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.
Well, they’re the latest band to jump out of the ever-expanding mind of Jed Davis, who has previously conjured up such impressive bands as Hanslick Rebellion, Collider, Jeebus and Skyscape. Davis – who earned the Nippertown Music Award for Best Wax Cylinder of the Year for his 2010 recording “Yuppie Exodus from DUMBO” – has teamed up with an all-star bunch of musicians – guitarslinger Avi Zahner-Isenberg and drummer Sheridan Riley (both from the edgy Sub Pop rockers Avi Buffalo) and veteran bassist Chuck Rainey (master sessioneer and groovemeister who has laid down the foundation for albums by Laura Nyro, Tim Buckley, Marvin Gaye and Steely Dan, to name just a few.)
Nippertown’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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