October 28, 2006

New album forthcoming from John Davis of Superdrag

Judging by the volume of emails and comments I received about my recent post on the unearthed Superdrag EP, many of you guys hold a special place in your heart for the sweet power-pop sounds from John Davis and crew, and rightfully so. In case you didn’t know, John Davis released a self-titled solo album (2005, Rambler Records) that is seriously good and highly recommended, complete with delicious harmonies, soulful piano and distorted guitars.

John Davis has become a committed Christian in recent years following his struggles with alcohol and some seriously “scary visions” (excellent interview here). While his solo debut is not a religious record, per se, it is a searingly honest and earnest work that delves deep into issues of redemption and grace. “People put Christian music into such a category” Davis said. “I tried to give the songs an older, rootsy feel, a real back-to-basics exploration.” [ref]

Stream some of the goodness from his debut album easily by opening his website: www.johndavismusic.com. Notable favorite tracks in my book are the Beach Boys-inflected “Stained Glass Window” and “Salvation”, the fuzzy wall of guitars in “Nothing Gets Me Down,” and the rousing old-time gospel piano of “Jesus Gonna Build Me A Home.” Serious stick-in-your-head goodness. You can download demo version mp3s of every song on his first album in the Media section of his page, as well as some unreleased alternates. Rad.

John Davis was back in the studio during August this past summer recording his second solo album. He recently posted a studio journal on his MySpace blog. It reads in part:

Hello Friends,

I guess it’s been close to a year since my previous blog; most likely they’ll never become any more frequent than that. I figure the world can do without ‘em. But it’s been a couple of months now since I returned home from recording sessions for my next record, so I thought a brief summary and a photo blog might be overdue.

I couldn’t be happier with the record we walked out of there with.

So—where should I begin? I recorded at 606 in Los Angeles, a private facility owned by the Foo Fighters, with my friend Nick Raskulinecz. Nick’s from Knoxville, TN, like me, and our friendship goes back about 15 years. He recorded the first real Superdrag demo, Stereo 360 Sound, he did The Fabulous 8-Track Sound Of…. , assisted on Regretfully Yours and Head Trip In Every Key, and co-produced and engineered In The Valley Of Dying Stars, which is generally considered to have been our finest hour as a band.

(Nick steers the ship)

Until this opportunity came up, I hadn’t worked with Nick since 2000. In the meantime, he had done records for Foo Fighters, Probot, Queens Of The Stone Age, Danzig, Ash, Casino, and most recently, Slipknot side-project Stone Sour. His client list is testimony enough to his level of talent. Imagine how honored and blessed I felt to have been invited to come to 606, not only to record my new album, but to re-connect with my friend.

By God’s grace He bridged the gap of 6 years perfectly, and for the duration of the session I really felt like we had picked up precisely where we left off. Yogi Watts and myself showed up on August 3 ready to work. We tracked and overdubbed the record top-to-bottom in 15 days.

(This is what a finished record looks like)

(I worked this ’70s Ampeg Dan Armstrong about half the time)

(Nick rips. No toms.)

I’ve posted a couple of the unmastered album tracks on my page—they’re available for download if you’re interested. Thought that might be a nice goodwill gesture. I hope it will suffice until I’m able to find a permanent home for this record and make it available to you. My trust is in Christ’s faithfulness and goodness, and not the works of men, who shift and change like shadows.

With Love Always,
John Davis

Judging by the picture above, the tracklist of songs on the new album is as follows:
01. “(Say You’re) Satisfied”
02. “Walk Away”
03. “Paranoid”
04. “
Never Changing (YSI alternate link)
05. “I’m At War With Myself”
06. “History”
07. “
Scared (Of What I Might Find) (YSI alternate link)
08. “Chant Down Babylon”
09. “
Tell Me I’m Not Free (YSI alternate link)
10. “I Need Someone”
11. “Lamentation Vs. Laughter”
12. “Everybody On The Ground”

Hyperlinks above connect you to the aforementioned demo versions of these songs from his MySpace. Sounds good to me.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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