Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Davidson Trio… Live & On Record!

The Davidson Trio has been together some 18 months, and been reaping the rewards of success few such newly established bands could hope for.

Following covid, it looked like much of the music industry was going to have trouble surviving. Tours were cancelled, venues large and small closed, some bands big enough to wear the storms put in initiatives to help support their road crews but for many, further down the food chain, things didn’t look so good.

Fortunate then, that The Davidson Trio was formed from the ashes of another band, or two.

Vocalist, bass player, and titular head honcho Owen Davidson, lead guitarist Ben Bicknell, and drummer Ellis Brown had been in a Glenn Hughes family tree tribute band called Black Country Community (that started out under the name Soul Mover) – Their young drummer having only recently joined them before decisions were made regarding a change in direction; that despite the band having received much acclaim for appearances at sundry festivals and their own live gigs.

“The blues has always been close to our hearts so we decided this was the direction we wanted to take the new project,” said Bicknell regarding the formation of The Davidson Trio. However, the makeup of the individuals involved in the three-piece ensure it’s not quite as straight forward as that, as the guitarist explained: “The band has a blues rock style which ebbs and flows dipping its toe into other styles such as harder rock, funk and soul.”

Nonetheless, in Bicknell founding the Nuneaton Blues Club, back in 2023, it proved vital lifeline on the road to both that locality’s live music’s recovery, and for the band to begin establishing themselves – It ensured  not only that blues bands had another venue to play regularly but also grow that type of audience around the Nuneaton and Coventry area of the East Midlands. With The Davidson Trio hosting the events as house band for the first few months it meant they began to establish themselves swiftly under their new identity, and as Bicknell noted, it became something “which we really enjoyed.”

Ben Bicknell takes his inspiration form many of the greats in the blues rock field, noting the likes of Gary Moore and Joe Bonamassa as influences, and while he’s happy to shred licks and tumultuous runs in that manner his is also a sweetened tone that approaches and reacts to the needs of the song at the hand. Ellis Brown, is a relative new comer to the scene, and with him brings a strong heavy metal influence, that Bicknell notes: “Really gives the band a different edge.” Heading the trio is Owen Davidson, a character who’s played with many artists over the years,  most notably former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth, and most importantly a man with a five-octave range.

Owen Davidson photo © Billibee Creative Studios.

Live, audiences may expect standard blues makeovers, a few Deep Purple and Black Country Communion holdovers from their previous entity, and even Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ that Davidson’s 51 Stone band (who in their earlier days supported the likes of Trapeze) also covered. But here’s where it becomes most interesting, the new tunes – written by the band themselves – are what’s pulling in new fans, and those interested in what the band has to say for themselves, aside from jovial stage banter.

For those yet to see The Davidson Trio yet, that was evidenced recently with the release of their debut single, ‘Cougar’  – The recording itself a great experience for them, with them agreeing that it   showcased “the band’s sound and feel well.”

Elis Brown photo © Billibee Creative Studios.

‘Cougar’  is a paean to the maturer woman, with a riff that trickles out over a treacle-topped ZZ Top beat, while Davidson makes out like Dave Lee Roth doing Barry White before the power chords rain down and he’s wailing out more familiarly like Glenn Hughes with some Ron Isley in there too. The record’s smooth, a little slick, offers an appealing and amusing narrative, and subtle but fiery soloing from the first chorus on.

You can check out the video to ‘Cougar’ here at RAMzine, with it available for streaming on all good  digital services, including Spotify by clicking here.

Since coming together, the band has quickly started to gain a following on the blues scene and has supported “some great artists” as expressed in their own fan-like terms. Notably among these being former Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell, Wishbone Ash co-founder Martin Turner, and most recently appearances in Wolverhampton with rising star Connor Selby and the man who redefined country rock guitar; the legendary Albert Lee. Their appearance at the 2024 Legends of Rock Festival, earlier this month, receiving rave reviews and their show described as a “highlight performance’.

In what’s to become an even busier year for the band, they intend to continue to play as many live shows as they can, as that’s what Bicknell says they “are most passionate about”. However, beyond that, they are heading back into the studio to record an original album planned for release at the end of 2024. And continuing to spread the word, the guitarist also notes their involvement in another new event: “We are also helping run Nuneaton Blues Festival in association with Nuneaton Blues Club which we hope will be a success!

Ben Bicknell photo © Billibee Creative Studios.

However, aptly, this very night The Davidson Trio will be headlining at the Billesley Rock Club, then making a swift return there on Sunday 17th March for the venue’s St Patrick’s Day Special as special guests to The Pat MacManus Band, led by the former Mama’s Boys and Celtus guitarist – For more information on this click here.

Not only busy but talented, The Davidson Trio is just what the British music scene needs to stay alive and remain vital.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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