Sunday, October 03, 2021

Paul Simon: Anji

Composed and played by Davey Graham, Anji was the track that every acoustic guitarist wanted to master in the Sixties. Acoustic Guitar explains:

Singer-guitarist Wizz Jones recalled Graham playing it at the Continental Coffee Bar in London’s Soho district around 1960—Anji, the song’s namesake, was Graham’s barista girlfriend who worked there. “Other people have claimed that they’re the Anji the song was written about,” Jones says, “but they’re lying.”

For many players, “Anji” was the portal from simple folk to new possibilities. Its author was a cool, military-mannered bohemian of Scottish and Guyanese ancestry, who dazzled young solo guitar players such as John Renbourn, Martin Carthy, and Bert Jansch with his command of various idioms, from blues to Indian ragas. “Davey was the one—the guru—who really inspired a whole generation of European guitar players,” Jones says.

And here is Paul Simon demonstrating his mastery of the tune live on Granada in 1967.

Simon also performed tt on the Simon and Grafunkel album Sounds of Silence and sampled its introduction for "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" on the same record.

As we once discovered for this blog, Davey Graham was born at Bosworth Hall in Leicestershire.

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