THE ADVENTURES OF FISHY WATERS:
IN BED WITH THE BLUES
DISC ONE–INTRO–RAMBLIN’ ALL OVER–RAILROAD STORY–WHAT’S IT LIKE BEIN’ A HOBO–MISS RIPLEY’S CATFISH STEW–CANDY MAN–THE DRUNKEN SILKWORM–FLY TOOK STOCKINGS–MADISON AND THE PIGS–THE FARMER AND HIS EIGHT SONS–BLACK MAN’S BLUES–THE LYNCHING–BLACK MAN’S BLUES PT 2–BLACK MAN DANCING–FAST RUNNER–GEORGIA RAG–ONE-LEGGED GRAVE ROBBER–CLOSE-OUT SIDE 1
DISC TWO–THE STORY OF FISHY WATERS/NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE ON MY MIND–TEACUP OF SALT–JUNO DIES/NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE ON MY MIND–FISHY LEAVES HOME–WALKIN’ BLUES–FISHY MEETS HOBOS–GOOD LIQUOR’S GONNA CARRY ME DOWN–MEETING CRAZY CAT/GOING TO NASHVILLE–TWO DRUNK HOBOS–TCHULA BUCK BY CAMPFIRE–WATCH OVER ME–HOBOS WAKE UP AND CATCH TRAIN–CLOSING TUNE
Guy Davis is the son of legendary actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, and is an accomplished bluesman in his own right. His latest CD is entitled “The Adventures Of Fishy Waters: In Bed With The Blues,” and is a two-disc “audio play” of the accounts and coming-of-age of young Bright Fuller, calling himself a “hobo,” a”sinner,” and a “teller of tales, none of which is too big or too small to be told.” As a child, he was captivated by the hobo lifestyle and guitar-playing abilities of his uncle, Juno. He is given Juno’s guitar as Juno passes away, and decides, at age eighteen, to embrace the hobo life.
On Disc One, we are treated to Guy accompanying himself on acoustic and slide guitar, as well as harp, on stirring renditions of “Georgia Rag,” “Candy Man,” and a Davis original, “Ramblin’ All Over.” Also, we hear several hilarious folk tales dealing with, among other things, inebriated silkworms, the lack of table manners of octuplets, giant swamp flies, and a one-legged grave robber! And, there is a poignant and somber side to this play, detailing the Jim Crow south, complete with public lynchings and burning crosses.
Disc Two deals with a young Fuller leaving his Mississippi home and encountering a ragtag group of hobos with whom he would forge a bond. He is offered his first taste of “fish water,” which we learn is moonshine whiskey, and leads to the men anointing him with his nickname. They goad him into playing his guitar for them, and he fires off a sweet rendition of “Walkin’ Blues.’ One of the men, Tchula Buck, himself a guitarist, asks Fishy where he is heading. Young Fishy tells the group he’s heading to Nashville to play his music, much to their chagrin. Guy, in the persona of Tchula Buck, plays a brilliant original, “Watch Over Me,” and tries to persuade Fishy to follow him north to Chicago, where the Jim Crow laws were less stringent. The play ends as the morning sun rises, and two trains pull into the yard. Half the men head westward to Nashville, Memphis, and Arkansas, while Tchula Buck, Fishy, and the rest jump on the northbound train to begin a new life as bluesmen.
Guy Davis has recently been tabbed “Ambassador Of The Blues” for his tireless work to spread the word of the blues to a world-wide audience. With “In Bed With The Blues,’ he has created a piece that has mass appeal, and will make you smile, as well as feel the pain of those oppressed. This one is definitely “keepin’ the faith!” Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.