Guy Davis

  • The Dream Café

    67 Front Street
    Penticton, British Columbia V2A1H2
Ticket Price (CAD) $32.00 This event is now over

Guy Davis is a two-time, back-to-back Grammy nominee for Best Traditional Blues, a musician, Actor, Author, and Songwriter. Guy uses a blend of Roots, Blues, Folk, Rock, Rap, Spoken Word, and World Music to comment on, and address the frustrations of social injustice, touching on historical events, and common life struggles. His background in theater is pronounced through the lyrical storytelling of songs “God’s Gonna Make Things Over” about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, “Welcome to My World”, and “Got Your Letter In My Pocket”. His storytelling is sometimes painful, deep, and real, an earthy contrast to modern-day commercial music, meant to create thought, underlined by gentle tones from his guitar or banjo fingerpicking.

A self-taught “Renaissance Man”, he first heard the banjo at a summer camp run by John Seeger, the brother of the American Folk Musician, Pete Seeger, and soon after, asked his father for one.

His records, while terse and truthful, are softened by songs like “We All Need More Kindness In This World”, denoting lyrical inspiration from Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer”, then teased with lyrically strutting works nudged by Hip Hop and Honky Tonk, like “Kokomo Kidd”. The contrast between pieces provides a robust, balanced experience, while giving Guy and his audience a healthy outlet for frustration through song and dance.

Along with his music writing and performance, Guy has written several scripts for stage and film. He recently debuted his latest piece, “Sugarbelly and Other Tales My Father Told Me” at the famed Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. He previously presented his other New York Foundation for the Arts winning play at the Crossroads, “The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues”, a one-man show whose Off-Broadway debut in 1994 received critical praise from The New York Times and the Village Voice.

Also at the Crossroads Guy appeared with his parents, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, in a show called “Two Hah-Hahs & A Homeboy”.  Guy also starred in the Off-Broadway production of “Robert Johnson; Trick The Devil” at the New Federal Theater which earned him a “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award from The Blues Foundation.  On Broadway, Guy was in the cast of the Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes play, “Mulebone”, which featured the music of Taj Mahal.  And in 2009-2010, in a revival of “Finian’s Rainbow”, Guy undertook the role that was originated by one of his musical heroes, Sonny Terry, who created the role in the original 1947 production.

Guy’s earlier works in theatre include him creating a show called, “The Trial” (later renamed, “The Trial: Judgment of the People”), an anti-drug abuse, one-act play that toured throughout the New York City shelter system, and was produced Off-Broadway in 1990, at the McGinn Cazale Theater.  Another work, “Mudsurfing”, is a collection of three short stories, for which he received the 1991 Brio Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts.

“To Be a Man” is an Emmy Award-winning film, and the music for it was arranged, performed, and co-written by Guy.  In 1995, Guy’s music was used in the national PBS series, The American Promise. His music has also been used for The PBS “The Story Hour” as its theme song. Guy portrayed Dr. Josh Hall for one season on the Daytime Soap, “One Life to Live”.  He appeared in and co-wrote with Dr. John for the Nickelodeon show “Whoopi Goldberg’s Littleberg”.  He was a guest on the Conan O’Brien Show with his all-star band featuring T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates, SNL), John Plantania (Van Morrison, Chip Taylor), Levon Helm (The Band), Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson), and Mark Murphy (Walt Michael & Co., Natalie Merchant).

On the big screen, Guy starred opposite Rae Dawn Chong in the seminal breakdancing film, “Beat Street”, produced by Harry Belafonte.  Guy performed 400 consecutive online half hour “Coffee with Kokomo” shows during the pandemic.

Guy sings, plays six and twelve string guitars, the five-string banjo, harmonica, and didgeridoo.

Guy has performed before the Crowned Heads of Denmark, and even the renowned explorer, Jacques Cousteau.  He’s played alongside Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Levon Helm, Dr. John, Kris Kristofferson, Buffy Saint-Marie, T-Bone Burnett, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, John Hammond, John Sebastian, and John Denver.  He has opened for, among others, Chuck Berry, Joan Armatrading, James Cotton, and B.B.King.  He has performed in 48 of the 50 states, throughout most of Europe,  Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Canada, Greenland, The Shetland Islands, The Faroe Islands, and The UK. He’s been chased out of Red Square in Moscow for trying to sing, sung in Soviet Occupied East Berlin, and performed standing in front of an iceberg in Greenland.

When asked about his experience as a performer, Guy has replied, “There is no tale so tall that I cannot tell it, nor song so sweet that I cannot sing it.”

His performances feature a mix of his original songs and cover songs by Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Mance Lipscombe, Blind Willie McTell, Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and many others. His admiration for antiquities parallels his love of music, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty-five years of songwriting and performing. like savoring the ghosts of old sounds while still enjoying modern music.

Guy is a songwriter greatly influenced by his love of theater and storytelling, who derives joy from touring and seeing people from all walks of life.  His hope is to bring people together, with the commonality that we are all people regardless of class, race, or personal experience, a lesson he learned from his long time friendship with Pete Seeger.  Guy feels that Pete’s greatest strength was his ability to bring total strangers together, and have them all singing harmony by the time they left at the end of the night.

While not touring, Guy writes and occasionally performs his one man plays.  He teaches Master Classes in Blues guitar styles, harmonica, or acting/stage presence at music camps like Common Ground On The Hill, SAMW, Swannanoa, Fur Peace Ranch, Centrum, and others. Guy has developed an education program spotlighting the Blues For Young Listeners called “Routes of the Blues”, and has been on the artist rosters of The Lincoln Center Institute in NYC, Young Audiences of NJ, the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has performed for children across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Greenland, Ecuador, Indonesia, Australia, The UK, and The Basque Region of Spain. His song, “I Will Be Your Friend,” was the title to a teacher’s aide project that included two dozen songs and “Activities For Little Peace Makers” created by The Southern Poverty Law Center called “Teaching Tolerance”.

Venue Details

The Dream Café

67 Front Street
Penticton, British Columbia V2A1H2 The Dream Café

There's no need to print your tickets, we will greet you at the door with our guest list for the show.

Doors open 6pm unless otherwise stated.

Kitchen is open from 6-9pm.

Show starts at 8pm, please arrive by 7:30pm to have time to get settled.

Enjoy the show!

The Dream Café

Find more SimpleTix Events and Music events in Penticton