Joshua Davis

Wednesday
04
Oct

The Way Back Home Tour

Prolific Songwriter Featured on The Voice

 

Why you should see this show…

You may remember seeing Joshua Davis in 2015 on NBC’s The Voice where he was a Top 3 finalist. His 90 second blind audition won over Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and the hearts of the audience. Davis’s influences of Americana, folk and country blues set him apart from other contestants and helped to propel his career as a singer-songwriter. Touring in support of his new album, Joshua Davis returns to Northeast Ohio for an evening of blues, Americana and charm.
 

Joshua Davis Bio
A tried and true Michigan musician, Joshua Davis is set to release a new album, The Way Back Home, on September 8, 2017. Produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, The Way Back Home is Davis’ latest full-length studio album and first since his 2015 appearances as a Top 3 finalist on NBC’s The Voice (season 8). The 11 original Americana songs featured on The Way Back Home reflect an honest, hardworking family man scribing scenes of the cycle of life through dark, broken, hopeful, and triumphant times.

An upbringing that occupied the urban landscapes of Detroit while spending summers in the wilderness on the southern tip of Lake Superior in Marquette, MI brings into view the backdrop of Davis’ latest works. The Way Back Home follows a series of singular recordings (Fool Rooster, Magnolia Belles, A Miracle of Birds) by the prolific songwriter who has shared the stage with a Who’s Who of American folk music icons such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Greg Brown, and Abigail Washburn. Recorded in East Lansing, MI by legendary engineer Glenn Brown, The Way Back Home highlights Davis’ longtime collaboration with Jack White’s bassist Dominic John Davis, pianist Mike Lynch (Willie Nelson, Leon Russell), and drummer Mike Shimmin (The Olllam).

Already a heavily touring/recording artist with his previous band Steppin’ In It (who have released five albums) and as a solo act with five albums under his name, getting a call from The Voice was completely out of the blue for Davis. Unfamiliar with the show, he initially rejected the inquiry but the producers were persistent. After being convinced by his wife and allowed to skip the auditions, Davis signed up for an incredible six months in the national TV spotlight. He went on to sing high profile duets with Sheryl Crow (Live Finale: Give It To Me) and Adam Levine (Live Finale: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shows), and he helped break the mold of original material being showcased on The Voice. Davis was the first artist to sing an original on the show, which spawned the later segment, This Week of Original Songs.”

Davis entered the recording sessions for The Way Back Home with a well-oiled machine of a voice primed for the collaboration with Steve Berlin. His rough-n-tumble grit mixes with an undeniable Midwesterner’s charm for a soaring vocal performance on The Way Back Home. With his voice taking center stage, Davis’ signature lyricism and deft acoustic guitar work is backed by a trio of Michigan’s finest musicians. The Way Back Home is a very personal look at where I’ve been and who I’ve become, says Davis. In my 20’s, I felt like a disconnected ghost going town to town performing every night, and it just wasn’t a healthy life. I’ve learned many valuable lessons in how to be a better person, husband and father. Home grows and changes with or without you. If you don’t pull it together, it’ll leave you behind. I feel very reassured to have found stable ground in life and in a career that isn’t necessarily filled with security. The album takes listeners through my own trials and tribulations.”

 

 

Ken Yates Bio
Since first planting roots within the Canadian music scene in 2011, Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest singer/songwriters. His sound offers the complete package—unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling, and top-notch guitar chops—all gloriously displayed on Yates’ new album, Huntsville.

Produced by Jim Bryson (Weakerthans, Kathleen Edwards, Oh Susanna), Yates’ second full-length effort is a major stylistic step forward, with its 11 tracks capturing his artistic evolution amid extensive touring over the past three years. Along with handling production duties, Bryson’s abilities as a multi-instrumentalist were fully deployed during sessions at North of Princess Studio in Kingston, Ontario, leading a band that included Brian Dunne on guitars/vocals, James Preston on bass, Marshall Bureau on drums, and guest vocalist Amanda Rheaume.

For Yates, the stars were aligned throughout the creation of Huntsville, beginning with a balanced mix of road-tested and brand new material amassed before hitting the studio. Yates’ only pre-conceived notion for the album was to move forward from his last album and let Bryson put his years of experience to work.

“After playing some of these songs live, you start getting attached to how you think they should sound,” Yates explains. “I originally had in mind that this would be mostly a solo acoustic record, but I told myself going into the studio not to be too precious about my own ideas. The best part was, with that in mind, I was able to let go of some of that control and told Jim to run with it. He’d say, ‘Let’s try things my way and if you don’t like it, we’ll press the mute button.’ But I loved all of his ideas, and that’s when I understood what a great collaboration it would be.”

“Keep Your Head Down,” with its subtle, driving groove, opens the album like a train pulling out at dawn, with vast, open vistas lying ahead. Those come into focus on other key tracks such as “Once More To The Lake,” “Roll Me On Home” and “The Best Part Of Leaving.” Yet, everywhere on the album, echoes of the Canadian songwriting tradition, from Gordon Lightfoot to Bruce Cockburn to Ron Sexsmith, are apparent, proving that with Huntsville, Ken Yates is ready to join that exalted company.

Choosing to name Huntsville after a song he’d written about a small northern Ontario town is a further indication of Yates’ musical vision. “It’s a place that I love,” he says. “A lot of the songs were inspired by what you could say was a northern Ontario landscape, but that song in particular is about leaving everything behind, traveling up north and staying there. After I wrote the line, ‘If them mornings don’t shine how you like, find a night to dream into,’ I felt like it represented the whole album in way, which is why I decided to make it the title track.”

A native of London, Ontario (a few hours’ drive south of Huntsville), Yates studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. His first release, The Backseat EP, came out in 2011, whereupon he got a chance to showcase for fellow Berklee alum John Mayer, who responded with a lengthy blog post that read in part, “Ken Yates wrote a song called ‘I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love.’ This song moved me when I first heard it, and it still does today.”

That track became one of the standouts on Yates’ 2013 full-length debut, twenty-three, made after a year of pounding the pavement in New York City. It also became his introduction to the life of a touring musician, and his diligence in that area soon built a devoted group of admirers, one town at a time.

“At this point, touring still feels fresh to me, and at least half the songs on Huntsville came out of experiences I’d had on the road,” Yates says. “Going back to some of these places kind of feels like visiting old friends now. I’m still mainly playing solo, but making this record has really motivated me to start playing more—and hopefully bigger—shows with a band.”

Ken Yates is a rare example of someone who, from the beginning, had clear intentions when he embraced the troubadour life, and the combined drive and talent to make it a reality. With Huntsville, he has now closed the chapter on those early days, and is ready to open a new and exciting one, without any limits holding back his artistic ambition.

Last call to dine in your seats in the Concert Hall will be 15 minutes before show time. Please arrive early if you plan to eat dinner in your seats. Table side beverage service will continue throughout the concert.