Ben Davis Jr. is prepping to drop a new album on August 16th. It’s called Suthernahia. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.
Ben Davis Jr.
Ben Davis Jr., is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Southern Ohio. He began his career in music performing solo at a place called the Court Street Grill. His rockin’ resume also includes his 2013 debut disc Day Before Payday, and his 2016 EP Leaving Cincinnati. He has also played such live events the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival. His signature sound is a musical mix of multiple genres including alt-country, folk, pop, psychedelia, and rock.
Some sources indicate this could be Davis’ most sincere, powerful album yet. On it, Davis leads the way on guitar and vocals.
He is backed by The Revelry. The band features producer Eddie Ashworth (mandolin and keyboards), Ben Ervin (guitar), Erik Miller (drums), and Levi Westfall on bass.
Track by track
The 10-track CD opens on “I Think You Should.” It’s a strong, lead-in about personal responsibility that is at moments vaguely reminiscent of material by Steve Earle.
Not to be confused with the 1974 hit by Bad Company, this “Can’t Get Enough” while also a mover, is –like all the other songs here–an original song.
“If You Ever Will” is a bit of a roller coaster. It’s fun, clever, and honest but not too blunt.
The next number is “Porchlight.” This is a slow, sad song that briefly reflects on such serious subjects as alcoholism, suicide, and love lost in an exceptional song-story.
The CD’s leading single is the ballad “Just Let Me In.” It’s a great, melancholic dance song about appreciating enduring relationships. It’s heartfelt and is perhaps similar to material by David Childers and Todd Snider.
The lyrics present a wistful ode to a woman who cannot give up bad boys for a nice guy. The music is poignant and highlighted by guest musician Dwayne Whalen on pedal steel.
“Sunday Morning” picks things up again. This one would work well in a TV or Movie soundtrack and even make an impression on college radio.
“Ramblin’ Bones” is another slow number. While the theme is anything but new, Davis takes it and make it his own. It’s a perfect piece for a road trip. “(I’m Doing) Fine Girl” is another candidate for a road trip mix. It’s light and entertaining yet touches on the subjects of perseverance and fidelity.
“Line Boat Blues” reflects on the value of hard, honest work. It features guest artist David Childers on vocals and harmony which adds to the cut’s individual identity. The closing cut, “Carly,” is a quiet, personal piece dedicated to a special “girl-next-door” type Davis lost all too soon to a drug overdose.
Overall the album is a noteworthy, memorable release. While the influences may be obvious, Davis draws you in enough to focus on his honest, tuneful tales. Indeed, his songs may occasionally be inspired by other artists but never, ever cross the line and become dull and derivative.