Sunday, March 04, 2007

Listening to Stuart Davis Live

March 3rd, 2007
After having dinner with Stuart Davis, we all headed to the Tractor Tavern and got great front row seats for the show. The crowd was not huge, about 70 people I would estimate, but the Tractor is not a very large club so it did not feel empty.

Stuart performed solo with just his acoustic guitar for accompaniment. He started right off with a version of Good Wyrd from his ?What album. Stu is able to produce a very full sound for a solo performer. He has a strong vocal style and an intimate mastery of his guitar. He even managed to use the stage like a kick drum adding a thumping bass to many of his songs.

Stuart’s sense of humor was on good display. After the first song he joked that we had just heard the only song he had written. He was very proud of it, but now he realized that a concert really should include more than just one song, no matter how good it was. Later after singing a song, he said that he had written us a new song while performing the previous one. Now that is talent!

Davis played lots of tunes from his new album, but he also played older songs and asked the audience to call out requests. From the number of suggestions shouted out it was obvious that the crowd was very familiar with his work. Stuart is a charismatic performer and he has an easy going yet fearless manner which really helps him to connect with his audience. And his engaging blend of irreverent humor and spiritual depth makes him a unique artist.

There was a fashion show going on just down the street from the club, so Stuart had great fun trying to convince the entire audience to strip naked and crash the fashion show with him right after the gig. He claimed that David Bowie would want us to do it, and he sang a few bars of Bowie’s Fashion to motivate us.

Earlier at dinner, I had complained to Stuart that I had still never heard a full version of his song, Ladder from his Self Titled 2003 album. I had only heard portions of the song on the Kosmos CDs by Ken Wilber. I have tried to purchase the album from Stuart twice but received the new ?What album by mistake. So I was pleased and honored when Stuart closed the show by playing Ladder for us. It is a great song about evolution and spiritual development. “The higher that we climb, the more the ladder sways. There is more to evolution than a little DNA.”

After the show Davis sold CDs and took time to talk with everyone who waited in line to see him. He remembered many of the fans and there were lots of hugs going around.

Stuart Davis is an interesting and talented musician and an engaging performer. After enjoying his studio work it was thrilling to see him perform live in such an intimate setting. If you ever have a chance to see Stuart Davis live, do it!

Thanks Stuart for a great show and a memorable evening. Love and hugs.

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