DEREK DAVIS - Resonator Blues
May 13, 2019, a year ago
(Southern Blood / Perris)
Babylon A.D. burst onto the hair metal scene in 1989 with their self-titled debut, which spawned the hits “Bang Go The Bells”, “Hammer Swings Down”, and “The Kid Goes Wild”. 30 years later and frontman / vocalist Derek Davis has released his third solo album. Take any and all preconceived notions about how you think a glam rocker’s solitary material will sound, and toss ‘em out the window! On Resonator Blues, Davis travels back, way back, combining elements of Delta Blues, Americana, folk, bluegrass, hillbilly twang, slide guitar, harmonica, and swing into a dozen songs that would be the perfect soundtrack to a Memphis BBQ joint.
In addition to singing with a gritty, weathered, and above all else authentic voice, Derek plays all guitars and bass heard on Resonator Blues. The twelve songs are comprised of ten originals and two covers: “Death Letter” by Son House, originally issued in 1965, and “It Hurts Me Too” by Elmore James, also from 1965; Davis composed everything else. The remarkable “Jesus Set Me Free” was written on a three-string cigar box guitar and tells the tale of two brothers on the South side of The US Civil War, which raged from 1861 to 1865.
Artist comparisons are easy to draw: “Penitentiary Bound” is reminiscent of Bob Dylan, “Mississippi Mud” evokes the memory of Muddy Waters, and “Prison Train” will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Johnny Cash. First single “Sweet Cream Cadillac” is an enjoyable foot-stomper, “Red Hot Lover” gets a little honky-tonk going, whereas “Whiskey And Water” demands a glass of Kentucky Bourbon in the listener’s hand. Hats off to Derek Davis for shattering expectations, while simultaneously providing a brilliant batch of tunes, inspired by the originators from generations gone by.