Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Midnight Man (Reis)
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
First released in 1966, Midnight Man has a slightly more rhythm'n'blues focus than his other Decca albums - as Mr. Graham plays homage to some of his musical heroes. Beautiful playing as always, and a repertoire drawn from... more »
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First released in 1966, Midnight Man has a slightly more rhythm'n'blues focus than his other Decca albums - as Mr. Graham plays homage to some of his musical heroes. Beautiful playing as always, and a repertoire drawn from the songs of Lalo Schifrin, Herbie Hancock, Lonnie John, Oscar Brown Jr., Blind Willie Johnson and Lennon / McCartney. For this carefully remastered edition Fledg'ling have restored all the elements of the original artwork and added several previously unpublished photographs. Not previously available on compact disc. 2005.
His bluesiest album; strong but not his best
Elliot Knapp | Seattle, Washington United States | 04/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Midnight Man is Davy Graham's third full-length album, after thie technically-impressive but uncharacteristic The Guitar Player, and his watershed Folk, Blues & Beyond..., on which his interest in world music and British/American folk music fused into a style all his own. Here, he hasn't really chosen to go all-out in the eclectic world folk fusion direction he started on Folk, Blues and Beyond... (check out Large as Life & Twice as Natural and Hat for more fully-fleshed albums along that path). Rather, on Midnight Man, Graham decides to (for the most part) pursue his interest in the blues. The results are typically impressive on the guitar end, if somewhat lacking in the restless eclecticism that is the hallmark of his best work.
The album starts of with three of its best songs: "No Preacher Blues" is a fiery blues, propelled by Danny Thompson's superb acoustic bass and Graham's earnest vocal. "The Fakir" is is one of few instances on Midnight Man where Graham taps into music from the Far East, with stunning results. It's hypnotic, droning, and absolutely MADE by the percussionist's use of bells. "I'm Looking Thru' You" is a Beatles cover, and a well done one at that; Davy and company make it swing a lot harder, and the master's subtle hands give that signature guitar riff a bit more oomph. The track features Graham on pretty clean, jazzy electric guitar, which is a bigtime exception. Electric guitar pops up a few times on the album, and in my opinion, it really doesn't work very well; despite the fact that electric guitar has a reputation as edgier, the tone and clean amp settings Graham uses basically emasculates the biting, stinging, and inimitable sounds he usually gets out of his acoustic, which is why most people listen to him. It's a minor quibble, but it really doesn't contribute anything to the album.
Some of my other favorites are the folk/bluesy instrumental "Watermelon Man," "Walkin' The Dog" (which features a pounding "Oh, Pretty Woman"-style snare part and a descending bassline), the stormy "Fire In My Soul," and the tortured "Rags and Old Iron." The rest of the tracks range from OK (the callow vocals on "Lost Lover Blues") to very good (like the hilarious sass of "Neighbor Neighbor"), and they're always full of inventive and engrossing guitar work and fun arrangements with Graham's little pseudo-folk-rock studio ensemble.
Overall, Midnight Man could probably have benefited from a bit more variety (after all, Davy Graham practically invented the word), and there's something about his approach that makes an album of straight blues slightly inauthentic at times. There are better places to start (see above) when diving into Davy Graham's phenomenal 60's output, but Midnight Man is a solid addition to a Graham collection that already includes the classics, and if you're into the man's music, there's lots to enjoy here from start to finish."