Music in the Park

July is big month for
local favorite, Jimmy Davis Band

Davis plans to release his fifth album this fall

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

MADISON, Ind. (July 2011) – Fans of the Jimmy Davis Band are going to be happy in July.
The popular blues band will play two big concerts in Madison the first two weekends of the month.
On Saturday, July 2, the band will play a Regatta Eve concert at the Electric Lady, 202 E. Main St. “It’s one of the funnest gigs of the year,” said singer-songwriter Jimmy Davis, who has played that venue on the night before Regatta eight or nine times. “It’s always packed.”

Jimmy Davis

Photo courtesy of Scott Bate

Upcoming concerts
will feature music
from new, unreleased
album as well as older, popular orginal works.

Then on Friday, July 8, the Jimmy Davis Band will be featured at this year’s second Music in the Park concert at the Broadway Fountain. Sponsored by Madison Ribberfest, the outdoor event will entertain from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Music in the Park is presented by the Madison Main Street Program as a way of enticing local residents downtown.
According to Davis, the band will preview some new music from their fifth album, due to be released in the fall. Tracks for the unnamed album were recorded during Christmas week 2010 at Sony Studios in Nashville, Tenn.
“It’s the first one that I’ve recorded that I can listen to all the way through and nothing bothers me. I’m very pleased and I’m anxious to see what people think about it,” said Davis. He received the master copy in the mail in June and expects to have CDs available by the end of October. Davis wrote all the tunes on the record except for one track, a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Kind Hearted Woman Blues.”
Davis is lead guitarist and vocalist on the album. He also plays some harmonica. Kerry Mefford is the drummer, Scott Caudill the bass player, and Curt Edwards sits in on acoustic guitar for some of the songs.
The July concert dates will also include quite of bit of music that is familiar to local fans. Davis said his most requested number these days is “Sinking Low” from the band’s 2010 album, “Doin’ Well.”
That album, which leaned towards rock instead of blues, was the subject of a big release party Oct. 2 at the Ohio Theatre. In addition to the Jimmy Davis Band, the lineup boasted the Corn Creek Pickers, Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett, Andrea Davidson, and the Slick River Rockets with Brook Reindollar.
“I’d love to do something like that again. There’s more than enough talent here in Madison,” said Davis.
The new, unnamed album returns Davis to his genre of choice, blues. “There’s so many kinds of blues,” he said. “Less than 1 percent of albums sold are blues, and it’s a shame. That’s where rock and roll came from.”
Blues fans are loyal but they present Davis a conundrum. “Half want to have something new, half want to hear something that sounds like Muddy Waters forever,” he said. So far, audiences have been very receptive to his new songs.
In this area, Madison Ribberfest has helped expand the audience for blues. Davis is all for it. He has big expectations for this year’s festival, planned for Aug. 19-20. Ribberfest’s Saturday headliner will be the legendary Buddy Guy, whom Davis calls “the greatest guitar player alive.”
He adds, “(Jimi) Hendrix said the same thing and so did (Eric) Clapton.”
Guy, 75, was ranked 30th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
“I think this is going to be the first Ribberfest that’s really going to pull people from anywhere. In the genre of blues, Buddy Guy is as good as it gets,” said Davis. “I don’t know what they’re going to do next year!”
Other concerts in this year’s Music in the Park series:
• Friday, Aug. 12: This Old Guitar, Seymour, Ind., traditional folk music.
• Friday, Sept. 9: Liam’s Fancy, Lexington, Ky., Irish, Celtic flare and 60s folk.
• Saturday, Sept. 24: The Doctors Band, Madison, sponsored by the Madison Chautauqua.
All concerts are held from 7-9 p.m. at the Broadway Fountain, just north of Main Street on Broadway Street. There are free balloons and face painting for children, and concessions are available.

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