Normally I don't review the opening bands at The Dusty Armadillo shows because time just doesn't allow for it. But having caught The Drew Davis Band at a 903 Record Label Showcase and getting a chance to interview the guys in Nashville during CRS this past March, I just had to make an exception. Curiosity got the best of me when I heard about the band that Neal McCoy wanted to sign to his 903 label after having heard them only one time. Neal proclaimed, "I’ve just seen the best live act ever." Coming from Neal, that's a statement worth investigating. I went to the showcase and had been approved for my request to interview the guys. Well the showcase alone was enough to hook me. These guys were exceptional. Musically the band was very tight and had talent dripping from every instrument. Vocally - WOW is all I could think hearing rich, full harmonies blending perfectly with Drew Davis's sultry lead vocals. Equally as impressive was their song writing. I thought to myself,"this band is gonna be big!" The interview I can honestly say is one of the best I've ever had. Warm, exciting, smart, hilariously funny, and a knack for making the interviewer throw her questions into the air and just wing it, are all adjectives I would use to describe my meeting with this great group of guys.
At 9:00 PM sharp, the guys took the Dusty stage. A minor technical issue with Loren's banjo robbed the guys of an initial grand blast on to the stage, but after a few minutes all was fixed and the guys began their set with a song and a title that was the perfect adjective for describing what the night was gonna be, "Good Times." Heavily laden with banjo this fast paced song stole the crowds attention immediately. This 750 member sold out crowd for the most part hadn't even heard of The Drew Davis Band, but watching the way they reacted to what they were hearing, you wouldn't have guessed that.
The guys continued with another fast contemporary country song, "Carolina Sunshine," which included a pretty mean harmonica solo by Drake, the fiddle player. The band continued on with "Just The Way We Do It," a medley that included Skynyrd's legendary "Gimme Three Steps," then a brand new song from the band called, "Crossroads." Drew said it was the first time for them playing in Rootstown, Ohio, and he had feeling they might just be back. The audience loved hearing that statement and erupted into some very appreciative applause.
Every band has to have that one song that just steals the whole show. The newly recorded "Dirty Blonde Bombshel" was theirs. This very bluesy sounding, sexy, teasing lyric type of song made the audience and the band very playful. A white cowboy hat made it's way onto Drew's head and then onto Loren's and back down to a very happy fan. I've got a feeling this song might someday be released as a single that will do very well on the charts. It's definitely an ear grabber. "Let Me Be The One" was next and Drew shared with the crowd that it was the song they had won $1000 dollars with on national TV. This song really showcased the bands tight harmonies.
The band finished their set with a beautifully written love song, "Back There All The Time." Starting out with a catchy little banjo rift, the words tell the story of what happens when two former young lovers meet up some years later and reminisce about their relationship. Simplistically sweet, it's tempo and lyrics stick in your head for days. As the song ended, the crowd, packed in like sardines at the stage, and gave the band their all with thanks for an incredible concert.
The entire band met with fans after Neal's show, posing for photos and signing autographs. And let me tell ya, those had to be some pretty pictures. Not only is this one incredibly talented group of musicians but there's not a bad lookin' one in the bunch. They're a triple threat for sure. I loved them and I really think you will too. Be sure to go see these guys if you get the chance. Better yet, find out where their playing and go see them as soon as you can.
- Drew Davis - lead vocals
- Loren Ellis - guitar, banjo
- Roger Malinowski - keyboards
- Mo Levone - bass
- Drake - guitar, fiddle
- Good Times
- Carolina Sunshine
- Just the Way We Do It (medley w/ Gimme Three Steps)
- One Day
- Finer Things
- Dirty Blonde Bombshel
- Let Me Be The One
- Back There All The Time