The recording artist, comedian, and practicing Zen Buddhist's latest release, Music for Mortals, out now.
Stuart Davis hasn't quit his day job. He's still a full-time performing songwriter.
Davis, a practicing Zen Buddhist, is just a bit more hyphenated these days; he's become a Musician-Director-Comedian-Author. With 15 albums to his credit and guest appearances on NPR and syndicated radio's "Coast to Coast Live," music is still his main squeeze, and his irreverent TV show, Sex God, Rock 'n Roll brought Stuart's down to earth wit and irreverent humor a mainstay of his live shows to a larger audience. His latest release, Music For Mortals, out now on SDM, is proof; the melodies are catchy and instantly memorable, intelligent songwriting in the vein of Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, XTC, and - being a Minnesota native - Bob Dylan. USA Today just selected "Not Another Lifetime" for their Playlist, saying, "the versatile, sonically inventive singer/songwriter is at his most wickedly playful on this track from Music for Mortals."
After the success of the album's first single, "Beautiful Place," Davis has just released the follow-up, "They're Already Here," to radio and will be premiering the video for the track soon.
Recorded at Henson Studios in Hollywood, Music for Mortals explores themes of spiritual awakening, death, and the mess of being Human. Davis wrote most of the songs over the last year of his father's life, the music served to guide him through that dark time.
"It was brutal gift, letting go of my dad," Davis says. "It pulled me closer to everything -- darkness, impermanence -- but also profound love. His death moved through us like a mysterious storm. I kept sifting through the debris, and finding songs."
But it's no album of dirges. Engineered and produced by Alex Gibson, songs like "Spit It Out" bristle with punk provocation, while others such as "Beautiful Place" and "Love" are lifted by Davis' unique take on tough subjects, one that USA Today says "...shimmers with pop savvy."
Having performed over 1,000 concerts in the US and Europe, Davis still enjoys the road and connecting with a live audience. Along with his songs, which have garnered him a loyal cult following, his shows contain edgy comedy and earthy spiritual insights. "The best thing about touring is the people," he says. "They still surprise me, like the way my fans made this new album possible. It reminds me to keep a beginner's mind, always."
In-studio appearances on syndicated shows such as Coast to Coast AM, NPR's Weekend Edition, and World Café have been some of the highlights of his touring career so far. With tour plans through December 2012 in place and a new television show in the works for early 2013, Davis is ready to bring Music For Mortals to a wider audience. "I feel incredibly grateful to be doing this for a living, to be an artist, and I just never want to take any of this for granted."
Davis is a Zen Buddhist and lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters
Praise for Stuart Davis:
"...shimmers with pop savvy." USA TODAY
"Stuart Davis is one of a kind, and we are thrilled to have him on AXSLive." AXS TV CHAIRMAN MARK CUBAN
"Sometimes he rocks like vintage Joe Jackson; other times, he's more like Bob Dylan, Sting, Peter Gabriel " M: MUSIC & MUSICIANS
"He's an amazingly gifted songwriter in the vein of Elvis Costello, with the weirdness of Talking Heads' David Byrne thrown in for good measure." VEGNEWS
"We were blown away by Stuart's pure genius. Finally a songwriter with something to say. We booked him on the show, calls started coming in "Who was that? Who was that you had on World Cafe?" BRUCE WARREN/ WXPN/ WORLD CAFÉ
"Davis is deeply interested in spirituality, and it makes him a powerful songwriter. His sound, at first listen, is contemporary rock, but he throws in flourishes of synths and keys, giving it an otherwordly feel." COLORADO DAILY
"Razor-sharp improv. Lurking amid the minutiae of his observations on life and the Universe are some startling insights. Davis pulls off the most elusive of party tricks...Even the gods were grinning." IRISH TIMES
"Whether on his AXS TV show Sex, God, Rock 'n Roll or during his concerts, he's full of sly wit and banter between near-virtuosic guitar riffs." CITY WEEKLY
"He might well be the only monk who can lay claim to being a comedian, but he doesn't think his religion is out of sync with his music." CLEVELAND SCENE
"While he explores themes of spiritual awakening and death throughout the album, this is by no means sappy new-age bullshit. Sure, he delves into slower material on cuts like "Some Love" and "Reaper Wonder," but he brings out the intensity on rocking pop cuts "Spit it Out," "It" and "Love." WESTWORD
"Without exaggeration, Stuart Davis is one of the most fascinating and exceptional songwriters in modern music." SAN JOSE METRO
"Davis's music subtly sneaks religious dialogue into popular culture. Most surprisingly, the music is damn good." MIAMI NEW TIMES
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