185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801

The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present

Guy Davis & Walter Parks: The Sounds of the American South

All Ages
Saturday, June 17
Doors: 7pm // Show: 8pm
$17 to $25



Guy Davis and Walter Parks, thought they were bonded simply through years of incessant touring and their love of the music of rural America. Yet they only recently discovered a deeper and very specific common connection which inspired this collaboration – their respective ties to southeast Georgia. Guy’s grandfather ran the only black-owned track-lining railroad construction company in the Waycross, Georgia area during the early 1900’s. Coincidentally this was the same era and location that spawned distinct music interpretations of hymns, hollers, reels and work songs which Walter has researched and continues to archive in The Library of Congress American Folklife Collection.

In contrast to his deep south familial ties, Guy Davis was raised in New York City by his parents Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, talented and world-renowned authors, actors and activists. And whereas The Blues remains Guy’s foundation, his live performances, with a banjo, harmonica or a six or twelve-string guitar are entrancing sonic travelogues through Americana, Folk, Blues, and even World music. In concert Guy is often light-of-foot and spirit yet on occasion he calls upon dark moments in U.S. history in hopes of realignment towards a better day, as he’s done in ”God’s Gonna Make Things Over” –  a song based on the infamous “Black Wall Street” racism-doused conflagration in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Walter and Guy often crossed paths on Walter’s 10 years touring worldwide as Woodstock legend Richie Havens’ sideman. When Richie retired in 2011, Walter knew he had to forge his own style and something compelled him to wonder if music had ever been made where he frequently camped as a boy – in southeast Georgia’s Okefinokkee Swamp. Sure-enough, a Library of Congress deep-dive has given rise to Walter’s unique interpretations of historic music heretofore largely unnoticed since their original recording in the early 1940’s by naturalist Francis Harper. Walter interprets most of this playful and upbeat – Irish and Scottish rooted music in a light-modern electronica feel.

Together, Walter and Guy delve into the stories and songs of their ancestors, both familial and distant, to blow the dust off of the places and memories of those who’ve gone before them, and to shine a musical spotlight on the gifts that are out there to discover and explore.