Joshua Davis, finalist from the 2015 season of NBC’s The Voice will grace the The Pocahontas County Opera House stage Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Speaking or singing, the voice of Joshua Davis is a disarming instrument: wea-thered and warm, as capable of conjuring confessional intimacy on a global stage as it is of making a small room, well off the beaten path, resonate with startling urgency and power. Couple it with an earnest poetic sensibility, a boundless work ethic, and an uncanny gift for connecting with audiences spanning generations, and it’s no wonder that Davis is now poised at the brink of the sort of widespread recognition that typically passes right over such a humble troubadour.
Over the past 15 years, Michigan-based Davis has honed an impressive range of skills – songwriter, bandleader, guitarist and vocalist among them – in the most honest possible fashion: night after night, song after song, show after show – Davis simply delivered every performance as though his life depended on it. Investing himself in the American musical diaspora, he has explored the common thread connecting folk, blues, jazz, ragtime, and country forms – discovering his personal perspective as a composer in the process.
Davis almost didn’t audition when the popular NBC musical showcase The Voice called.
“I’d never even seen the show. Looking at music in a competitive way is totally against the way I was raised,” he said. “Collaboration is what it’s about. Music brings people together. So the competitive aspect of it was really foreign – to be judged like that.”
From his first performance, Davis triumphed, and over the course of the season, his rootsy, sincere approach emerged as a refreshing alternative and propelled him all the way to finals, where he performed a duet with Sheryl Crow for a national television audience.
The unexpected gift of an instant national audience has given Davis a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he is careful when considering its implications and possibilities. The combination of his recent success and his long journey to get there is inspiring a new batch of songs, still in their “larval form,” as Davis puts it. But he’s still doing things as he always have: Walking into the studio with his guitar, his songs, and his band, counting off, and rolling tape – taking the performance live off the floor, with little post-production sweetening.
“More than anything else, it’s really important to me to show people that you don’t need to rely on studio tricks and cheats to make a great album,” Davis said. “The music I love is raw and organic and it’s perfectly flawed. If more people are listening, I’d like that to be highlighted a little bit more. That’s where I see my place: Playing music that’s a little more raw, that’s a little more organic, that lives and breaths. And also that’s timeless in some way.”
Tickets for the April 16 performance are $10 for adults. Youth 17 and younger are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available at the door and in advance at pocahontasoperahouse.org or at the 4th Avenue Gallery in Marlinton.
Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend;
special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645.
The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Support is also provided by Pocahontas County Drama, Fairs and Festivals and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau. West Virginia Dance Company is also presented with support from The Snowshoe Foundation.