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Reviews: Nathan Davis ~ Live|
Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2005 @ 08:40:55 UTC
Artist: Nathan Davis
Home: Raleigh, North Carolina
Quote: "It's a night of full-steam ahead musical deliverance captured on CD."
By Jennifer Layton
I'm still alive, and you thought I'd be dead at twenty-five ...
Somehow, that line from "Still Rock and Roll," one of the tracks off Nathan Davis' first live CD, seems to sum up the whole album. This old-school blues/rock singer/songwriter has seen and done way too much to have even made it to North Carolina's Six String Cafe to record this album. But he's here. And this CD captures him in his element - onstage. He's not even one for storytelling. Just an appreciative "thanks" after each song, then he's into the next one, with the wonderfully talented pianist John Henry Trinko adding dramatic effects on the keys. It's a night of full-steam ahead musical deliverance captured on CD. No wonder the audience response is so explosive and filled with exhiliration as each song ends.
Most of these songs fall in the bluesy ballad category, although Davis and Trinko kick things off with a James McMutry cover ("Too Long in the Wasteland") that starts as an almost violent instrumental - the piano chords hit like blows while the guitar races and scrambles for cover. At the end, Davis practically howls at the moon. This man holds nothing back.
The live atmosphere gives the listener a chance to focus on Davis' lyrics, and in many cases, he is obviously describing himself in twisted imagery. From "Promised Land":
Deep within my darkest hour
I found a shadow of a tortured man
Lived a million lives too fast
Scratched away his peeling skin ...
Sometimes I don't have much to say
And my guitar speaks better anyway ...
Another standout is the hestitant love song "Carolina Sky," sung entirely without love-song cliche, just from-the-gut professions such as the fact that she looks beautiful even with smeared mascara. Save the Shakespeare. Sometimes this is all a girl needs to hear.
Davis has always been gutsy, raw, and real. After several studio projects, he finally presents himself on his home turf, playing for his fans, doing what he loves more than anything else in the world. Even more than the drugs that almost did him in. This CD is the sound of a man whose soul was saved by music.
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