Brad Davis

I'm Not Gonna Let My Blues Bring Me Down

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One can certainly point to the high-profile guest stars who are heard on the debut album of journeyman guitarist Brad Davis, and a sticker on the shrink wrap of the CD does just that, noting the presence of Earl Scruggs (banjo on "The Clock Strikes Twice"), Tommy Shaw of Styx (vocals on "Tell Me Son"), Sam Bush (mandolin on "Old Number Nine"), and actor/singer Billy Bob Thornton (vocals on "Tell Me Son"), among others. But the guest shots give a false impression of the contents of the album, which is a solo tour de force by Davis, who overdubs several instruments on most tracks, playing guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, and percussion in addition to singing lead vocals and handling all the technical aspects of producing, engineering, mixing, and even mastering, having written or co-written all the tracks except the traditional "Rank Stranger." Davis' prominent guests are also his employers; he has served as lead guitarist for the likes of Scruggs, Thornton, and Bush, not to mention a longstanding association with Marty Stuart. And it is Davis' acoustic guitar-picking that stands out on many of these tracks, which reveals a distinctive instrumental style on his part, but one steeped in country and bluegrass tradition. Davis' songs border on the generic, but they serve as good platforms for him to pick, either with himself or one or more of his guests. He may not be ready to join his friends as a frontman quite yet, but I'm Not Gonna Let My Blues Bring Me Down is a good beginning for his solo career.

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