Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis


Joshua Davis is a seamless union of both city and country. The music is steeped in ragtime blues, sweet jazz, real country and gospel, and Davis blends these traditions with his love for gritty rock n' roll and old soul. The result, "Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around."



"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:



Workingman's Hymn

Written By: Joshua Davis

Some folks are hungry for a greenback bill
Some people hunger for the top of the hill
Some are just trying to find a decent meal
I know that we can turn it around

Some people sleeping on a fine feather bed
Some are dreaming of the old homestead
Some folks just need a place to lay their head
I know that we can turn it around

I know that we can turn it around
If there’s one thing that I’ve found
If there’s a voice in the dim singing a Workingman’s Hymn
I know that we can turn it around

River bottom or home on high
End of the line or endless sky
Jet-setting or just getting by
I know that we can turn it around


From the ninth ward up to Petticoat Lane
One man’s joy has been another man’s pain
But the sun keeps shining through the drivin’ rain
I know that we can turn it around


House of Princes

Written By: Joshua Davis

Wedding songs drifted through the streets of the house of princes
A wind rose up and sent the clouds home to rest
We gathered in the garden in the midday heat in the house of princes
A silhouette of the leaves of Jerusalem sage danced like a drunken guest

In the house of princes
Where two candles intertwine
Down at the picket line
In the orchard side by side
Oh, what a welcome for the bride

We walked down to the fields in the house of princes
On my left the ancient, crooked trees
Olive oil anointing shields in the house
On my right perfect lines of soldiers stood at ease


How could I greet the Sabbath bride
With the tear gas below and the stones flying up above
But before the gas could cloud my eyes
I caught a glimpse of her weeping for lost love

Her tears fell on this broken world
Fell upon the flags unfurled
Fell upon my left and right
Felled the darkness and the light
Felled all sense of pleasure and pain
Of the holy and profane
Fell upon my hands and face
Fell upon this sacred place
As all the sacred people here
Fell upon each other’s fear
I saw three lonely stars appear

It was a cold clear night in the house of princes
Talking with my baby on the phone so far away
Stars were shining their sweet light on the house of princes
Watched the blockades flicker through a thousand shades of grey

Everybody Goes Someday

Written By: Joshua Davis

Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Picking up the pieces on the highway
Everybody goes someday
Honey pie when I die
Maybe they’ll give me just one more try
Will I come back, baby I don’t know
Maybe I’ll return as a carrion crow

Angels Sing
Angels Sing
Behind the curtain at the cabaret
Everybody goes someday
Honey pie when I die
Hope to go gentle like a kiss goodbye
What’s up next who’s waiting in the wings
Maybe I can listen to the angels sing

Paradise waits
Paradise waits
Puts all gods children on layaway
But everybody goes someday
Honey pie when I die
Will I have to wait a while to give it a try
In the lobby, gazing at the garden gates
The company’s nice but paradise waits

Dirt in the ground
Dirt in the ground
Laying round pushing up daisies
Everybody goes someday
Honey pie when I die
Hope to go quickly in the blink of an eye
Is it all over, all sight and sound
Maybe we’re all just dirt in the ground


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"