Michael Davis
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Michael Davis

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Michael Davis was bitten by the music bug in middle school, but he was nearing his college graduation before he actually put his music out for the world to hear.

The Petersburg native self-produced a CD of original songs, then sent it to music-business types around the country. A call came in from producer Todd Joos at Cellar Records, an independent record label based in Dixon, Ill. After a weekend visit to the studio facility and a visit with Joos of an hour or so, Davis was ready.

“You know how it is when things just fit and you know it?” he asks. “I called Todd on Monday and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

Using musicians affiliated with Joos and Cellar Studios (and juggling coursework as he made his way through his final year at Peoria’s Bradley University), Davis spent several months recording; One Down, the finished product, came out on April 15, and it’s a fine representation of the young artist’s take on the world.

“In my head I heard a piano song or drums and guitar and with the studio guys we shot ideas off of each other without egos,” he says. “They liked that I had the songs already written before coming to the studio. We had so much fun recording the album.”

Davis, who majored in Web design and graphic arts, recently graduated from Bradley and has started full-time work in Peoria. Through college connections and networking at IllinoisMusicians.com he’s found a working band, and he now spends a couple of weekends a month out playing and promoting the CD. No Cover magazine picked him for a spot on a compilation CD, Boom Boom Records tapped him for a world-hunger-relief benefit disk, and Davis just got word that one of his songs, “Bob Dylan,” will get airplay on St. Louis community radio station KDHX-FM (www.kdhx.org).
“It’s weird to say my career is the best it’s been,” he says, “but there’s all kinds of stuff happening right now. It’s great.”

In the good-things-keep-happening category, not long ago Davis, driving in Chicago, passed a Borders bookstore and noticed that Matt Nathanson, a nationally known San Francisco-based singer/songwriter and Davis’ personal musical hero, was scheduled for a meet-and-greet there. He immediately headed into the store and got in as one of 30 fortunate souls allowed to visit with Nathanson. The ambitious novice took the golden opportunity to question the successful, established professional.

“I asked him for one piece of advice, and he told me to make my music the way I want to now,” Davis says. “Everything he’s done, getting where he is, was on his own. I aspire to that kind of career.” - Tom Irwin - Illinois Times, Springfield, IL


In October of 2002, Michael Davis made his professional singing debut by opening for a theatrical production at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, in Petersburg, Illinois. Ironically enough, I, myself, was singing in the opener for a theatrical production at the very same time, albeit one in Rock Island, Illinois. I could totally have his career ... if, you know, I wrote songs ... and played guitar ... and had a recording contract ... and was about 15 years younger ... .

Performing at Theo's Java Club on March 7, this Springfield native has been musically motivated since grade school, playing flute at age nine, trumpet at 10, and bass in junior high, and eventually teaching himself to play acoustic guitar in 2005, just in time for the release of his six-song EP Sappy Songs for Sappy Days. That led to a contract with Cellar Records and his first studio album, 2007's One Down ... , and if you visit the biography section of the artist's Web site (http://www.michaeldavisband.com), you'll learn that Davis' style is "often referred to as Bob Dylan meets Rob Thomas."

And I think you'll all agree ... . that mixture might sound a little ... like this ... :

Hi. I'm Michael Davis. I'm very pleased to be playing in Rock Island on Friday night, and you can get more information on my set by calling Theo's at (309) 788-5282.

(Of course, if you could've heard my impression, that bit would have been a lot funnier.) - River Cities' Reader, Volume 15, #674


Discography

Sappy Songs for Sappy Days - Self-released EP 2006

One Down... - Cellar Records 2007
For album tracks, please visit
www.myspace.com/michaeldavisband

Other:
"Cry" - Groupies Suck Vol. 11 Compilation
No Cover Magazine, June 2007 issue

"Bob Dylan" - Boom Boom Bands 2007 Compilation
Set for release August 9, 2007

Photos

Bio

Cellar Records recording artist, Michael Davis, was born and grew up in the heart of Illinois. From a very young age, Michael had a passion for music, both listening and playing. Driven by this passion and fueled by the existence in a small rural farming community, Michael has spent the last 8 years pursuing his music career as a singer and songwriter.

After geography split apart his first band in which he sang lead and played bass, Michael taught himself how to play acoustic guitar. In early 2006, he recorded and released a six-song EP, Sappy Songs for Sappy Days. From the catchy Spanish-style opening riff of "The Devil Wears Red" to the introspective look at breakups in "Giving Up The Fight," Michael has created his own style, often referred to as Bob Dylan meets Rob Thomas. His hard work and love of performance has led him to share the stage with many outstanding artists including Dave Barnes, Rob Blackledge, Dave Tamkin, Tim Blane, & Beau Bristow. Whether he is performing with his band or just solo, Michael Davis is one artist whose live show is not to be missed.

During the summer of 2007, Michael was signed to Cellar Records and soon found himself in the studio. Michael's debut album, One Down..., is an explosion of sound and emotion. From musings about his own future ("Bob Dylan") to his carefree attitude towards life ("Give A Damn") to the pain and happiness that only love could bring ("Still Here" & "Look In Your Eyes"), Michael lays his heart and his life out for the world to hear. This is one disc that you will have to buy two of since you will surely burn right through the first one.