Trevor Davies
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Trevor Davies

Montréal, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Montréal, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"Music’s getting personal for homegrown Cowichan talent"

Guitarist Trevor Davies explained how unplugging from Freedom Toast lent him fresh grooves in the jazz world.

The local fret addict and his duo play the Duncan Garage Showroom Thursday where Davies will park tunes from his first personal project CD named Vanity Press.

“Freedom was more about a psychedelic experience but these are personal songs,” Davies said of his 11-cut platter produced at Cowichan’s Woodshop studio.

“It’s very much my own statement after studying jazz for a few years in Nanaimo,” he said of four years at Vancouver Island University being taught by jazz-axe titan Pat Coleman.

“That changed my songwriting quite a bit into the open harmony, and the style of playing.”

Davies, 23, branded his evolved style as alt-rock meets jazz harmony and groove patterns.

“But it’s not obscure music. I make a point of approaching things simplistically. My lyric writing ranges from positive messages to sarcastic and cynical impressions about the world around us.”

He pointed to The Puzzle, one of 50-odd tunes he’s penned.

“It’s a song about seeing the greater patterns in life when things seem unconnected,” the Winnipeg-born, Cowichan-raised player said.

He cut his teeth with Freedom Toast earlier in the last decade before the valley band crumbled in 2007.

“That was my last creative project. Since then I’ve been doing the jazz thing, playing commercially and playing on the cruise ships,” said Davies who’s sailed aboard vessels owned by Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Holland America.

He hopes to work for the Carnival line in April.

“On the ships, I did show-band gigs and I was introduced to the lounge world as a bass player — now I’m looking at playing on guitar.”

Meanwhile, Davies is overboard about displaying his originals on a Warmoth Telecaster guitar with bassists Richie Jackson and Phill Albert, and drummer Dave Klasen after helping Gillian Stone’s group warm up at the Showroom.

Davies cited Bill Evans, Radiohead, and Joanna Newsom as his top-three influences.

“In 15 years I’d like to maintain my professional music career — if I could differentiate that from my private musical statements with my own group — while being hired as a guitarist,” said Davies who recently performed with The Nylons and the Victoria Symphony.

“Right now, my job is to convince people what I’m doing is a real job, and does count.”

Your ticket

What: Trevor Davies Band CD release show

When: Feb. 10, 8 p.m.

Where: Duncan Garage Showroom

Tickets: $15, $12 advance. Call 250-748-7246. - Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

"Freedom Toast LP Review"

...Finely tuned...high energy...handsome dude and cute chick vocals...formidable song writing and arrangement skills...a particularly earnest Sloan/Blue Rodeo Canadian-type vibe. - Brian Stubbs, the Navigator


Still working on that hot first release.



Largely self-taught on guitar and vocals, Davies fronted a rock band at fourteen which performed some original material and performed near his home town in the Cowichan Valley. As his songwriting developed, a more adventurous group called Freedom Toast was formed. Here began his passion for both improvisation and ideas in music...

The teenage experimental band released two professional recordings and played hundreds of shows including the Islands Folk Festival, VIEX, and other gigs typically reserved for grown-ups.

In 2005, Trevor enrolled in jazz performance at Vancouver Island University, where he studied with some of the best musicians in Canada, including: Buff Allen, Ken Lister, Greg Bush, Bryan Stovell, Myron Makepeace and jazz-guitar jedi Pat Coleman. Trevor has performed as a sideman with such talented performers as Ian Finkel, Ken Lavigne, Krystle Dos Santos, The Nylons and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.

Trevor is currently promoting his first solo release (with full band), entitled Vanity Press. The title is a reflection of the self-produced nature of Davies career. These song-poems are based in personal experience and love, and are strongly influenced by external works of art. They betray a fascination with wordplay, people, nature, and the simplicity (yet depth) of pop music. Over the years, and definitively with this release, the focus of Trevor's music has shifted from the group collaboration of a jam band to composition and language, with an emphasis on elegance, authenticity, and personal emotive forces.

Band Members