Moot Davis

Moot Davis

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Moot Davis Review

by Michael Berick

Although born and raised in New Jersey, Moot Davis has honky tonk in his blood. He sounds like a throwback to the time when Hank Williams Sr. ruled country music. In fact, there is a lot of Hank Sr. in Davis' twangy timbre as he sings about such classic country themes as love, heartache, drinking, and traveling the rails and roads. Expertly aided by his producer/guitarist/label owner Pete Anderson, Davis takes a simple, lean approach to songwriting, which totally fits his traditional country style. It is to Davis' credit that all of the songs on this record sound like jukebox gems from the '50s and '60s. The superb "One of a Kind" could have been a love song standard in a number of country music eras. It's also to Davis' (and Anderson's) credit that this album bursts with life, and not simply being a studious re-creation of a bygone musical style. Anderson's savvy production touch can be found in the mournful "Last Train Home," which inventively utilizes mandolin and trumpet to create a particularly country noir mood. Also making a valuable contribution is Gabe Witcher, whose fiddle work enlivens tunes like "Jug of Wine" and "Nothin'." Davis travels a similar road as such fellow tradition-minded honky-tonkers as the Derailers and Wayne Hancock, with hints of the former heard in "Thanks for Breakin' My Heart" and the latter in "Highway Kind." Still a relatively young performer, Davis, however, demonstrates a veteran's presence from the opening track "Thick of It Now" -- which declares, "I'm going to do it my way" -- through the equally assertive album closer "Stay Gone." Consistently strong, this impressive (although brief, at under 30 minutes) debut disc signals that there is another talented honky-tonker interested in carrying on Hank Sr.'s musical legacy.

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