Butter & Bacon Records
This is one of those discs that continues to impress me more with each listen. Brian “Voo” Davis was born and spent his early years in Alabama, then moved with his family to Chicago when he was young. Living in Chicago brought him exposure to many of the most renowned blues players of our time including touring with the late Eddie King’s band, but he still feels a little draw to his Southern roots. Regardless, neither of these locales come across as dominating his musical interests and definitely do not pigeon-hole his own creations. He is his own person with his own individual sound. And it really is a diverse range that he follows. It can come across with a flair of blues, jazz, country or rock. Really any direction he likes and he does them all with amazing results.
Vicious Things is Voo Davis’ second release. He had a vision to go old school with this recording, so he traveled to Louisiana, working in two studios during the time there, and recorded everything using analog equipment, tube amps and vintage gear. And it sounds excellent.
Davis’ songwriting is a mish-mash that as stated already follows no one path. He is an exceptional guitar player, both acoustically and electric. He can start a song in a slow pattern and midway through burn out sensational guitar lines that’ll have you nodding in appreciation. Check out “Phantom Woman” as an example, opening with a soft guitar and beautiful piano work from Jon Wade. It has a slow jazzy feel and Davis’ voice holds a little gravelly tone, but midway through the guitar begins to soar, maybe a la Robben Ford or Gary Moore in style and it fits the song’s mood to a tee. I love the power grind of “One For The Habit, One For The Road,” with Calvin Conway just ripping the tin off of his harmonica. “119 President St.” is a short instrumental with Davis alone on a National Steel guitar that leads into the brisk countrified “Waitin’ On That Day,” a toe-tapper that is a feel-good piece. “Had Enough” is a jam-band number that I can hear a lot of similarity to JJ Grey in. And the album closes with a very emotional track titled “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” a song written for his wife.
Overall, this is an album I can find myself listening to with regularity. It has moments of fun jumping songs that make you want to move around, and then times that make you want to listen closely for their sensitivity. Vicious Things is a little bit of many things. All of them good.
Total Time: 45:28
One For The Habit, One For The Road / Whisper / Phantom Woman / 119 President St. / Waitin’ For That Day / Had Enough / Big Life / Loving Loudon / A Place For You / Suffer No More / Put Your Head On My Shoulder