Moot Davis to fire up Fremont with honky tonkWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sliding behind the wheel of a rusty brown Impala, Moot Davis found his voice — and turned toward his future.
“The way I started writing songs was I didn’t play any instruments; I was just a stage actor in plays and traveled around the United States. And because I was a stage actor and not making very much money, I had these really beat-up, old cars that never had a radio in them, so I would just make up a song to kill the time while I was driving,” he recalled.
“Eventually, the songs started to get better; I noticed they were starting to sound like real songs. I just thought if I got somebody to show me some chords on a guitar, I could accompany myself for fun,” Davis said. “Once I had those couple chords down, I just started rolling with it. ”
That was miles ago. His 2004 self-titled debut restored that classic honky-tonk country; he received comparisons to Hank Williams, Dwight Yoakam and Chris Isaak.
Not one to idle, Davis revved up the country rock for his fourth disc, “Goin’ in Hot,” which drops April 15.
“I love doing the original old country stuff, but playing the new songs is just so much fun,” he said during a call from Los Angeles.
It almost was back to the assembly line. A few days after Davis finished the disc, fire destroyed Wow & Flutter Studio in Nashville. Somehow his songs survived, rescued from a melted, water-soaked computer.
“‘Goin’ in Hot,’ the title, was literally discussed right in the studio maybe two days before the fire. The artwork was done two months beforehand — that whole house on fire was totally the artist’s idea. I don’t know how it all worked out, but it’s pretty bizarre,” the singer-songwriter said.
Most of the tracks deal with loss.
“I had a big breakup; I was in a long-term relationship. My routine quickly became, you know, I’d wake up in the morning and have some coffee and just go and mess around with the guitars in the basement and try to come up with something,” Davis said.
“When I’m doing that kind of writing, I try not to put any filters on anything; it’s just see what comes out … and then [put] my own kind of tongue and cheek on things.”
That playfulness is evident in “25 Lights,” which is about an alien abduction.
Davis, a fan of UFO podcasts, talked about seeing lights in Marfa, Texas.
“There would be one light then there would be two lights, and they seemed to come from one another. It was unexplainable. And it wasn’t a plane, and it wasn’t some swamp gas or whatever they blame it on. It was bizarre. It wasn’t like a massive sighting, like a huge spaceship or anything, but it was just enough to let me know that there are things that are unexplained.”
Davis will step into the spotlight at 8 p.m. April 3 at the Strand Concert Theater, 220 S. Front St., Fremont. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 7 p.m.
“I’m certainly inspired by music that’s come before whether it be classic country honky tonk and classic rock, but a guy who has no idea what the hell he’s really doing,” he said and laughed. “I’m just winging it since I can’t read music and I’m not a musician per se, but I think we’re writing good songs and the performances are fun.”