January 31, 2007

Guy Davis and High Flying Rockets to bring roots music to Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Guy Davis
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Performing with his band, the High Flying Rockets, bluesman Guy Davis will showcase his contemporary take on traditional roots music at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 at Purdue University's Loeb Playhouse.

The performance is presented by Purdue Convocations as part of the Crossroads series.

Davis' music, which has been nominated for nine W.C. Handy Awards, combines old-school grit with a modern blues edge. His eight albums encompass a mix of original songs and recharged traditional blues pieces that reflect an influence by such greats as Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Fats Waller and Taj Mahal.

Davis also borrows from such traditions as folk, jazz, R&B and gospel - sometimes adding organ, mandolin, banjo and accordion to the mix - but he remains rooted in old-time blues and said he is fascinated by the fables and folklore they evoke.

"Old music seems to tell stories that just seem to come right out of the air, right out from what's around you - stories about floods, about murder, about whatever else," Davis said in a release.

Though Davis is a lifelong New Yorker, he said he has always had a passion for southern roots music and storytelling, inspired by his parents' and grandparents' accounts of life in the rural south, and influenced as a young boy by recordings of past masters such as Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell.

These days, Davis is dedicated to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to audiences through the material of the great blues masters, African-American stories and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.

Davis explored careers as a writer, storyteller and actor before he came to be widely known as a musician. He starred in the 1984 hip-hop movie "Beat Street," and was a cast member in the soap opera "One Life to Live" from 1985-86. Combining his passion for blues and acting, he performed in the 1991 Broadway show "Mulebone," a collaboration of writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. In 1994, Davis premiered his self-written one-man show, "In Bed with the Blues: The Adventures of Fishy Waters," in New York.

Tickets to the performance by Guy Davis and the High Flying Rockets are $24 for adults and $16 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster outlets.

Source: Kerry Schutt Nason, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, (765) 494-5045, knason@purdue.edu


Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Related Web sites:
Purdue Convocations: http://www.convocations.org

Guy Davis: http://www.guydavis.com

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