Chris Davis, a Seattle based Rock and Roller (with a previous release entitled My Anxiety), has gone Country. But not in the way many artists today genre-swap as a ploy to get more fans and any ol’ audience will do. No, instead Davis has gotten back to the roots of his upbringing, the solid based country sounds of Waylon Jennings and Co., and fused it with his rock sensibilities. The result is his country debut, Patience Is A Virtue, a solid soulful country-rock record with tight grooves and hookin-em-in melodies that orchestrate around his whiskey worn voice. His days of Rock and Roll are definitely evidenced in the inflections of his tone, but the candid mournfulness is pure country. Davis wrote or co-wrote all of the eleven songs on the album and has succeeded in showing reverence for the music that influenced him and the result is an innovative emotionally satisfying collection of songs.
The disc starts off strong with the song, Gone and a definite nod to Davis’ hero Waylon Jennings, with a back beat and groove authenticated by actual former members of the Original Outlaw’s band, as it sets the tone for the theme of the album-leaving, loving, losin’ and drinkin’…every thing that good country music is supposed to be about. The second track, “Kiss You Really Slow,” is one of the strongest offerings, with Davis’ seductive intonations and the catchy slide riffs. Davis shifts between a narrative slant (“Prairie So Lonesome”, “The Safe”) and a conversational approach in his lyrical style (“Move On,” “Drink Her Memory From My Mind”).
In a song with a title George Jones would be proud of, Davis’ vocals are at their best in “Yesterday Is Killing Me Today” …
There’s not a hole deep enough to bury my heart in
since I let you go
But I try to look ahead, tired of livin’ among the dead
Sometimes I just don’t know why I ever hit the road
I try not to look back too much, I’m afraid I’ll lose my way
Oh and yesterday, Yesterday is killin’ me today
The album never wavers from a chosen path of heartbreak and defiance, and the final notes of the outstanding “One Last Request” (a dying man’s wish to hear his favorite songs) depict Davis’ genuine love for the music he has chosen to make.
With infectious melodies, gut-busting guitar riffs and outlaw grooves set by A-list group of musicians, highlighted by Davis’ heart stirring vocals, Patience Is A Virtue shows that Country chose Chris Davis, and not the other way around.
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