Music

Listen to Blues Icon Rev. Gary Davis Perform "You Gotta Move"

On Jan. 4, 1969, the PIedmont hero visited the Ash Grove in Los Angeles.

Music Features Reverand Gary Davis
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Listen to Blues Icon Rev. Gary Davis Perform "You Gotta Move"

Did you know that Paste owns the world’s largest collection of live music recordings? It’s true! And what’s even crazier, it’s all free—hundreds of thousands of exclusive songs, concerts and videos that you can listen to and watch right here at Paste.com, from Dizzy Gillespie to The Kinks to The Police to LCD Soundsystem. Every day, we’ll dig through the archive for the coolest recording we have from that date in history. Search and enjoy!

Rev. Gary Davis was one of the most talented of the original bluesmen whose careers were re-energized by the folk revival of the 1960s. Born in 1896 in South Carolina and blind since early childhood, Davis was a monumentally influential purveyor of the Piedmont style of blues, which incorporated Appalachian country and folk sounds into the Delta blues template. (Davis was also proficient on banjo.) His fingerpicking style—with his thumb striking down on the bass notes and his fingers plucking out melodies and accompaniment—would compel players from Taj Mahal to Bob Dylan.

Today’s vault entry was recorded on Jan. 4, 1969, at the Ash Grove club in Los Angeles—the West Coast capital of folk and blues from 1958 to 1973. Here we find Gary Davis performing the God-fearing blues standard “You Gotta Move,” which was first recorded by Mississippi Fred McDowell and later popularized by The Rolling Stones on 1971’s Sticky Fingers.

For a deeper dive into Paste’s archive of exclusive blues recordings, check this out.

ShareTweetSubmitPinMore