Joshua Davis
Gig Seeker Pro

Joshua Davis


Band Americana Folk


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



"Lansing's Joshua Davis to release new album written, in part, for wife, daughter"

KALAMAZOO — Lansing songwriter Joshua Davis’ second solo album is for the ladies.
Specifically, his wife, Ann DelMariani, and their 6-year-old daughter, Tahlia Wren Davis.
Davis is the frontman of roots music band Steppin’ In It and a member of swing quartet Shout Sister Shout.
On his second solo album, “Magnolia Belles,” the 34-year-old writes heavily about the “disconnect” between his two lives — that of an oft-traveling musician versus being a father and husband.
Davis will release the new album this weekend, including at 9:30 p.m. today at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.
“I felt like for a long time I was living just for myself. When my daughter was born, it was a huge shift for me in my life. I’ve learned so much in the last six years, I think it (the album) reflects some of that. I finally grew up,” Davis said.
Davis and his family live on Magnolia Avenue in Lansing and “Belles” are his wife and daughter, he said.
His wife often gave songs their first listen.
She also co-wrote the track, “Ghost Ships” and designed the cover with Rebecca Schneider, of Lansing.
“She’s an incredible woman,” Davis said. “I married up. She’s brilliant. She’s my ear when I write a song.”

Davis, who plays acoustic and electric guitar, steel guitar, piano, mandolin and clawhammer banjo, released his first solo album as Fool Rooster, but is sticking to his name on this release.
While the first solo album captured a live in-studio sound, “Magnolia Belles” allowed him show off what he’s learned with studio production by playing around with instrumentation and arrangements.
Davis said he worked extensively on the album from home so he could utilize the studio time at Big Sky Recording in Ann Arbor to get his desired sound.
Davis said he would often “cut himself off” at 3 a.m. when he was talking to himself about getting a vocal part just right.
“The possibilities are endless when you’re at home and you have as much time as you want to spend on it,” he said. “The great thing about that is you can try a million different things. The bad thing is you can try a million different things.”
Davis said he relied on a close-knit community of Lansing musicians to help flesh out the layers, including backing vocals, horns and strings.
He recruited a slew of musicians, some of whom will perform during the album-release shows, including Mike Lynch, Mike Shimmin, Steppin’ In It bassist Dominic John Davis, Rachael Davis, Laura Bates and Seth Bernard, to help.
“I’m surrounded by so many incredible musicians, I felt like I should brainstorm and see what I could do with all these people who wanted to be involved,” he said.
Aside from discussing his personal life, Davis also addresses concerns of many Michiganians, including the environment and the economy. “The Workingman’s Hymn” talks of the erosion of the middle class and the divide between the rich and the poor.The song contains a positive message with Davis repeating, “I know we can turn it around.”“I definitely wanted it to be uplifting,” Davis said. “I listened to a lot of gospel music. People have pulled together through that kind of music through the worst times. That was my inspiration for the song.”
The album was also a chance for Davis to express himself, outside the context of a band.
“Writing songs for a band that plays to certain genres was more of a craft. I did a lot of homework. I’d study traditional music and write in those styles. The songs wouldn’t be personal. They’d be about things I read. They’d have parts of me in them, but they were more generic. This record, this is really personal. All the songs are very much right from my heart and personal experience.
“This album, I felt free to, I got a little more used to writing stuff, and baring it and getting my personal s--- out there.” -

"Magnolia Belles"

Joshua Davis has long been familiar to me as the front man and lead vocalist for the gritty roots band "Steppin' In It". What a treat it is to hear that sandy voice (with just a touch of velvet) stretch out on his second solo album, "Magnolia Belles". His tasty guitar playing is always a treat to my ears. Joshua Davis is one of my all-time favorite Michigan songwriters. - Michael Erlewine, Founder of the All-Music Guide

"Review "Simple Tunes for Troubled Times""

“There’s just enough contemporary Band-esque hesitating beauty
on this record to hold the attention of the Pitchfork/Spin/Magnet
crowd amidst the derby hats and steamboats and tramps.
Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Joshua Davis brings a world-weary
croon filled with the gravitas and forthrightness of a Tom Petty or
a Peter Case, combines it with relevant lyrics… that could exist
alongside any Ryan Adams or Son Volt ditty. A killer modern
roots record.” - Whatz Up Magazine, Ft. Wayne IN

"Review "Simple Tunes for Troubled Times""

"Their latest album, Simple Tunes for Troubled Times, is possessed with a consistently delightful spirit of musical adventure that, as well as bringing elements of old-time, country, cajun, blues and various roots styles to the table, manage to instill everything they do with an attractive and accessible cool. Singing about real concerns... it's more knowing that know-all, while the upbeat melodies... can't fail to raise a smile. Quite possibly your next favorite American roots act." - Rock and Reel Magazine, U.K.


Joshua Davis "Magnolia Belles"
- winner of WYCE Best Americana Album 2011
Starlight Six 7-inch
Steppin' In It "At the Green Door"
Steppin' In It "Simple Tunes for Troubled Times"
- featured on XM radio, #35 on RMR charts
Steppin' In It & Rachael Davis, "Shout Sister Shout"
Joshua Davis, "Fool Rooster"
Steppin' In It, "Hidden in the Lowlands"
Steppin' In It, "Last Winter in the Copper Country"
Steppin' In It, "Children Take Your Shoes Off"




"Davis seems to be busily writing the Michigan version of the Great American Songscape."
-- Lansing State Journal, Lansing MI

Joshua Davis is a husband, father, friend and music lover. He shares songs for a living; as a songwriter, record producer, band member, solo act, guitar/songwriting teacher, mix-tape-maker extraordinaire, all with the most amazing people on the planet! Josh was raised on American roots tradition: the music, the social movements, the land. He writes original songs that blend many folk traditions - including gritty rock n' roll and vintage soul. Performing Songwriter Magazine called the result, "Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around."

Joshua has shared his songs, knowledge, interests, and know-how across the US at festivals, theaters, concert halls, coffeehouses, schools, parks and dive bars. He has released albums under his own name, with roots ensemble "Steppin’ In It", classic swing band "Shout Sister Shout", and has appeared on many more.

Josh is especially interested in the ways in which music brings individuals and communities together, to foster peace and understanding. He's noticed that songs can re-soundtrack people's lives and peoples' lives too . He has recently returned from building songs and relationships in the West Bank and Israel, hoping that songs can help to bridge communities - feeling confident that communities are his link to songs.

Joshua is currently working on a record based on his adventures in the Fertile Crescent. Half of the proceeds from the album will mean olive trees and educational scholarships for the farmers and families he encountered during his travels.

Please follow Joshua's blog and help him fulfill his role as "cultural emissary". help him span the distance between olive farming communities in the West Bank and olive(oil) loving communities at home in Michigan. He wants to build songs out of that bridge, or is it the other way around? Either way, here's your change to get in on the conversation that will ultimately be expressed as a record of songs. Follow the blog, share your impressions, concerns, wishes, wonderments, morning ritual, juggling skills... make a contribution(!), for the record.

List of Recent Events
Telluride Bluegrass Festival - Telluride, CO
Swallow Hill � Denver, CO
The Old Town School of Folk Music � Chicago, IL
Magnolia Festival � Bean Blossom, IN
Old Settlers Festival -Austin, TX
Top of the Park � Ann Arbor, MI
The Interlochen Arts Festival � Interlochen, MI
The Wheatland Music Fest - Remus, MI
The Hiawatha Music Fest - Marquette, MI
The Ann Arbor Folk Festival � Ann Arbor, MI
The Ark - Ann Arbor, MI
Mountain Stage � West Virginia Public Radio
The New Song Festival � Charlestown, WV
Kent State Folk Fest � Kent, OH
Belle Chere Street Festival � Ashville, NC
The Guthrie Center - Great Barrington, MA
Club Passim � Boston, MA
Woody Guthrie Fest - Okemah, OK
Suwannee Springfest � Live Oak, FL
The Festival of Traditional Arts � Quebec City, Quebec

Visit Joshua at: