Folk musician extraordinaire Alan Davis is the focus of our Musician Spotlight this month. This kindhearted and gifted musician has been an asset to Piedmont UU since the day he arrived – his music blesses us with live music at both the University and Salisbury locations. In addition, his humbleness is just as endearing as his musical gifts.
Musician Spotlight: Alan Davis
I can’t remember a time I wasn’t banging on a toy xylophone, blowing into a harmonica, squeezing an accordion, or picking a guitar.
I’ve had lessons from a number of wonderful musicians, all generous souls. In high school, music was a way of meeting and being accepted by others. There was a folk song circle I attended while a senior in high school where we sat in a circle and sang and played folk songs. Later in college, I played guitar for some folk masses, and this introduced me to playing music in a church. When college was over and I was working, I put aside instruments until a friend from college got me back into music, and I learned some blues and country styles on guitar.
I had some real fun when I joined a string band that played music and told stories and skits for a general audience. This genre of music was a revival of music played in the twenties. It is a kind of forerunner to bluegrass music, but more relaxed. Pop music has its fads. Each area has something going. I remember “Motown Sound”, “Country Rock”, “R&B”, “Hard/Acid Rock”, “Punk”, “Grunge”, “Disco”, etc. I don’t register with much past around 1990. I hear things that I like but don’t take note of them. Folk music is the music that remains in our consciousness and has been picked up, refined and presented anew to fresh generations of people.
I have enjoyed many traditional music groups, classical venues too, as well as contemporary singer-songwriters such as Townes VanZandt, Guy Clark, Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Iris Dement…and, naturally, I loved the Beetles and the Stones!
Alan Davis, November 2020
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