For many years Ernie Hawkins has been playing concerts, clubs, blues and folk festivals, workshops, colleges, museums, parties, fist fights and millennium celebrations in the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe and at every stop in the road from A Prairie Home Companion to Antone's to the Madrid Jazz Festival. He has played with blues greats such as Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Jim Brewer, Rev. Gary Davis and many others.
Ernie has been featured in SingOut!, Fingerstyle Guitar, Dirty Linen, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Revue and Vintage Guitar magazines. He has appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage" , "Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour" and XM radio. Ernie appears on Maria Muldaur's Grammy and Handy nominated and Indie Award winning album "Richland Woman Blues" and was the guitarist for the national support tour.
In this lesson Ernie Hawkins teaches three Rev. Davis arrangements that will challenge your fingers. Rev. Gary Davis's tour de force in concert was his "Soldiers March." This is a multi-part instrumental played in the Key of F and C and is a showcase in demonstrating the genius of Rev. Davis's playing and arranging skills. Few country blues guitarists played in the Key of F but Rev. Davis explored this key with religious as well as old pop standards. "Darktown Strutters Ball" is a fascinating arrangement that captures the atmosphere of the 1920s. Rev. Davis use to tell his students that playing with a bottleneck was cheating. Yet his "Whistlin' Blues" uses this technique combined with an Open D6 tuning to create an unusual boogie piano sound.
Ernie Hawkins teaches each tune phrase by phrase and carefully shows you the right hand picking as well as the left hand fingerings that were unique to Rev. Davis's approach. You will be able to easily follow the instruction with the tab/music booklet. Also featured are split screen segments where each section is played slowly and you can study the movements of each hand. As a bonus we have included various audio performances of Rev. Davis playing each song.
Titles include: Soldiers March (United States March), Darktown Strutters Ball and Whistlin' Blues
93 minutes • Level 3/4 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: A Rare Treat! Ernie Hawkins is a master guitar player and a master teacher. Not everyone that is a master player has the gift of teaching. Ernie does. His DVDs on the music of Rev. Gary Davis are wonderfully instructive, as well as interesting. As a student of Davis, he has a unique perspective on the man's music and background. Yet, Hawkins does not worship Davis, but instead presents to us a very gifted and fascinating man, who's most fascinating music may very well be the instrumentals contained here.
They are not easy, so beginners need to look elsewhere, but for the intermediate, these are MONTHS of “private” lessons by one of America's premier teacher and player; and perhaps the one man who knows the music of the Rev Davis better than anyone else.
Take your time; in fact, take lots of time. Use your pause button judiciously and enjoy the learning. Hawkins knows how to press forward with his students, and how to slow it down and repeat. His demeanor is steady yet his love of the music is contagious.
***** Star ratings for all of the Rev Davis DVDs by Ernie Hawkins. Any guitar player who loves the blues should have all of these in his library! – Peter Hyatt/Amazon Customer Review