete with the rhythm section of Tony Reeves and Barry Morgan on bass and drums respectively.  With original sleeve notes by producer Ray Horricks, together with additional booklet notes by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, the re-issue of Folk, Blues and Beyond confirms it to be an essential record for any serious collector of British folk records.