Music at the Museum - Joshua Davis wsg Drew Nelson
JOSHUA DAVIS - Speaking or singing, the voice of Joshua Davis is a disarming instrument: weathered and warm, as capable of conjuring confessional intimacy on a global stage as it is of making a small room, well off the beaten path, resonate with startling urgency and power. Couple it with an earnest poetic sensibility, a boundless work ethic, and an uncanny gift for connecting with audiences spanning generations, and its no wonder that Davis is now poised at the brink of the sort of widespread recognition that typically passes right over such a humble troubadour.
Over the past fifteen years, Michigan-based Davis has honed an impressive range of skills songwriter, bandleader, guitarist, and vocalist among them in the most honest possible fashion: night after night, song after song, show after show Davis simply delivered every performance as though his life depended on it. Investing himself in the American musical diaspora, he has explored the common thread connecting folk, blues, jazz, ragtime, and country forms discovering his personal perspective as a composer in the process.
My sound is rooted in the folk tradition, Davis explains, but its not folk music. Terms like Americana, roots rock, and heartland rock come up, but theres so much more to it than that. Im not a purist: I play with that American folk lineage, I play with those metaphors. His versatility and ravenous musical curiosity has resulted in a divergent output, from his five albums with roots rock outfit Steppin In It to the vintage swing styles documented on the album he recorded with Shout Sister Shout. Following the release of A Miracle of Birds, Davis could well have continued his journeyman existence, gradually growing his audience one show at a time as he and his talented bandmates tirelessly careen up and down the highways between home and the next gig. Instead, what happened next was an unlikely convergence of a contemporary pop phenomenon and his decidedly old-school methodology, while handily proving the old adage that there is no such thing as a genuine overnight sensation.
Davis almost didnt audition when the popular NBC musical showcase The Voice called. Id never even seen the show. Looking at music in a competitive way is totally against the way I was raised, he says. Collaboration is what its about. Music brings people together. So the competitive aspect of it was really foreign to be judged like that. From his first performance, Davis triumphed, and over the course of the season, his rootsy, sincere approach emerged as a refreshing alternative and propelled him all the way to finals.
DREW NELSON - Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman
and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way,mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock
artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as
esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists, John Gorka says. His songs soundlike the rest of us feel....dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House Records, which just signed him.
Tri-Cities Historical Museum (View)
200 Washington Ave
Grand Haven, MI 4917
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