Bart Davenport

Searching for Bart Davenport

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West Coast singer/songwriter Bart Davenport once fronted ‘60s-obsessed mod revivalists the Loved Ones, but these days he focuses on mellower moods, and on the covers outing Searching for Bart Davenport he pays tribute to the artists who have apparently influenced the more intimate, introspective side of his musical personality. Crooning in solo acoustic mode, Davenport comes off like the coolest coffeehouse folkie you've ever encountered, delivering an expertly curated collection of tunes esoteric enough to make even the most well-versed music geek salivate. And while Davenport leans toward ‘60s/'70s troubadour types, as indicated above, he nevertheless manages to spread an impressively wide net. Not only does he cover such folkie cult heroes as Bert Jansch, Jackson C. Frank, and Bridget St. John, he even finds his way around to tracks by Gil Scott-Heron and more contemporary artists including Broadcast and Kings of Convenience. In most cases, Davenport even goes the extra record-geek mile by choosing a relatively little-known tune from the artist's catalog, but the most interesting thing of all is the feel he brings to these songs. Early on in the album, Davenport covers master Brazilian songsmith Caetano Veloso, and he seems to have keyed in on Veloso's sound as well, because nearly every tune here is delivered in a cool, breezy tropicalia/bossa nova style. The real masterstroke, though, is that it never comes off gimmicky, à la Nouvelle Vague. It's immediately apparent that Davenport has a genuine passion for this material, and that he's singing straight from the heart.

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