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Reviews: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 @ 12:37:37 UTC
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Nathan Davis

CD: Out of My Skin (Faithless Music)

Home: Southern Pines, NC

Style: Blues/Rock

Quote: "Take all the anger, addiction, despair, revelation, love, and redemption that can possibly be packed into the human heart over a lifetime, pour it into gospel piano and raw guitar, lead it with a vocal that can growl, rasp, plead, and roar, and this is the result".

By Jennifer Layton

I’m usually the one to get mad when people talk during performances at the Six String Cafe. After shooting them a few of my best angry glares, I finally get up and ask them in my most polite yet annoyed voice to put a sock in it because I’m trying to hear the music.

Then I saw Nathan Davis play at a Six String open mic. Two songs. One electrifying, playfully jazzy funk song built around the Peanuts theme, and then a passionately beautiful blues ballad. Absolutely joy in his face as he strummed the hell out of that acoustic guitar and belted out those lyrics. I remember thinking, “What the hell’s this guy doing at an open mic?!”

When he was done packing up his guitar, I joined him at the back of the room to give him my card and talk about his music. We were talking about his upcoming shows, he was talking about his new CD, I was talking about Indie-Music.com, and then this girl turned around and was talking about how she would like us to be quiet so she could hear the guy who was playing onstage.

In other words, I got shushed at the Six String. Me. Damn that Nathan.

At least he gave me his CD, Out of My Skin. Take all the anger, addiction, despair, revelation, love, and redemption that can possibly be packed into the human heart over a lifetime, pour it into gospel piano and raw guitar, lead it with a vocal that can growl, rasp, plead, and roar, and this is the result.

Davis opens with the “Face in the Crowd,” which uses the same musical technique of the first song he played at the open mic: let the short attention span rule. In this breakup song, he lashes out with aggressive funk/rock, then slides into a quiet yet steady boiling-beneath-the-surface interlude. Then we get a Calypso-rock segment, like he decided to escape his bad relationship by hijacking a Carnival Cruise ship with an electric guitar. Next, the organ kicks in with gospel rage rock. Finally, it’s full circle back to the funk/rock finale. This is one hell of a breakup song. He practically leaves tire tracks on her face.

From there, he turns the pain inward. His instrumental tribute to the victims of September 11th turns the national anthem into a prayer. In his ballads, Davis has a way of plucking the guitar strings and then pausing just long enough to let the reverb shimmy its way down your spine.

His lyrics aren’t pretty, but I’ve never heard anyone sing of helpless regret like this. “Blow” is an eerie, echoed track sung on the line between life and death, with addiction ready to deliver that final push:

So you can dry your eyes and rest your weary head tonight
‘cause I can find my own salvation giving up this fight
Tear out my eyes and give ‘em to a nice guy going blind
Just tell them they’ve forgotten how to cry.

The CD ends with “John Coltrane,” a magical, reminiscing tribute to the simple joy of listening to a musical hero, and it feels like healing from the darkness of the previous tracks. Perfect placement on the CD. I love the liner notes, in which Davis writes that it never occurred to him to ask a sax player to play on this song. I think it’s good that this tribute doesn’t have a sax. It lets the imagination fill in Coltrane’s part.

Out of My Skin is an emotional road trip. This CD is a triumph. And what’s even more stunning than seeing Davis play live for the first time is reading more of the liner notes and discovering that producer Grant Walker is only seventeen years old. Where does he get off being this talented this young? These kids today....






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Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Friday, June 06, 2003 @ 14:29:37 UTC
Good God I couldn't have said it any better myself...I have known Nathan personally for a few years.. I do his fan club site and take a lot of pictures for his web pages... Nathan is a very special young man with enormous talent and the fact the he and Grant (now 18) did this together in the garage,kitchen and bathroom shower(flatliners) is a testimony to the fact that you don't have to have the big bucks to put together a quality CD.
I can't tell you how many nights this old gal has sat at his feet while he was playing, trotting something new out or revising something he played or wrote years ago with tears streaming down my face to the point I could no longer take pictures. The night of the Cd release I had to get up from te floor..no easy feat.. and leave him as I was afraid my sobbing would ruin him and the mood..
Trust me when I say this Young man WILL MAKE IT..someday soon many people will know the name Nathan Davis...Although He says Blow is the most depressing *shite* he ever wrote..well that is not the truth..maybe to him..but I have listened to it 5000 times and even though it makes me cry, I feel clean afterward...anyone who has ever felt pain,depression, loneliness,saddness,will find something to be admired in this Cd collection. Find Nathan somewhere near you and you will find an incredable musician who can tear up a guitar and belt out a song and you will never be sorry you went!!!!Add John Henry Trinko on Keys Mark on Bass and Chuck on drums and you have the Nathan Davis band...just go!!!
Other mother
Vickie Haywood
Owner YahooGroupsNathandavis fans
Musicians digital photos

Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Friday, June 06, 2003 @ 15:17:19 UTC
The first time I'd heard of Nathan was at a mutual friend's house working on some business projects, they told me about nathan and some promotional work we needed to jump on. My ever present "hate new things" mentality kicked in at first, only semi-listening while we worked on designs and business strategy. The next time I was there, I saw the cd laying on the table and sat down with a cd player and a lamp and simply DEVOURED the cd and every single word in the printed insert. It's raw, yet polished and shining with emotion. It's sexy and loving and gritty and roaring all at the same time.
I left there that night with mandolins playing in my head and a feeling of exhausted soul-cleansing that left me lethargic for days. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to work on Nathan's concert tickets, feeling the need to repay him for the experience I threw some energy at my work and we got the tickets printed. I now listen to the tracks I have over and over, ignoring previous favorites as they seem not to fit.
Get this cd. Take it home. Pop it into your cd player when it's dark and let the experience take over. You won't go to sleep listening to it, I guarantee. You'll want to play it for your friends. You'll want MORE.

Amy Priest

Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Saturday, June 07, 2003 @ 04:55:17 UTC
Nathan Davis has been my friend, my enemy, my brother and a cohort of mine for many years. Most of all, he has been an inspiration. I have always had music in my soul but was never strong enough to truly pursue it. Over the past couple years, Nathan has encouraged me. I listen to his CDs and they uplift me. Those sad, depressing songs fill me with motivation at times because it feels good to know that I am not alone. That other people struggle too. Yet, they still have something amazing to offer the world. And Nathan Davis DOES have something amazing to offer. He has written the soundtrack of my life and probably the lives of many other young, spirited individuals who have been broken down. I admire his songwriting immensely. Noone else will ever have a way with words like he does. Fool Like Me is, in my opinion, the best love song ever written (although, I have to say I like the old version better. sorry, Nate.) What would you say to someone who said "I'd ride the flames of hell for you. There's nothing in this world I won't do to change your mind, baby, one last time. I've lost all my reason and rhyme. My cross is bare but I've got these nails in my hands. Lord, on bended knee I stand 'cause if my time on earth were through I'd wait in heaven for a girl like you. If you'd have a fool like me." Unbelievable.

~Heather Rickman

Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Saturday, June 07, 2003 @ 07:36:11 UTC
I had only heard of Nathan Davis and some of his previous projects through word of mouth among friends and music fans, but finally got the opportunity to see him play live with his band several weeks ago in remarkably his hometown. From the time they took the stage, I asked myself the same question the reviewer asked above. "What they hell are they doing here?" The musicianship of all the band members as well as the songwriting of Davis is (using as cliche) awe inspiring. My jaw never left the floor. There were people dancing and really feeling the mood that night, but I couldn't do anything except watch and listen more intently than I ever have to music in the past. Nathan Davis is a songsmith in the truest, most classical sense of the word. I could easily place in in the same breath as Springsteen, Petty and Joel. When during as break he offered up CDs for sale, I bought both of them, without hesitation and sat for much of the break speaking to their guitarist or bass player about where and when they were playing together. I would and will drive hundreds of miles to see them again. I became in one night a devout Nathan Davis fan. The CD is incredible, the most emotional piece of work first track to last of anything I have ever heard. Buy it, see them, run don't walk!

Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Monday, June 09, 2003 @ 16:41:23 UTC
I haven't known Nathan for very long but in the time I have I've learned that he is a wonderful person. He's helped me through a lot of things, whether he realized it or not. The first time I heard him play I was blown away. He has such an amazing talent and is doing so well with it. He's a great guy and a great friend for anyone to have. I look up to him more than I do a lot of people in my life. Keep doing what you do best Nate, we'll all help you along the way. :) *Keep grubbin them cookies too, lol!*

Re: Nathan Davis ~ Out of My Skin (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 @ 14:10:58 UTC
I hadn't heard of Nathan Davis until I caught the tail-end of his performance by chance at the local Border's Books. I go there for the books, and find the live music pleasant, but I was completely blown away by Nathan and his bandmate's accompaniment. I bought his CD and am even more impressed. Kind of like Bruce Springsteen, but more intimate and less produced (if I had to hazard a comparison since I'm more in tune with Sonic Youth). Anyways, get this man an agent!

He's touring now (check out his web site). I'm hoping to catch him with his full band.

- David Richard (too lazy to register)
Raleigh, NC


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