David Davenport | The Big Machine

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United States - Illinois

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Folk: Power-folk Rock: Roots Rock Moods: Featuring Piano
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The Big Machine

by David Davenport

Passionate, soulful songs punctuated with alternately soaring and plaintive vocals over a musical blend of styles ranging from pop and classic rock to blues, ballads and alt-country.
Genre: Folk: Power-folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Transition Man
4:13 $0.79
2. The Big Machine
5:06 $0.79
3. The Hurt
4:35 $0.79
4. When Will You Want?
5:16 $0.79
5. Walk In The Woods
3:52 $0.79
6. Lazy Susan
4:13 $0.79
7. Stepping Out Of Line
4:30 $0.79
8. Cage Around My Soul
3:56 $0.79
9. What Does It Take?
5:47 $0.79
10. They're Killing All Our Gods
5:14 $0.79
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Stunning Solo Debut..."
"...sends shivers up the spine."

Now being played on over 60 stations!! They're listed at the website....included are stations like KFAI (Minneapolis), WMUR (Milwaukee), WIIT, WRDP, WZRD, WONC, WRSE (Chicagoland), WSUM (Madison), KSLU-1, KYMC (St. Louis), WBLD, WHFR, WPHS, WSDP (Detroit area), KSAU (Nacogdoches, TX), WWHR (Bowling Green, KY), WLCV(Louisville), WKSR (Kent, OH), WMHD (Terre Haute), KLCR (Dubuque)....and many more!!

David Davenport's unique blend of punk, funk, pop and blues has moved audiences for over a quarter of a century, from California to his home state of Michigan and to his current home of Bloomington, Illinois. His powerful, versatile singing voice has drawn comparisons to Billy Joel, Warren Zevon, Van Morrison, and David Bowie. His piano playing has been labeled as 'inimitable' with a style that alternates between 'punk/funk' , 'soulful slamming', and 'lyrically sweet and jazzy'.

With a firm commitment to the importance of theatrical tension in performance, David combines elements of fun with bursts of passion and moments of clarity and simple beauty in the music selected for his live shows.

A strong history of success in the music business began with his days playing punk rock in San Diego with local legends, Claude Coma & the IV's. From there, he released an album with one of Michigan's most popular power pop bands, The Burdons, which reached #40 on the US Rock Independent Radio Chart in 1985. After moving to Illinois, David helped form a very successful swing blues band, Lorrie Ann & the 3D Rhythm Band, that played with such blues stalwarts as Johnny Lang, Joanna Connor, Mississippi Heat, Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women, and Lonnie Brooks, among others.

All of these musical experiences have given David's original music a flavor not always easy to describe, but well worth the effort. From ballads with political themes to raucous rockers about personal meltdowns to ambitious songs with a somewhat theatrical presentation which evoke memories of Todd Rundgren's heyday, David's sound is constantly reshaping itself.

See for yourself....listen for yourself. You'll hear sincerity, invention, passion, and a longing for truth and redemption. You'll hear the soul of a 21st Century Troubadour.



to write a review

Bob Broad

smart dude sings and plays piano with soul
You’re going to want to take David Davenport out for a cup of coffee, or maybe a beer. He’s just a very interesting guy, rarely saying the expected in his songs, often presenting a surprising and multi-layered point of view on the world.

Songs on “The Big Machine” cover the spectrum from straight-out pop ballads and love songs to reggae, blues, and rock, always driven by Davenport’s stand-out singing and piano playing. My favorite five (out of a total of ten) tunes on this disk are: “Transition Man,” “The Hurt,” “Lazy Susan,” “What Does it Take?” and “They’re Killing All Our Gods.”

The CD kicks off with the rocking “Transition Man.” The message is simple but interesting: the narrator speaks to a woman for whom he will “always be your friend/ but never your lover.” As with so many of Davenport’s songs, what makes this tune fly is his full-power piano playing and soaring vocals. But in these songs there’s always another layer or two. The music and singing are gutsy as hell, yet the lyrics are vulnerable and self-deprecating: “you always get your man/ I get the Dear John letter.” The bongos drive the song along at a bubbly clip, and the duet at the end of the song between Bill Porter’s screaming blues guitar and Davenport’s distorted, Doors-like organ bring it home. Whoa. It’s a complex, fun, touching song, and you’ll be humming the chorus to yourself afterwards.

“The Hurt” reveals Davenport’s interest in deception, truth, guilt, sin, and redemption. Here again, the lyrics are introspective, confessional, and very intimate while the song cruises along with a driving piano- drum- bass-powered rhythm. You admire this guy for the power of his vocals in the first verse and then you’re blown away when he takes them an octave higher in the next. Bill Porter returns on this track with a classic wailing guitar solo to perfectly complement the tune’s painfully soul-baring lyrics.

Alt-country adequately describes the musical feel of “Lazy Susan,” but oh, what a country song. It’s a loving, patient, and ruthless challenge to a woman who has submitted to the comfortingly vapid reassurances of organized religion. The speaker observes that “religion will not save you/ Susan, what you need is faith,” and makes clear how different those two things are: “Their words must be weak/ if they need to shout to be heard.” In this context Davenport’s church organ solo is wicked and hilarious. In contrast to commercial religion, the speaker urges Susan to follow the glimmers she feels of a yearning to seek truth for herself, and so to make it real. As on so many of the tracks on this CD, rich and gorgeous harmonies run throughout the choruses, and give the song a gospel inspirational feel.

The relentless yet tuneful chugging of “What Does it Take?” brings us deep inside the psyche of someone who has given up on having his own life, ego, and identity. He’s always wishing to be someone and something else: “I wish, just for a day, that I could be a hero . . .” And the catchy chorus asks: “What does it take to want to want to be somebody else/ What does it take to want to give it up?” This deep yearning to understand people who are different is what makes Davenport’s songs so appealing, even when he has a critique of the characters and situations about which he sings. After a surprising, dream-like interlude, Erik Nelson’s achingly sweet and easy-flowing guitar solo takes the song out.

The CD closes with characteristic Davenport gutsiness: a simple, soulful cry of rage against the murders of John Lennon and MLK, Jr. The gently lilting solo piano of “They’re Killing All Our Gods” accompanies a vocal and lyric that doesn’t settle for pity or sentimentality. “Time will say that they were wise men/ My heart will know they were loved.” The truth and wisdom these martyrs revealed in their lives and deaths allows them, with Davenport, to transcend the maudlin and find dignity and nobility in their stories.

I find David Davenport’s singing awe-inspiring, his piano playing gorgeous. But perhaps even more appealing is the complex mixture of ballsy vulnerability, intellectual feeling, passion and compassion that comes through his lyrics. He seeks to understand where others might mock, judge, or wallow in cliché; I find that admirable and inviting. Combining that wisdom with the sheer luxurious fun of the music makes the collection a winner.

Gayle Hess

An excellent eclectic mix!
This CD is just what I like: an eclectic mix of styles, from the softer stuff to the good old-fashioned, no-nonsense rock. I like the beautifully restrained "Stepping Out of Line" as much as the souped-up "Transition Man." No matter the style, the background vocals provide a perfect complement.

Amy Porter

Its ALL good!
I love every song on this CD! I find myself singing several of the songs from The Big Machine throughout the day. Usually I like only one or maybe two songs from a CD but this one is FULL of great songs that are bound to be big hits!