Guy Davis isn’t what most people think of when they think of the blues. The son of actors Ossie Davis (“Do the Right Thing”) and Cleveland’s own Ruby Dee (“A Raisin in the Sun”), Davis was born in New York City into a family of performers, more fortunate than the average bluesman. Growing up, he learned the art of performance early and fell in love with the blues when he visited a summer camp in Vermont. It was there he learned the five-string banjo, and there was no looking back. Through the years he’s released seven solo albums and contributed to a host more, and it doesn’t look like there’s any stopping in his future. Davis credits much of his love for the blues to the stories his parents and grandparents told him while he was growing up, and to the melodic southern lilt of his grandmother’s voice. The combination of instrumental sound and the music of the voice make the blues what it is. Davis’s music is influenced by a number of musicians: Bluesmen like Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Guy and Mississippi John Hurt share a place with Harry Belafonte, Dr. John, Pete Seeger (whose brother, incidentally, ran the aforementioned summer camp) and Fats Waller. This combination gives his music a unique but well-grounded feel that, combined with his lack of pretense, helps listeners connect with his work. Although the blues is his primary focus, Davis is more than the sum of his music. He’s also an actor, composer and writer, and spends a great deal of time working on music education, keeping the blues in the American conscious. As an actor, he might be best known as Double-K from the cult classic “Beat Street”, a movie he starred in alongside Rae Dawn Chong. He also spent a year playing Dr. Joshua Hall on TV’s “One Life to Live”. His most powerful performance didn’t make it to the big or small screen, however: His portrayal of Robert Johnson, one of the most influential blues artists of all time, in the off-Broadway “Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil” earned him the 1993 “Keeping Blues Alive” award from the Blues Foundation, as well as accolades and rave reviews from critics and fans. Capitalizing on his experiences in music and acting, Davis tried his hand as a writer of his own material with “In Bed With the Blues: The Adventures of Fishy Waters”. This one-man show again combined his love of the blues with his talent for performing and cemented him as a critical success. Throughout the years he’s worked with luminaries like Seeger and Whoopie Goldberg, and received awards from the Kennedy Center alongside Warren Beatty and Elton John. Maya Angelou and Jessica Lange are among his many fans. His song “Uncle Tom’s Dead” was named NPR’s song of the year — even though it can’t legally be played on the radio, thanks to the FCC. With all of the accolades and awards, recognition and respect, the question begs asking: “What does Guy Davis have to be blue about?” In the movie “Crossroads”, Willie Brown describes the blues as “nothin’ but a good man feelin’ bad, thinkin’ ’bout the woman he once was with.” It’s a common prejudice that the blues is about feeling down, the same way country music is all about losing your wife (and kids, house, truck and dog) and rap is all about screwing and shooting. The blues Davis represents is folksy blues. “Georgia Jelly Roll” makes the most devout wallflower want to dance, feels like it could slip into ragtime any second and is absolutely representative of the blues. “Maggie Campbell Blues” seems to fit the archetypical girl-losing blues song, but the harmonica that breaks in can’t help but make you feel happy. It’s in the banjo-driven “Po’ Boy, Great Long Ways From Home” that rootsy, story-telling blues pops out. With a little slide guitar thrown in for flavor, he tells the story of a man hoboing his way across the country. It feels like it could be sung around a campfire, along with Americana greats like “Big John” and “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. Davis isn’t the only Guy Davis around. Comic book artist Guy Davis (Nevermen), created the album art for “Legacy”, and Guy Davis the vineyard owner (davisfamilyvineyards.com) released a limited-edition label in conjunction with the album. That’s a lot of Guy Davis. Davis (the bluesman) is a musician who likes to tell stories. Catch this Guy Davis on April 30 at Happy Days Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Tickets are $17, and the show starts at 8. Don’t miss it if you don’t want the blues.