Davey Graham (also known as Davy Graham) was a widely influental, eclectic guitarist most famous for his instrumental song Anji (also spelt Angi or Angie), mastery of which, for a period in the 1960s, was the prerequisite of joining many British folk clubs. Davey is also cited as an influence by guitarists such as John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Paul Simon and Jimmy Page, and was a major factor behind the British folk-rock revolution of the 1960s. Davey's own style is impossible to neatly categorise, ranging from folk to blues to skiffle to jazz and beyond - Davey notably changed styles as the mood suited him.
Davey first heard the guitar at the age of 12, when a family friend played him a song on his instrument. As legend would have it, the friend went out for a while, and Davey, who had never picked up a guitar in his life, stayed at home "to play on the guitar". To the amazement of the friend, when he returned Davey could play the song he had performed earlier exactly. Buying his first guitar at age 16, Davey exhibited unnatural talent in playing the instrument and in picking up tunes - a skill he attributes to his being blind in one eye. Davey was to perfect an eclectic style over the next few years, travelling abroad to pick up new styles and ways of playing. After a trip to Morocco, hearing the Oud, Davey introduced and popularised the DADGAD tuning of the Oud, now common amongst Celtic musicians especially, to western guitarists. He released his first LP, The Guitar Player, (after two EPs) in 1963. From this time until the early 1970s, Davey would release a range of albums, ranging in style and content album-to-album and even within albums. Towards the end of the 1970s, Davey stopped recording and faded into obscurity. However, Davey in recent years with encouragement from Mark Pavey became active again and released a new album Broken Biscuits in 2007 as well as touring.
On the 15 December 2008 Davey died after a short battle with lung cancer. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.