Jesse Ed Davis Bio.
A full-blooded Kiowa Indian, Jesse Ed Davis was perhaps the most versatile session guitarist of the late '60s and
early '70s. Whether it was blues, country or rock, Davis' tasteful guitar playing was featured on albums by such
giants as Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, John Lennon and John Lee Hooker, among others. It is Davis' weeping slide
heard on Clapton's "Hello Old Friend" (from No Reason to Cry), and on both Rock n' Roll and Walls & Bridges,
it is Davis who supplied the bulk of the guitar work for ex-Beatle Lennon.
Born in Oklahoma, Davis first earned a degree in literature from the University of Oklahoma before beginning his
musical career touring with Conway Twitty in the early '60s. Eventually the guitarist moved to California, joining
bluesman Taj Mahal and playing guitar and piano on his first three albums. It was with Mahal where Davis was
able to showcase his skill and range, playing slide, lead and rhythm, country and even jazz guitar during his
The period backing Mahal was the closest Davis came to being in a band full-time, and after Taj's 1969 album
Giant Step, Davis began doing session work for such diverse acts as David Cassidy, Albert King and Willie
Nelson. In addition, he also released three solo albums featuring industry friends such as Leon Russell and Eric
In and out of clinics, Davis disappeared from the music industry for a time, spending much of the '80s dealing
with alcohol and drug addiction. Just before his death of a suspected drug overdose in 1988, Davis resurfaced
playing in the Graffiti Band, which coupled his music with the poetry of American Indian activist John Trudell.
The kind of expert, tasteful playing that Davis always brought to an album is sorely missed among the acts he
-- Steve Kurutz, All-Music Guide