By Request
Watch What Happens – Lincoln Skyline –
Pomegrante Rag – A Night In Seville – Riverside Stroll – Flip Of A Coin –
12 Street Blues – Whiskey Before Seven – Out in The Moonlight –
Peaceful Thunder
Wow, I can’t begin to tell you how impressed
I am with this young musician, 16-year old Matthew Davis.  He just gave
a monster concert at the Oak Tree in Anita, Iowa, and I suspect he is
going to find his road in life full of music surprises as he makes his
way to a very high success experience.  He plays all kinds of music, but
he excels on the 5-string banjo (meaning he’s a great bluegrasser), but
he also excels on acoustic guitar (meaning he’s a great vocalist and
rhythm-lead player), but he also excels on mandolin (meaning he can find
a spot in his heart for some interesting folk music), but he also
excels on piano, especially the old upright tight and solid.  Rag of
course is his supreme favorite which this CD has a ton of, but he also
likes jazz, and we find a lot of this too.  What’s so very interesting
about this young guy is that he plays piano, guitar, banjo, bass,
mandolin, and drums on the entire experiment, and lo and behold he plays
all of them extremely well. His brother Nicholas Davis is the sound
board mixer, meaning he had his hands full putting the music into a
listenable experience, and he did remarkably well bringing all these
individual tracks together so magnificently.  He also contributed some
saxophone, trumpet, and rhythm guitar to the project.  Whaaaaat!  Where
did these two young brothers come from?  From Nebraska, where else. 
Born and raised in the Alma area, they both got the same ‘musical
education’ listening to what is available out here on the great prairie
lands, which is definitely not ‘limited’ to what we hear as country
music today.  They can get it all, and enjoy it equally well with their
own listeners and fans.  This CD “By Request” is chock full of that
old-time style.  And by old-time I mean it takes in vaudeville to the
hilt, ‘Pomegranate Rag,’ ‘Flip Of A Coin’ and ‘Out In The Moonlight’
sounds like it just walked in from 1920, proud and gushy full of that
old-time sound, even a washboard effect, but it’s the lead guitar that
‘fills’ the music with expression, and please don’t forget the banjo in
that old-time style, and all the other lead instruments that take
turns.  Piano is the major lead instrument throughout, and ‘Riverside
Stroll’ sounds exactly that, only in my imagination as I listen, it’s me
and my wife Sheila walking along the Seine River in Paris, France,
which we’ve done. My favorite song is “12 Street Blues” extremely well
done with the electric guitar taking turns answering each other in a
stereo effect.  Super well done, especially the mix.  Wow, this
instrumental CD will take you back in time to another era, another sound
experience, another wonder.  Even though it precedes the great
traditional country instrumental sound I so enjoy coming off the
Appalachian Mountains, this particular CD sails with little effort in
capturing and captivating the listener, because no doubt, it will
require more than one listen to acquaint oneself with all the
interjected and interspersed interplay that happens on this delightful
project.  Highly recommended for jazz listeners, but even more
recommended to any traditional or classic music lover that wants to hear
something incredibly well done, and incredibly well executed.  Off it
goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission.

for Country Music News International Magazine

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