New Release Rack: Jed Davis’ “Small Sacrifices Must Be Made”

October 3rd, 2012, 2:30 pm by Greg

Jed Davis: Small Sacrifices Must Be Made!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Jed Davis’ music is simply brilliant.

His new album, Small Sacrifices Must Be Made, has been available on his website since July, but it’s slated to be officially released on Eschatone Records on Tuesday (October 9).

As usual, the album is a dizzyingly delightful batch of a dozen smart, original songs that range from Jackson 5-styled soul-pop (“Babysitter”) to hair metal (“Ride The Party Bus”) to psychedelic prog-rock (“Symbiosis”). Of course, that’s pretty much the kind of stylistic range that we’ve come to expect from Davis, who’s musical resume includes collaborations with the Ramones, a stint as keyboardist-musical director for Jessica Simpson and recordings with Steely Dan bassist Chuck Rainey.

While Davis plays all of the keyboards on the new album – from piano to Mellotron to synthesizer – he gathered a rather mind-boggling all-star army of musicians to fill in the rest of the album’s eclectic sounds – guitarist Reeves Gabrels, drummer Anton Fig, bassist Graham Maby, hornman Ralph Carney, accordionist Brian Dewan, pedal steel player Bruce Kaphan and the members of Avi Buffalo.

A number of Local 518ers also helped flesh out the album, as well, including Albany music scene mainstays Bryan Thomas, Mario Sevayega, John Delehanty and David Schulman.

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Five Firsts: Jed Davis

October 5th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Jed Davis

Jed Davis

NAME: Jed Davis
BAND AFFILIATION: solo, Sevendys, the Hanslick Rebellion, Skyscape, probably others
INSTRUMENT: keyboards

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … When I was a very very little kid – I’m talking like two or three years old – we had a family friend who used to babysit me. She brought me into Brooklyn fairly often, where we would hang out with her buddies Leo and Peter. These dudes ran what they called a “record store,” but it was out the back of a truck, so in retrospect I suppose they might have been fencing records. They’d occasionally give me singles, which I kept in a little 45 carrying-case that was blue with white daisies on it. This was mostly stuff like Debby Boone and Nick Gilder… looking back, I have to assume it was product they couldn’t get rid of otherwise. I do remember Leo and Peter getting me a copy of Dan Hartman’s “Instant Replay” by request – so though I didn’t technically buy it, that was the first record I acquired of my own free will. Similarly, the first full album I considered “mine” was also not purchased, but appropriated: a copy of “Sgt. Pepper” my parents brought back with them from my dad’s naval tour of duty somewhere or other. The packaging was all in Spanish, so I only knew the album as “La Banda del Club de Corazones Solitarios del Sargento Pepper.”

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New Sevendys Sounds from Jed Davis… And More

August 22nd, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

Sevendys: Hold On To Your Soul

It’s damned difficult keeping up with the tireless Jed Davis, who is likely Nippertown’s busiest low-profile musician. Just last month, we reported the release of Davis’ latest album, “Shoot the Piano Player,” which was engineered by superstar producer Steve Albini.

But Davis – who has worked with everyone from Jessica Simpson to the Ramones over the years – always seems to have a dozen or so irons in the fire, so here’s an update on some of Davis’ other musical activities:

“Hold On to Your Soul,” a new from Sevendys has been posted online. In case you’ve forgotten, the allstar Sevendys line-up includes Davis (vocals/keyboards), drummer Sheridan Riley and guitarist Avi Zahner-Isenberg (both of Sub Pop’s Avi Buffalo), former Steely Dan bassist Chuck Rainey and uber drummer-percussionist Jerry Marotta. The new song, which was recorded at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock, also features special guest John Sebastian on some wailin’ harmonica. The song is available as a name-your-own-price download.

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New Album: Jed Davis’ “Shoot the Piano Player”

July 7th, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg

Shoot The Piano Player

Tireless singer-songwriter and, yes, keyboardist Jed Davis is releasing his latest album today, titled “Shoot the Piano Player.”

“I’ve been doing this ‘Single of the Month’ thing on my Bandcamp page, giving away a new free track on the 7th of every month,” Davis explains. “July 7 is my birthday, so I decided to make a whole album available this month, instead of just one song.”

Well, today is July 7, and in honor of Davis birthday, the album is available today and today only at a name-your-own price. After today, it will be $9.99.

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Jed Davis & the Sevendys Tour America’s Great Recording Studios

January 24th, 2011, 2:27 pm by Greg

SevendysNippertown’s own Jed Davis had a very busy year in 2010, and 2011 shaping up to be equally fruitful already. Keyboardist-vocalist Davis is working on a new band, the Sevendys, with drummer Sheridan Riley and guitarist Avi Zahner-Isenberg, both members of the Sub Pop recording artists Avi Buffalo.

The Sevendys are interested in transforming the recording process into an adventure by visiting some of America’s most legendary studios like Muscle Shoals, EastWest or Ardent. “Studio recording is arguably a dying art, and in the past decade classic studios have been disappearing faster and faster,” Davis says. “As we brainstormed potential destinations, I thought about how each studio represented a time, a region, and a sound. I began to categorize newly-written songs by appropriateness for a particular studio. A tune that might lend itself to lush sonic experimentation would get earmarked for Dreamland. Something basic, grooving and soulful, for Muscle Shoals.”

They decided to make their first recording journey to SugarHill in Houston. Originally known as Gold Star, it’s the oldest continually-operating studio in the United States. As Davis says, “The air in that room has gotten shook up by all manner of hillbillies and bluesmen, by the Big Bopper and the 13th Floor Elevators. SugarHill isn’t synonymous with a sound, but the studio’s output represents a spectrum of styles that are all genuinely American.

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Nippertown Music News

November 22nd, 2010, 1:00 pm by Greg

JED DAVIS: The restless and seemingly tireless Jed Davis – prolific Nippertown musician who also runs the Fake Coffeehouse at UAlbany’s Campus Center – is getting ready to embark upon yet another new musical adventure. Here’s what he had to say about it on his blog:

“Now I want to do something new, completely new. Brand new songs; musicians I’ve never played with before; new audience, even, building from scratch. Maybe I’m just caught up in the college energy… dunno, don’t care. I’m going with it.

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Real Good for Free: Space Toilets’ “The Wizard’s Demon End”

November 1st, 2010, 10:01 am by Greg

Jed Davis – formerly of such bands as the Hanslick Rebellion, Collision, Jeebus and others – has been a busy, busy guy this year.

Upon leaving Brooklyn and returning once again to make his home in Nippertown, Davis released “Yuppie Exodus From DUMBO,” a wax cylinder single.

Then he finally got around to finishing up and releasing his years-in-the-making full-length CD, “The Cutting Room Floor.”

Now, he’s teamed up with Avi Zahner-Isenberg – guitarist-vocalist with Sub Pop Records’ indie rockers Avi Buffalo – to form Space Toilets.

Davis describes the project as “an improvisational collaboration.” He says, “We recorded a number of fun keyboard/guitar jams, then added vocalish-type stuff on top.”

The first fruit of their musical labor is a sprawling, 10-minute track titled “The Wizard’s Demon End,” and you can download it for free.

Meanwhile… Davis showcases yet another collaboration live on Tuesday evening at the Fake Coffeehouse (the old Rathskellar) in UAlbany’s Campus Center. Davis, who performs there each Tuesday evening, will join forces with dynamo drummer Jerry Marotta for a free show at 7pm Tuesday. Sharing the bill will be Michael Eck (in maximum solo acoustic mode).

CD: Jed Davis’ “The Cutting Room Floor”

September 20th, 2010, 10:01 am by Greg

Jed Davis: The Cutting Room Floor(Eschatone Records, 2010):

Whoa, Jed Davis is back in Nippertown, and he’s taking no prisoners. Damn, this is twisted pop genius stuff.

After a stint in the oh-so-cool bohemian borough of Brooklyn, he’s back in the Capital Region once again, and whether you know it or not, that’s cause for a serious celebration.

Maybe you remember him from Hanslick Rebellion. Or Jeebus. Or Collider, Skyscape or whatever…

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