Blue Mother Tupelo
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Blue Mother Tupelo

Hendersonville, Tennessee, United States

Hendersonville, Tennessee, United States
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Blue Mother Tupelo Is Quite Possibly The Best Husband & Wife Duo You've Never Heard Of"

BLUE MOTHER TUPELO IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST HUSBAND AND WIFE DUO YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF. Micol and Ricky Davis, and whomever happens to be their drummer at any given time, play swampy, gospel-tinged southern soul-blues. Micol displayed the full-bodied vocal fire of Janis Joplin, while she rattled and slapped her tambourine with the ecstasy and know-how of a black gospel choir member. Ricky played muscular, stabbing figures on acoustic guitar and dobro, and the two joined in close, soul-searing harmonies like only intimate kin can. When the couple sang an A capella rendition of the old gospel number "Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down," the result was a heady blend of otherworldly longing and thisworldly passion, bodies swaying and tambourines shaken emphatically.

(from Paste's article about the Americana Folk Festival) - Paste Magazine

"Closer to the Walk of Fame"

Before moving to Nashville a few years ago, Blue Mother Tupelo, a.k.a. Micol and Ricky Davis, got their musical start on the Knoxville scene in 1995. The duo, plus drummer Johnny "The Clock" Richardson, makes sure to visit Knoxville frequently, as it's Ricky's hometown, bringing news of the band's increasing successes in Music City USA. A recent update finds BMT included on the soundtrack of Daltry Calhoun, a movie starring Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis and executive-produced by Quentin Tarantino. The band's cover of "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" figures in a soundtrack featuring several radio hits of yesteryear, like "Oh Lonesome Me" by Johnny Cash, "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" by Frankie Valley & the Four Seasons, and "The Things We Do For Love" by 10CC. The disc also includes a hidden track of "The Put Your Head on My Shoulder Jam" by BMT, and the band's first music video will appear on the movie's DVD release.

Before Daltry Calhoun opened in select cities Sept. 23, BMT attended the film's premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The trip was a first for another reason as well, Michol says. "Ricky has never flown on anything but a Huey helicopter during maneuvers at Ft. Campbell with the 101st Air Cavalry back when he was in college," she says. "Like our drummer's wife said, it's very cool that flying to Hollywood to represent our songs during the premiere of a film that has our music in it is a fantastic and special reason to make a first flight."

The movie, which has received mixed reviews, is expected to screen in Knoxville sometime in October. - Metro Pulse Magazine

"Blue Mother Tupelo"

When Blue Mother Tupelo was first recommended for our annual Indie Artist Showcase in Nashville (7/24), I wasn't sure what to expect. The name is so unique. But after pondering what it might actually mean, I decided to let their music speak for itself. One quick run through Delta Low-Mountain High and their name fit their music like a glove. It's a rich, genuine, blend of Appalachian, (Blue Mother) and southern Blues (Tupelo). The husband and wife team of Ricky and Micol Davis make up the heart and soul of this catchy Nashville-based duo. "We just play how we feel and we're fortunate and happy that people feel good about it," Ricky told Steve Wildsmith of The Daily Times. The two Knoxville, Tennessee, natives met while Ricky was playing a gig with another group. "I asked her (Micol) out and we ended up starting to play music together and sing," he said. They moved to Nashville in the late '90's, landed day jobs and set out making music the Blue Mother Tupelo way. Ricky's hot guitar work, whether acoustic, electric or slide, combined with Micol's soulful Bonnie Raitt/Bobbie Gentry style vocals, makes for a superb offering of southern mountain blues. The track "You'll Be Mine," is excellent. It has a '70's tinge that brightens the senses. Other tracks of note, the funky, "For The Love Of You", and "Without You".

- Greg Tutwiler
- Singer Magazine - Singer Magazine

"Genre-defying band won't be fenced in"

By Jer Cole

Although originally from Knoxville, Ricky and Micol Davis of Blue Mother Tupelo demonstrate all the attributes one might expect to see in a couple of Nashville songwriters. Their music is passionate but above all else original - so original, in fact, that it cannot possibly be categorized. While in the past the act has been labeled as blues, a quick listen is all that's necessary to demonstrate that Blue Mother Tupelo's trademark style is much more than blues, folk, bluegrass - or any single genre, for that matter.

The husband-and-wife duo began playing together locally nine years ago, making the Knoxville scene for three years before moving to Music City in hopes of joining an established music community and amplifying their chances of being heard by larger audiences. This Saturday the prodigal children will return to their former home for a show at The Downtown Grill and Brewery. The venue will serve as a slight change of pace for the band, whose shows usually involve the outdoors and some tricky back-roads navigation.

"Knoxville is home to us," explains Ricky Davis. "I was born and raised in Knoxville and have been playing in Knoxville venues since the 1980s, when I was a teenager. Micol and I married in 1994, and a year later, we were out doing writers nights, open mics and getting gigs in Knoxville.

"We moved to Nashville because we aspired to be more than a bar band - and we still do," he continues. "We love doing live shows. And performing in front of an audience and communicating with them through music is a true blessing. Basically, we moved to Nashville to explore further possibilities and approaches to what we could/can do with our music as a career. With all that said, we have had some songwriting meetings with some really great songwriters lately. We've written a couple of songs with John Scott Sherrill (hit Nashville songwriter) and a song with Craig Fuller (of the Pure Prairie League and Little Feat)."

Utilizing acoustic, electric and slide guitars, Dobro, piano, organ, harmonizing male and female co-vocalists, a drummer (Johnny Richardson) and various other percussions, the band defies the advice of its critics and colleagues, remaining true to its uncontrived style.

"We're all about pouring our emotions into our music and digging deeper inside ourselves to put our signature on the music that we play," says Micol Davis. "Many well-meaning people in the music business feel that we need to fit into a genre somewhere or try to hone into one aspect or another of our music so it will easily fit into one single category. The tough thing about that is in order to do that, we would be changing our music dramatically from what it's all about. We don't set out to try to write some country or blues or rock song. We're just letting things flow naturally."

Davis elaborates: "And within this challenge, our whole approach to performing our songs is something different than maybe what a lot of people are used to in pop music. We have two lead singers who also sing harmonies together. Our sound is very guitar-driven, and we don't have a bassist. Listen long enough and you'll hear everything from Southern gospel/spiritual influences to mountain music to Mississippi country blues and even experimental psychedelia."

Later this year, Blue Mother Tupelo will begin recording its third album, to be released in 2005. Until then, look for the couple to continue traveling throughout the South, playing picturesque outdoor stages. Saturday night at 10, The Downtown Grill and Brewery will host the band in a night of drinking and grooving as part of a strong weekend for music in Knoxville. - The Knoxville News-Sentinel

"Delta Low-Mountain High Review"

Blue Mother Tupelo

CD: Delta Low Mountain High
Label: Sho'Nuff
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Mixed

This release has it all. A fantastic mixture of genres on this Cd. Blues, Bluegrass, Roots Country and Folk all with an Appalachian feel. This album is ingeniously arranged and has a sound like nothing we’ve heard before, and that’s a good thing.

Delta Low is just fine backwoods listening and is a pleasure to listen to. - Roots Music Report

"Blue Mother Tupelo shakes free from blues cliches"

written by David Cate

Ahh … autumn in the mountains of East Tennessee. There's nothing quite like this time of year anywhere. Orange and purple sunsets, long shadows and the smell of fireplaces turn our mountain home into a storybook from days gone by. Those were my thoughts as I drove the back roads through Beech Creek this past Saturday to hear Blue Mother Tupelo at Rogersville's historic Crockett Park.

Crockett Park is the resting place for Davy Crockett's grandparents and like many landmarks in our region, this park stands as a memorial to our history and ancestors. The Rogersville Arts Council selected this location in downtown to present concerts this year and plans many more next summer. A Saturday concert was the last of the season and featured one of the best female voices and most original music that you are likely to hear on a small stage.

This summer, I received an e-mail from Amanda Reeves and her schedule for the Rogersville Arts Council featuring Blue Mother Tupelo. She had read my column complaining about the lack of live music in Kingsport and invited me to Rogersville.

When I arrived at the park, it was cool. Lots of sweaters, kettle fires ready for marshmallows and hot apple cider served under a willow tree with kids peering like Cheshire cats from the branches. Beside the gazebo, Blue Mother Tupelo - the band's gear unpacked from a Chevy Suburban and a U-haul - was getting ready for its performance. Their instruments were onstage and the lead singer was fixing her makeup in the truck.

Micol Davis and her husband Ricky are the heart and soul of Blue Mother Tupelo. When I first visited their Web site, it was a treat to see two people who fit so well together. Both are great singers and together they produce great music that sounds like the swampy sounds of a French Quarter backbeat to down and dirty blues from the Delta. Some like to call it "Swampadelic."

Last week, PBS ran a series featuring Martin Scorsese and seven film directors' documentaries on Blues in America. Once again I was mystified by the history of this musical culture and I guess that's why I was glad to be in Rogersville, listening to a group that had recently been nominated as best Acoustic Blues act by the 2003 Music City Blues Awards in Nashville.

I spoke to Micol - singer, keyboardist and percussionist - before the set. I bought two CDs and introduced myself to this young woman with striking blue eyes. We shared stories about music and our Tennessee home.

She and her husband are from Knoxville and recently moved to Hendersonville. I know these two places well, having lived in both areas and she was delightful to talk to. She is also obviously passionate about her music too; and talked more about the band - Ricky on vocals and guitar, John Richardson on drums and Ronnie James on Acoustic Bass.

Blue Mother Tupelo began its set a little past 6:30 with a pastel sunset behind the gazebo ... and what a sound! With Ricky playing a resonator guitar with slide and Micol on tambourine, it was like a Pentecostal testimony night.

Their music was the most honest, original performances of any group I've heard lately. Too many places serve up the blues that sounds like a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, but this couple's down-to-earth style is more than guitar; it's about the music. They sing about family, the mountains, the delta, work, church and above all, their love. As an added bonus, they played an old blues song that I thought I would never hear again, that my brother and I used to sing when we were kids called, "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad." Other memorable songs included; "I'll Make Love to You Any Old Time" and ‘Further On Down The Road."

I can't say enough about the voice of Micol Davis. Tennessee has given birth to many distinctive female voices, and here is another gem. Her voice has an original style that reminds me of the passion of Janis Joplin and the honesty of Dolly Parton; she's got a seductive coo like Norah Jones, too. The East Tennessee hills may have another legend in the making.

Blue Mother Tupelo is one-of-a-kind blues act. Its songs are terrific and with a little more stage presence, Micol and Ricky will surely find themselves at bigger venues in the future. Their recent nominations as best Acoustic Blues and Best Female Blues Vocalist are well deserved. I feel lucky to have both original CDs and invite you to explore this great music online at their Web site at - Kingsport Times-News

"Nashville Skyline"

By Rick Clark

"... one of the day's highlights involved a live Nuendo recording of a rootsy trio called Blue Mother Tupelo, which I was told was discovered by Tony Brown. He introduced the band from the stage and, for the next couple of hours, everyone was treated to a set of spirited blues rock that included originals and a smart cover of Junior Kimbrough's “Meet Me in the City.” ..." - Mix Magazine

"The 17th Annual King Biscuit Blues Festival"

Story by Gary W. Miller

... People were dancing their asses off in the street. Blue Mother Tupelo showed from Hendersonville, Tennessee. We love them in my hometown of Knoxville and they are nice friends. Micol Davis sings great and Ricky Davis can pick up a storm.

The King Biscuit drew more than 110,000 people during the three-day period of the Festival. ... - Blues Wax Magazine

"BMT's New Interview"

Blue Mother Tupelo is a blues/rock/roots band out of Tennessee that has as good a thing going as any southern band out there. There are a lot of so-called 'southern rock' bands roaming the countryside right now, but this bunch is the real thing. Actually they are much more than a 'southern rock' band. They are a blues band with influences that range from the mountains of Appalachia to the Delta of Mississippi. At the core of Blue Mother Tupelo is the husband and wife team of Ricky and Micol Davis. Micol is a songwriter, keyboardist, and a singer with a sweet and earthy singing voice. Ricky is a songwriter as well but is also as good a slide guitar player as there is in the country right now. Their second CD, "Delta Low, Mountain High" is proof that these guys are a band that is making real southern music in these modern times with their heart in the right place. For more information on the CD and their tour schedule check them out at
If you get a chance to see them live don't pass it up. As good as they are on CD, they are even better in person. That is the test of a truly hot group, and Blue Mother Tupelo is just that. I talked to Ricky and Micol from their home in Nashville, Tennessee about their music, their roots, and their trip to the Delta of Mississippi to find the heart of blues music in America.

You guys recently played an outdoor blues festival in the heart of Nashville and I heard that you guys got a standing ovation. How did that feel to you?

Micol:" It's great. A lot of times it's just a surprise, you know? You're not even thinking about anything like that and then, 'oh Lord, their standing up'. Very nice."
Ricky:"It was cool. It kind of leaves you speechless. It does me any way."

"Delta Low, Mountain High" it is one heck of a CD. All of the songs on the CD are written by someone in the Davis family but one. It smokes.

Ricky; " Thank you. That CD is filled with the kind of stuff that to me is what I am feeling in my soul. And the whole way through no matter kind of obstacle we had to cross, from the first note we recorded all the way down to getting the whole thing finished, we stuck to are guns. We said that this is the way we want the whole thing to sound and this is the way it is going to sound, hell or high water. It was kind of a labor of love because we were using our own money that we went out and earned by playing the clubs. And then when the recording process came around the music took a slightly different direction in the production so we ended up having to go and capture our tapes and go to another studio. The guy that was working with us was a really good engineer, a good producer that has won some awards you know, but I told Micol from the very beginning that I could tell what we needed with this music and I'm sure she could to. But we went to mix it down and we worked on it for a while and we got maybe a quarter of the way through it when I came to the conclusion that something ain't right. Finally I decided that I needed to just go and get the master tapes. So I showed up one day and said that I needed to get the tapes and he was pretty upset about that. But I think it was the best thing that I could have done. I got the tapes and went to another studio and at the other studio I didn't have anyone standing in the way with how I wanted this thing produced. I sat down with a good engineer that knew how to make things happen like I was hearing it in my head. We wanted to make something that we could listen to down the road and say that this is the best we could have done at that time. We feel real good about it."
Micol; " Well, we kept mixing the same songs over and over again in order to get them right the first time. Of course, later on we were working by appointment. It's not like we could just go in and work on it. You only have so much time. The guy who helped us engineer would let us go in when somebody canceled a session, or very late, or when nobody else wanted the studio. It was here, there, and yonder when we could go in and work on it. But we would be there every chance we could."

On the song "What She's Doin' To Me" you have Bobby Keys, who has played with the Rolling Stones and other legendary groups over the years, playing his sax on it. How did you get Bobby to sit in with you guys?

Ricky:" Well, we left a spot open on that song for a sax solo so I was looking to get Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie, excellent musician, excellent singer, songwriter, nice person, great performer. I was going to get him to play on that song and the guy that played drums on that session, Chucke Burke, said, 'well, Bobby would sound good on this'. I said 'Bobby who?' He said, 'Bobby Keys'. I said, 'yeah, Bobby Keys would sound great on this' (laughing). I love Bobby Keys. I love his saxophone style and that sort of thing. He's one of my favorite sax players. My favorite is King Curtis, but Bobby is near the top. Chucke said, 'well, I can call him'. It wasn't that I didn´t believe him but it was like, well, yeah. I was kind of half way kidding around because I didn't really think it was going to happen. Sure enough the next day Bobby Keys called up and said, 'This is Bobby Keys. I heard that you all are needin' a sax player'. I said yeah! The next day he came down and we worked together. He did a great job playing sax and he played the same sax that he played the hits on with Joe Cocker and the Rolling Stones. I asked him specifically, because we got to talking about saxophones because I have played sax too, hadn't played in a long time, but we got talking about saxophones and I said that I bet that sax that you played on all that stuff with, like the Stones, "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", stuff like that, I said I bet that it is in the Hall of Fame. He said no. This is it. I said, 'Oh. Man'. But I could tell. Of course it was a combination of that saxophone and his God given gift, but when he started playing it was like, that's him. Ain't no two ways about that. "

The song, "I Feel Like A Dog", who wrote that?

Micol:"Ricky's Dad wrote that song. He wrote that and he had another verse in there about a cat eating a rat, but we took that one out (laughs)."
Ricky:" Dad is a real good song writer. Most of his stuff is like classic country. He is an excellent songwriter. He has been driving a tractor and trailer his whole life. He will be retired next May so hopefully I can get him out. I've got him into some songwriters nights and stuff but I want to get him out playing more. His songs need to be sung and I like to do as much as I can, you know. If I was trying to pursue a little bit more of a country sound I might do a little bit more. Maybe one of these days I might record an old country record with his songs or something. I want to hear him do that. Maybe I will do a album with him, so it's something in the back of my mind that I hope to get a chance to do here pretty soon."

Micol, the song "Without You", how did you come up with that?

" Oh wow. I was actually alone. I think Rick had left, he needed some time alone too. It was like one of those times when he was frustrated and he got in the truck and went away for a few hours or whatever. I don't even know. We got into a little disagreement which people do I guess. I don't know. I was just feelin' it. Feeling sad and lonely. I had the keyboard plugged in and I remember sitting down and sort of working out part of it and then going back in to one of the back bedrooms and sitting in a rocking chair and working out the rest of it."

Ricky, what is the story behind the song "Como Dust"?

" Well, that is something that came from a trip to Mississippi, Como, Mississippi. Clarksdale. We took a trip, a little vacation for a couple of weeks, came over to Nashville, went to Memphis, went down to Austin, Texas, through Louisiana and then up Highway 61. We went over to Como to see where Mississippi Fred McDowell stomped around. And actually went to his church and outside of his church met some people that he went to church with."

Micol; "Wasn't it on a Wednesday night? People were out milling around. I don't know if it was over with or they were getting ready to have their service, but it was already dark and we just pulled up. He is buried in that church, in that cemetery."

I have made that Highway 61 pilgrimage myself. And you talked to the folk at the church a little bit?

Ricky:" Yeah, we talked to one of the deacons a little bit that knew Fred McDowell. He said that pretty much after he got started getting a little famous with his blues he kind of laid out of the church. But before then he sang and played in the church mostly."

I took the time to track down Muddy Waters log cabin, the one he grew up in. But one thing for sure is you get a real sense of where the music came from when you go down there.

Ricky:" Going back to that "Como Dust " song, the idea that I had for that song was that seeing how people lived down there reminded me of a lot of things I had seen when I was a kid in East Tennessee. Like in Eastern Kentucky, in Appalachia, where people were dirt farmers. The only difference was that they were tobacco farmers over there in East Tennessee and in Mississippi they were cotton farmers. Of course most of the folks in Mississippi were black, and most folks in East Tennessee were white. But there is not a whole lot of difference. You know, we were talking to some folks yesterday and it ended up in a general conversation about Mississippi. And this one guy said, 'Man, that's just a dump', talking about how terrible Mississippi is. I guess you can look at it that way in one sense. But as far as from an artistic viewpoint, to me it's like the Promised Land. It's like one of those kinds of places that I can go and get rejuvenated, inspired. It's very inspiring for me."

Micol, where are you from?

"Well, I was born in Memphis and I lived in lots of places before I settled in east Tennessee. I lived in West Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, several places in Tennessee."

Anybody in your family play any instruments while you were growing up Micol?

"No, not really. We had people that loved to sing, but nobody really played. When I was a little girl I started peckin' on the piano, the piano at church. We didn't have one at home, and they say I was peckin' out melody's and stuff on the piano when I was four. Playing the piano is a real special thing for me. Not that I'm a great piano player, but it's like, when I play the piano, especially if I'm by myself, I'm in another world."

Ricky, where are you from, and did anyone in your family play?

"I'm from Knoxville, Tennessee. Born and raised. I had cousins and uncles, my Dad, they all kind of played different instruments. My Dad plays guitar. I have uncles that play guitar. They play mainly rhythm, acoustic, that sort of thing. My Dad was always a lead guitar player, still is when they get together. But they just played local functions like the Eagles club, things like that on the weekends. I don't remember ever deciding to play, I just remember playing. I think the first time a guitar was actually put in my hands for me to try to actually play was when I was about five years old. When I was seven years old I kind of took it on myself to start messing around with it. When I was five I was too little. I think my Dad kind of got frustrated because it was hard for me to get started at that age. The interest was there as far back as I can remember so when I got up around seven I started doing it on my own and as time went on I learned stuff from records and watching my Dad and uncles play, that sort of thing. Of course my Dad taught me some licks over the years. He never did pressure me, really, to do anything with it. I guess like a lot of people's parents might. I think he just wanted me to play guitar first and I was too small for it and maybe a little bit stubborn at the time. So, I think he just decided to forget it and not fool with it, and that´s when I started playing with it. He is a truck driver and so a lot of times I'd practice on my own. He was out on the road and after a couple of years I had already learned a lot off of some of his records, his record collection. Chuck Berry licks, Lonnie Mack, pickin' stuff like that. When he heard me doing some Chuck Berry stuff it sparked his interest again. A lot of it was from watching him though, watching when he played. Seeing that that was where the sound was made and whatever. But for some of the licks that didn't sound quite like I thought it should sound, according to the way it would sound on the record, then I'd go and ask him,' What am I doing wrong here?' and he would show me."

How long, Ricky, was it when you started to catch up to your father as far as playing goes, and what did he think about that?

"I don't know, somewhere in my early teens. About 14 years old. He just seemed to be proud of it, proud that I was apparently catching on to it. I never have tried to play just like him, try to out do him or something. I always steered toward stuff that always caught my ear. I had cousins that were into southern rock stuff and I fell into that at that time. A year or so later, about 17 or so, I really started to get into Hendrix and Cream and all of that psychedelic stuff."

Micol, when did you first start singing?

"Oh, like Ricky, it's like I have always been singing. School choirs and things like that. High School. I would sing at church. My Dad was a preacher. He would ask me to sing at church. He'd ask me to sing solos. So, I started to do that when I was a teenager. Actually I was the church pianist from the time I was about 14. I was always nervous. Any time I would go to sing I would get nervous. If it was just playing the hymn's for everybody than that was fine.'

When did you first start writing songs Micol? Do you remember the first song?

"Actually I do remember the first song that I wrote. It was when I was in the fifth grade I think. It was just a little tune. It was something about Donny Osmond or something like that. (laughs) 'Donny, I love You, Yes I Do'. It was just crazy. I remember that line being in there."

Ricky, how much did you get into the southern rock with your cousins back then?

"A lot. It is just one of those kind of things where, kind of like music itself, it was always in my blood, in my brain, in the back of my mind. When I finally caught on to the southern rock groups that my cousins were into it was like the next step in music after the early rock stuff. To me that was like the next place that music should have been going. Of course that was in real time. That was when southern rock was really kicking. All of this other stuff that happened in music in between, that I really wasn't all that aware of, everything from the psychedelic stuff to the '70's glam rock groups, those groups didn't even register in my mind at all. The first people in rock and roll music like the Everly Brothers, Elvis and Chuck Berry and then Jerry Lee Lewis, and then in my mind the next step was the Allman Brothers band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Charlie Daniels Band, all that stuff. I love Tommy Crain. He was a great guitar player. Marshall Tucker band, all that stuff. In my mind that was the progressive next step to the music. It was like, after I get out of elementary school (musically) than this is the middle school. And then when I discovered the psychedelic stuff, the '60's type of psychedelic music, it wasn't necessarily the next step of where the music should have progressed to but it was a side step. It was like stepping aside and putting an extra flavor to this music. Hendrix went to places that most people wouldn't even think to go for one thing. Whatever is in your heart that you could create musically is fine. If people are getting into it then you know you are on to something. That is why I have not been second-guessing what I have been doing hardly at all. I just let it flow through me and if people like it then that´s great. If they don't then I don't know that I would change it because it's my music, so I am really playing what is natural. And hopefully people will like it. They seem to, they seem to catch on to it pretty good, so. It just feels right and natural. Right after I discovered Muddy Waters, well I guess if it wasn't for Muddy Waters and Billy Gibbons I probably wouldn't even be playing music. When I heard Muddy Waters and Billy Gibbons, that is something right there that I had always heard in my mind and my heart, just to hear what they were doing, you know. Then, all of a sudden I discovered people like John Lee Hooker and all those old blues greats and that put an extra fire in my gut."

Micol, did you listen to very much southern rock or blues before you met Ricky?

" My Dad was a real blues fan. He, however, was very strict about the music that I listened to. And so I wasn't aloud, much at all, to listen to the radio. But I grew up hearing him sing blues songs. One favorite memory of mine is, I have two brothers and a sister and I'm the oldest, is he would sit out in the hall outside of our bedrooms and would sing us to sleep sometimes. And it would be Jimmy Reeve's stuff. He is a very soulful singer. He loves to sing and I was around that. Besides that, somehow it's in my bloodstream. I have family and roots in Mississippi and it's just there."

How did you guys meet? Micol, you first.

"Ricky and I first met when I went out to hear one of his bands called Soul Chaser. And we had mutual friends and I would go out and hear that band from time to time. Eventually I sat in to sing a song here and there, every once in a while. And then, basically, circumstances happened where we got together. It just clicked. He was just the right one for me."

Ricky, when did you first notice Micol?

" The first time I ever noticed Micol was about three years before I actually formally met her. I'd seen her at a John Lee Hooker concert with her Dad. I remember telling my friend that was with me at that concert about how at the time I was concentrating on playing music, of course I was going to college then, and I was kind of complaining out loud to my friend that I couldn't even get a date at this point in my life. And I look over and this beautiful young woman is over here with this old man who had a big suit on, you know. I said he was like an old sugar daddy or something (laughs)."

Micol:" I remember that show because it was on a Sunday night and my Dad and I went after church. I think that he knew I wanted to go. At that time I was probably 20. His doctoring and his preaching started to change up a little bit around that time. He really started opening up a whole lot. It was a big change. Anyway, we went. He took me to it. It was at a small club in downtown Knoxville."

I was lucky enough to see Muddy Waters before he passed. Did you guys ever see him play live?

Ricky:"I didn´t get to see Muddy Waters, but they had a lot of big name blues artists play back then, which really has not been all that long ago. It was a world of difference compared to what blues is now. You could have John lee Hooker there and be lucky to fill the room, and the room wasn't that big. Maybe a 150 people, maybe 200 people if the room was packed. But Micol and I were standing a few feet apart and that´s the first time I remember seeing her. And then about three years later I was playing this club down in Knoxville in the old city and she was sitting in a booth by herself and I had to go talk to her because I knew something was wrong with that. It just worked out. Normally I would be nervous, but I haven't ever been nervous around Micol. It's just like meeting the other piece of the puzzle that wasn´t there, you know."

My kin are out of Appalachia also. I was born in West Virginia. My Grandpa was a coal miner until he lost his arm down in the mines. What was it like growing up in East Tennessee?

Ricky:" My great Grandpa was a coal miner for several years and I think his wife died and he took up farming. My Grandma raised up the kids. She was the oldest and raised up her siblings so he could farm and stuff. It's rough living. It's just living off of the land. When I was a little kid my Grandparents, well there is a picture of my Grandma walking back to the house that she grew up in and when I was little her and my Grandpa were pig farmers. They didn't have running water until I was about ten. They still used a potbelly stove. I remember on cold mornings they would want me to go out there and get that coal. Get up and walk across a cold floor and everything else. And this is 1979 or '80. I kind of saw how it was being that poor. They weren't a racist people. They didn't have any racial problems with other black folks, that sort of thing. So I came along early learning to be humble about what I do have. I have never had a whole lot, but compared to how they lived, man, I live like a king. Just to eat supper at night they had to get wood together, and if we ain't got time we can pull something out of the freezer and throw it in the microwave and have supper in two minutes. So on "Como Dust" I wanted to compare what I seen as a kid compared to the things I saw in Mississippi when I went through there a few years back. There really is no difference. One place has got mountains and a bunch of white folks and the other place has got flatlands and black folks."

Ricky, I have to ask you about your slide guitar playing. It is as good as there is out there right now. Where did that side of your playing come from?

"Well, I don't know exactly what happened. My uncle has a national Dobro and he plays a little bit of Dobro. He hardly ever played it and I kept bugging him and finally he said that if I took care of it, I'd let you have it. He let me have it when I was about 16 and I cleaned it up and took care of it and treated it like a Corvette. I practiced with it a whole lot and kind of started to practice with a slide on the guitar and that sort of thing. After I fixed up the Dobro, a couple of years later he wanted it back. But that is how I started on slide. My dad never did play much slide. He played a little slide but he says today that he could not quite get the hang of it. My Dad would play a bunch of different styles of music in his band and they had a steel guitar player and I was always intrigued by that slide sound, that steel sound. But just hearing that Muddy Waters stuff. I guess Muddy Waters is the first guy that I really kind of started learning a bunch of slide stuff off of. His records. And then some Hounddog Taylor stuff, Duane Allman, Elmore James. I first heard a lot of those blues songs I learned from the British psychedelic bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin. And then when I finally started to find out about Willy Dixon doing 'You Shook Me All Night Long' and things like that it really didn't occur to me at that time that a person recorded all those songs years before. I think the British guys like Ten Years After, Cream, of course the Allman Brothers band, those guys took blues to a whole different level. To me it's really almost as good as the original stuff. It brought a different kind of life to it, which ain't necessarily better, but it's just as good. It was like 'lets take this song and put a different twist on it', and to me it was a real creative thing to do."

What did you think of Duane Allman's playing?

Ricky:" He is one of my guitar heroes. Duane, as far as his playing is concerned, he had so much power in his playing. So soulful. Just full of it, full of power and energy. Then after I spent, God only knows, hundreds of hours not only playing along with the music but also listening to it, I didn't really approach it as being a student of his but as being a fan first. But when I read about some of the things he had said about what he thinks about music it was obvious that music was a deep thing to him. It wasn't just sex, drugs, and rock and roll. You know he was a partyer, but that wasn't what he was playing music for. Music was a deeper, more spiritual thing with him. Those are the people that I have been geared toward musically. People that seemed to me like it was not something they were doing just for fame and fortune. It was something they were doing because it was in their blood, in their soul. With me, if I ever quit playing music I think I'll just quit living, 'cause it's my life. Music is my life. And that is the kind of thing I got out of Duane Allman's playing."

Lee Roy Parnell said that when he set out to really learn the slide guitar that he had to put all of his Allman Brothers records under the bed because that is the only way that he was going to develop his own style. Does that make sense?

Ricky:"Yeah, that makes sense. I guess I had to do that more with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Because I was really into Stevie Ray Vaughan when he was alive and not yet popular with the masses. I'd seen him live when there was maybe a thousand people in the audience, maybe. His music had that kind of a realness to it, real honest, kind of like he was playing because this was his life blood. He's got to play music or this is not going to happen. That inspired me too. As his career progressed and he started getting more of his own voice instead of just playing more of the stuff that his heroes played, I started noticing that if there was anything that I would learn from Stevie Ray it was to keep that intensity but get my own voice. Right about the time he died, was killed, I had a hard time listening to his music because it was painful to listen to in a way. But in other ways something from somewhere else was telling me that I have to get away from listening to that and get my own voice. I have to dig deep inside to find my own voice on guitar."

Micol, I heard a woman singer the other night trying to sing some Janis Joplin and it didn't sound all that good. With your voice you could pull that off wonderfully but you have not gone that route. It seems that you would rather sound like Blue Mother Tupelo than be a Janis imitator, which I think is the right move.

"Well, thank you for saying that I could do that. You know, the thing that I draw from Janis more than wanting to sound like her or anything like that, is the times when your whole self is into the music and what you are doing. That is mostly what I love about her. I have people all the time saying that I should sing some Janis and I have avoided doing that because, for one thing, I don't feel like I can know, everybody is looking for Janis. They want Janis. I can't do that. I can only do my thing. I could put my spin on a Janis song but it is not going to satisfy those people that want me to sing a 'Janis Joplin song'. It's really fun to hear people request our songs instead."

Micol, I see on your website,, that there are posts on there from fans from all over the world. From Poland to Austria to Boston to San Diego. What do you think about that?

"I think it's real neat. I don't know who these people are (laughs), but if they leave their email address I always try to write them back. Say hey, thank you for checking our website, thanks for listening to our music. That´s what I have been reading and hearing about (how big roots music is overseas). We have had it said to us that 'you ought to go overseas. They would really dig your music'. That would be great. Yeah, I want to share it with people and hope that they connect with it." - Gritz Magazine

"Compact Dreams"

by Tom Clarke

Free-flowing minds were at work in the birthing of Blue Mother Tupelo's Delta Low ~ Mountain High. There's an immediate sense of earthiness-besides obvious professionalism-emanating from the music. Augmented by eight cohorts, spouses Ricky and Micol Davis are responsible for all of the songs, the lead vocals and many of the instruments played. What's here, as their name and the album title suggests, is a melding of '60's rock and folk sensibilities with the blues and the 'grass. Their conscience drives "Como Dust," a solo acoustic blues lament for the black man of yore. The set opening, "I Feel So Glad," on the other hand, is just plain giddy, but infectious nonetheless. Ricky's tough "Workin' Man," will prick a few ears around these parts for its Southern drive and its sweet guitar break. Micol Davis' gorgeous voice is a revelation-the simplicity, yet all-consuming depth she achieves in "Without You," is staggering. With Ricky, she takes "For The Love Of You," from a place in the heart to what should be a place on the charts. I'm hooked!




Blue Mother Tupelo has started recording their new CD at their new studio. The CD is scheduled for release in 2009.

DVD for Daltry Calhoun. BMT has a song in the movie, two songs on the soundtrack and a music video as an extra feature on the DVD (2006).


Ricky and Micol Davis have recorded, shared bills with and/or performed live with such artists as:
The Subdudes, Mindy Smith, Jessi Alexander, Chely Wright, Paul Thorn, Guster, Sonny Landreth, Steve Earle, Robert Lockwood Jr., Charlie Musselwhite, Raul Malo, Billy Burnette, Kenny Brown, Reese Wynans, Cedric Burnside, T-Model Ford, Grand Funk Railroad, Otha Turner, Tom Kimmell, Tony Joe White, Henry Gray, Rodney Crowell, Delbert McClinton, Jim Dickinson, Mike Henderson, Tony Brown, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Pat McLaughlin, Paul “Wine” Jones, Shannon Lawson, Sally Barris, Grooveyard, Shemekia Copeland, Kentucky Headhunters, Bobby Keys, Jimmy Hall, Shawn Camp, Scott Holt, Jonell Mosser, Gary Nicholson, Mark Selby, Jeffrey Steele, The Oak Ridge Boys, Pat Travers, Shannon Lawson, George Hamilton IV, Blind Mississippi Morris, Al Anderson, Michael Kelsh, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Kenny Brown, John Scott Sherrill, The Wooten Brothers, Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Craig Fuller, The Floating Men, Molly Thomas, James McMurtry, Michelle Malone, Cary Hudson, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allen, Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram, Los Lonely Boys, Drive-By Truckers, The Wreckers, The Flatlanders, Miranda Lambert, Kevin Fowler, Eli Young Band, Chris Cagle, Craig Morgan, Bruce and Charlie Robison, Heartland, Reckless Kelly, Eric Church, Leon Russell, Billy Joe Shaver, Charlie Louvin, Willis Alan Ramsey, Kelly Willis, Luke Bryan, The Geezinslaws, Ashley Ray, The Wrights, Matt Caldwell, Whiskey Brown, Mice & Rifles, Monte Warden, Rodney Hayden, Drew Kennedy, Sunny Sweeney, Granger Smith, Jerrod Niemann, Kevin Gordon, Colin Gilmore, The Gougers, Mark McKinney,The Ginn Sisters, Farmer Jason, Buck Howdy, The Bummkinn Band, The Waybacks, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Randall Bramblett Band, Barefoot Manner, Sol Driven Train, Ras Alan and the Lions, Rod Picott and the Stray Dogs, Mieka Pauley, Luther Dickinson with The North Mississippi Allstars.

CDs - BMT & Guest Appearances:

"Love Live (5 Songs From The Road)" Blue Mother Tupelo Diggin Music 2007/"Daltry Calhoun" DVD (music video & song on DVD) Miramax 2006 / Various Artists; "Daltry Calhoun Soundtrack" CD Lakeshore Records 2005 / Various artists; "Hammer in the Delta" Habitat for Humanity 2006 / Blue Mother Tupelo "Delta Low, Mountain High" Diggin Music 2001 / Blue Mother Tupelo "My Side of the Road" Diggin Music 1997

Micol Davis: "Dawn Langstroth" Dawn Langstroth 2008/ Micol Davis: "Goodbye is the New Hello" Susan Anders 2008/ Micol Davis: Peter Frega "Country Boy's Love" 2008/ BMT TV Commercial Demo - Kia 2007/ BMT TV Commercial Demo - Hartford Insurance 2007/ BMT Commercial Demo Honda 2007/ Micol Davis: "Dawn Langstroth" Dawn Langstroth 2007/ Tide TV & Radio Commercial 2007 /"Long Island Shores" Mindy Smith Vanguard Records 2006/ Tide TV & Radio Commercial 2006 / "Honeysuckle Sweet" Jessi Alexander Sony Music 2005 / Micol Davis Crest Radio Commercial 2005/ Micol Davis "One Moment More" Mindy Smith Vanguard Records 2004 / Micol Davis Velveeta radio commercial 2005 / Micol Davis Applebees radio commercials 2004 / Micol Davis Pampers TV & Radio commercials 2004 / Micol Davis "South" Hector Qirko Band Blind Guru Records 1999

Ricky Davis: dobro on "The War" by Erika Chambers 2008/ Ricky Davis electric slide lead guitar on "Footprints" by Erika Chambers/ Ricky Davis: Ricky engineered an instructional CD, a companion to the instructional book, "Starting Bluegrass Banjo" by Robin Roller - Oak Publications 2007/ Applebees radio commercials 2004 / Ricky Davis Busch beer radio commercials 2004 / Ricky Davis "Garage Sale" Kristi Morris indie CD recording 2001

Festivals / Special Events:
The Big State Festival - Bryan/College Station, TX
Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival - Nashville, TN
Mississippi Hill Country Picnic - Potts Camp, MS
Mountain Stage NPR Radio Show - Charleston, WV
Thacker Mountain Radio NPR Radio Show - Oxford, MS
Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival - Nashville, TN
Winter Park Folk Festival - Winter Park, CO
Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival - Helena, AR
Americana Folk Festival - Burns, TN
Patriot Festival - Pigeon Forge, TN
Juke Joint Festival - Clarksdale, MS
Flat Rock Music Festival - Flat Rock, NC
Legends Of The Blues Fest - Nashville, TN
NARAS, NAMM Show- Nashville, TN
Crossroads Music Expo - Memphis, TN
Alive after Five - Knoxville Museum of Art - Knoxville, TN
Greater Ozarks Blues Festival - Springfie





















'It's Tupelo, honey ... the songs blend N'Awlins-style blues with spare Appalachian acoustic grit, Southern rock grooves, '60s flower-power dreaminess and rootsy rock. Ricky plays a mean dobro, peeling off riffs as slick and juicy as a ripe peach, and Micol's voice is both steely and delicate, like a cross between Bonnie Raitt & Emmylou Harris.'
-The Tallahassee Democrat-

Rock & Roll, Blues, Soul, & downright Funky Country is at the core of the Blue Mother Tupelo sound ...

Blue Mother Tupelo - the husband and wife music duo (singers/songwriters/musicians): Ricky Davis (acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, vocals) and Micol Davis (piano, tambourine, vocals) - began performing as a duo in 1995. Soon thereafter, drummers, bassists, harmonica players, fiddle players and other friends would sit in. BMT primarily performs as a duo or trio (which includes a drummer). Unique, passionate, inspired and unaffected by musical genres, Blue Mother Tupelo is pure heart and soul.

Ricky + Micol ... gettin 2gether ... the early years

Micol was drawn to Knoxville's thriving live music scene during her college years at The University of Tennessee, where she and Ricky met. He invited her to sing with his band (Soulchaser) a couple of times, and they found their mutually strong interest in artists like Delaney & Bonnie, John Lee Hooker, and Van Morrison to be an undeniable force in their friendship. In 1995, they began performing as Blue Mother Tupelo at local open-mike and songwriters' nights with the idea of making their own pure roots-rock sound. Landing a weekly gig led to the addition of Ed Corts on drums and Jim Ladd on bass and a progressive rock-blues sound that soon became a staple in clubs in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

The band's first recording was intended solely as a club-booking demo CD but, due to overwhelming requests from their audiences, was released to the public in 1997. My Side Of The Road included ten original songs and received good reviews from local media and several national publications.

Nashville Years ...

Ricky and Micol moved to Nashville in 1998. The four-piece band played throughout Tennessee, western North Carolina, and Georgia in clubs and opened concerts for Delbert McClinton, Grand Funk Railroad, and Pat Travers - and, in between gigs, the Davis duo performed at open-mike nights and songwriters' rounds in Music City. A change in musical direction led to regrouping, and Ricky & Micol set out on their own again.

Their 2001 release, Delta Low - Mountain High, was an experimental, eclectic blend of songs and styles reflecting their love of southern roots, earthy rock, soul, and mountain music. Several musicians, including Bobby Keys on saxophone (Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie) and the superb rhythm section of Chucki Burke on drums (Willie Dixon, Isaac Hayes, Little Milton) and Dave Roe on bass (June Carter, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam), lent their creativity to the recording which resulted in a well-received and respected collection of primarily Davis penned songs. It caught some attention among their peers in the music industry and garnered favorable reviews from their fans and local, national, and international critics.

From 2001 to present, BMT performs primarily as a duo, or as a trio (including a drummer), and with several guest musicians joining in occasionally. BMT always has a spirited, rocking, down-home sound. It's been said that a BMT performance is like stepping into a "pentecostal revival" -- Ricky and Micol's gritty, sweet, soulful harmonies, earthy sounds of gutbucket guitar and slide, gospel piano, roadhouse pounding of tambourines, and funky, thunderous, impassioned drumming. But the foundation to all of their work is to channel what is innately deep within them and to let it come forth naturally without definitions or restrictions.
BMT currently tours throughout the USA