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It is with great sadness that I'm reporting that Davey Graham passed away earlier today after being diagnosed with lung cancer just a couple of weeks ago.

Davey was really the father of the modern school of European fingerstyle playing, and his tune "Anji" has become a classic if there ever was one in the fingerstyle repertoire.

Check out for more info on Davey.

Rest in peace, Davey, I'll be playing "Lashtal's Room" tonight!

Tags: anji, davey, fingerstyle, graham

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Sad news for us all.
Here's some cool BBC footage of Graham, with Martin Carthy and others talking about his playing. Amazing...
That's very sad, Teja, but thanks for letting us know. Davy's creative achievement in combining so many different strands of musical influence is really what got me/us (in the UK at least) started on this fingerstyle thing. "Anji" was the point of entry for so many of us. Thank you Davy.
Davy was a fingerstyle pioneer and a genius. He and John Fahey are the fathers of modern steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Both were taken too soon.
Ken Sargent said:
Davy was a fingerstyle pioneer and a genius. He and John Fahey are the fathers of modern steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Both were taken too soon.

Yes, just don't forget Dave VanRonk who was pretty much the daddy of the white part of the New York fingerpicker scene. His St Louis Tickle launched a thousand ragtime ships.

Davy's influence, licks and even whole arrangements can be heard in the playing of his followers. At 2:04 in this YouTube of Cry Me A River from the late 50s, you can hear his throwaway lick that paid for any number of Jimmy Page's houses.
I'm going to be doing an hour of Davey's music on the Guitar Journeys radio show at San Francisco's KUSF 90.3 FM later tonight. The show is from 11PM to Midnight Pacific Time, and you can stream the program at While you're listening, call in for chance to win a free subscription to Acoustic Guitar!
The BBC radio documentary recorded a few years back can be found here its really good;

Davey Graham was an inspiration in the UK to everyone from Bert Jansch to John Renbourne to John Martyn (see my recent post). In the US of course Paul Simon was a great admirer and covered Anji. After travels in Morocco and India he experimented with unusual - at the time - tunings and is credited with inventing DADGAD. Certainly a master technician and creative genius. To lose John Martyn and Davey Grahan within a few weeks of one another you could call careless, if you were inclined towards very dark humour. A great tragedy. Two bright stars to have recently joined the firmament of guitarist greats who have passed on.


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