Des Moines Register : Music Scene – The Josh Davis Band

Des Moines Register : Music Scene

Music Scene: Band’s provocative album artwork often ends up on Josh Davis’ skin
The cowgirl riding the make-believe bull (a barrel and skull) with a beer in one hand, a tambourine in the other and a prosthetic leg makes for provocative album artwork. As the cover of “Get Awesome,” the latest CD of the Josh Davis Band, it soon will become an interesting tattoo on the body of Josh Davis.

“I usually get something from our record art tattooed on me,” Davis said in a phone interview from his home in Ankeny. “The cover artist is also my tattoo artist, Joshua Bowers. He has lots of unique art.”

Davis’s desire to record music is insatiable, producing three albums in as many years for Authentic Records, since he began the Josh Davis Band. “Get Awesome” was just released in October and he is ready to go back into the studio. Another testament to Davis and his band’s prolific nature: There’s not one but two hidden tracks on their “10-song” CD, (which is why “June” looks like it lasts 14 minutes).

“I don’t know why. Maybe I have [attention deficit disorder]. I can’t sit still for very long. I get tired of things and want to do something new. Otherwise I get stir crazy,” Davis said.

On the other hand, Davis can drive his band mates a little crazy. During the recording of this album, the band showed up at the studio expecting to play one tune only to find out that he had changed his mind and written a new song, “Tambourine Girl.”

“They were annoyed, because they hadn’t rehearsed it. So they learned it on the fly,” Davis said.

Add “producer” to Davis’s credentials. While his first two albums were produced by the Nadas, “Get Awesome” was produced by Davis, and the team of Jon Locker and Tony Bohnenkamp at their Des Moines studio, The Sonic Factory.

Davis’s unique writing and the excellent musicianship of his band make it a genuinely fun listen. Paul Hart’s power chords and slashing riffs complement Davis’s crisp, clear vocals. Will Locker’s driving beat and Dusty Baird’s solid bass playing provide a firm foundation on rockers like “Pocket Rocket,” “Coal Black Heart” and “Tambourine Girl.” Plenty of nice hooks highlight the mellow tunes like “Sweet Suffocation” and “Dirt” and the acoustic rock song, “For the Last Time Liza.”

“I am not trying to make people sit there and ponder any deep meanings in our songs,” Davis said. “Most of the songs on our latest record are pretty straightforward rock and roll tunes about drinking and carrying on. There is no political agenda.”

Perhaps Davis’s songs are like his tattoos. “People always ask me what my tattoos mean,” Davis said. “All my tattoos are chapters and moments in my life. Nothing too deep, like destiny or fate.”

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