Butt Naked Free

Butt Naked Free

5.0 1
by Guy Davis
     
 
Though Guy Davis (the son of actors, writers, and activists Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee) never picked cotton or lived in a tar-papered shack, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist was born to recreate the country blues. His fourth CD, BUTT NAKED FREE, demonstrates Davis's blues mission to fertilize the tradition for new growth without burning down the roots. He takes on

Overview

Though Guy Davis (the son of actors, writers, and activists Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee) never picked cotton or lived in a tar-papered shack, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist was born to recreate the country blues. His fourth CD, BUTT NAKED FREE, demonstrates Davis's blues mission to fertilize the tradition for new growth without burning down the roots. He takes on the persona of the archetypal wanderer with the gentle folksiness of "Let Me Stay a While," then updates Blind Willie McTell's "Writing Paper Blues" with soulful organ behind him (instrumental support includes T. Bone Wolk on keyboards, bass, and accordion, and the Band's Levon Helm on drums.) Davis sends up sexual dysfunction with "High Flying Rocket," paints a picture of a young, beautiful girl trapped in a small town on "Sugarbelle Blue," and when words aren't enough, he picks his way through "The Place Where I Come from (Butt Naked Free.)" In all, it's an easy-sounding but deeply poetic set that reflects both Davis's well-educated African-American consciousness and his many years traveling the land with only a guitar as his constant companion.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Fink
Making sure that country-blues starts the 21st century off on the right foot, Guy Davis' Butt Naked Free, whose title was inspired by the comments of Davis' young son, is one of the most accomplished statements the genre has offered in a few years. Picking up where 1998's You Don't Know My Mind left off, Davis once again has decided to fill out his sound, but this time adding touches of mandolin, organ and accordion, with the results being altogether more satisfying and never sounding even slightly overproduced. Where Davis on his previous album sounded, at times, unsure of his new direction, Butt Naked Free rocks with a loose liveliness, still allowing Davis' derivative yet idiosyncratic sound to shine through. "Waiting on the Cards to Fall" and "Never Met No Woman Treats Me Like You Do," the latter with Levon Helm contributing drums and mandolin, showcase how well Davis' sound fills out and offers the unique experience of hearing what it might have sounded like if Mance Lipscomb or Reverend Gary Davis had ever recorded with full-band accompaniment. Ballads like "Let Me Stay a While" and the narrative "Sugar Belle Blue" are some of the strongest Davis has written and, if anything, benefit considerably from the more filled out sound. Of course, Davis still delivers more than a few of his stripped-down solo country-blues tunes with the humorous "High Flying Rocket," the mean slide playing on "Come On Sally Hitch a Ride," and the gorgeous instrumental "The Place Where I'm From (Butt Naked Free)." More than anything, Butt Naked Free shows that Guy Davis is still more than happy to carry the banner of country-blues, yet remains able to add to the dialogue of the genre and put his own stamp on it in the process.
Dirty Linen
Davis has a knack for writing catchy melodies, such as the one for "Ain't No Bluesman."

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/2000
Label:
Red House
UPC:
0033651014225
catalogNumber:
142

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Butt Naked Free 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's been some years since I first heard Guy Davis' ''Stomp Down Rider''. I didn't have the chance to hear what was in between 1995 and 2000 releases, I skipped to ''Butt Naked Free''. He has made a great progress in playing and singing, not to forget about his songwriting. It's deeply rooted in the East Coast blues tradition (like John Cephas & Phil Wiggins and the ones before like Blind Boy Fuller or Buddy Moss) but also it's of today. Drums, Hammond organs don't take the original flavor. I'm glad to hear him just alone with his guitar as well on several tracks. My favorite tracks are ''Waiting On The Cards To Fall'' which is almost a single-chord but butt shakin' example, ''Let Me Stay Awhile'', with its Bob Dylan influence, ''Meet Me Where The River Turns'', Blind Blake's return, ''Come On Sally Hitch A Ride'', a sliding track, not really other examples, ''Ain't No Bluesman'', reminiscent of Bo Carter's ''All Around Man'', Blind Willie McTell's ''Writing Paper Blues'' in a new format, in a band version, the sweet ballad of ''Sugarbelle Blue''. One of the best of 2000's releases, I think.