On the Scene

On the Scene: Cutting an album

otaylor@thestate.comJuly 20, 2012 

  • Coming Sunday South Carolina native James Jamerson, a member of The Funk Brothers, the Motown Records’ session band that played on the label’s biggest hits, will be featured in an episode of PBS’ “History Detectives” at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Actually, it’s his amp — or what one collector thinks is an amp that belonged to Jamerson. The segment details Jamerson’s imprint on Motown and music in general. What isn’t discussed is why Jamerson, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, isn’t in South Carolina’s Hall of Fame, a topic I’ve reported on previously. In Sunday’s Life & Style, I revisit Jamerson’s musical impact and his cousin’s quest to have him respected in South Carolina. The show can be seen on ETV, Time Warner cable channel 11.

ALMOST FAMOUS: “Be Wary of a Woman” by Darius Rucker, “Love I’ve Found in You” by Lady Antebellum and Pat’s Green’s “Dixie Lullaby” were all written by Patrick Davis, the Camden native who has made a career by writing hits for country music stars.

On the new EP “The Cuts-Volume One,” Davis, who performs at Tin Roof tonight, sings recorded versions of his songs made popular by others. He’s been performing the songs live, but this is the first time, after repeated requests from fans, that he’s recorded the music.

“I’ve been contemplating doing this for so long,” he said. “I wanted to do a version of some of the songs. That’s why I play them, because I like the songs.”

Davis has become an in-demand songwriter, particularly since the winsome 2008 song “Where I’m From” became a hit for Jason Michael Carroll. It took for “American Idol” contestant Casey James two years to release his debut, and on James’ self-titled debut released in March, Davis’ “So Sweet” was included. Both songs are on “The Cut.”

“I kept those pretty true to what they’ve always been,” Davis said.

He significantly changed “Ain’t Lettin’ Go,” which was released by Josh Kelley, an Augusta native whose brother, Charles, is a member of the country-rock trio Lady Antebellum. Davis slowed the tempo at the suggestion of producer Jedd Hughes, who has been a session guitarist for Keith Urban and Eric Church, among others.

“You feel the emotion a little bit more, which is a lot of fun because I never thought of doing the song that way,” Davis said.

The Lady A song was given more pop.

“That one was a lot of fun because we were able to change it up, just a little bouncier feel,” Davis said.

Davis also recorded the music with the musicians playing simultaneously in the same room. Traditionally instrumental parts are recorded separately.

“It gives you that warm feeling that you can only get with everyone playing there in the same room,” he said. “We cut it right there in the studio together. That’s a little different than the way we normally do things.”

The EP, available at the show, iTunes and at patrickdavismusic.com, is something for people that have supported him since he’s been in Nashville. The release leads to this question: when is Davis going to release his own album? He said Kristian Bush of Sugarland wants to his produce album, but because of recording and touring schedules, that probably won’t happen for several months.

Another hurdle is Davis’ sound and how labels might market it. He’s too rock and singer-songwriter for country radio and too country for contemporary or rock radio.

“What I do is a little left of center of what is going on country radio,” he said. “I’m just going to continue to play and make music. That doesn’t mean in a year or two the marketplace will shift where there will be a place for someone like me.”

Tin Roof is at 1022 Senate St. $15, which includes EP; (803) 771-1558


BE IN A DEATH OF PARIS VIDEO: Death of Paris, a kinetic electro-pop band, will shoot a music video for its song “Narcoleptic” at Art Bar on Saturday. The shoot, directed by Shae Winston and Gauge Santiago, is from 3-8 p.m. The band needs extras, and the first 50 people to sign up will receive free wristbands to the evening’s show that will include Hank & Cupcakes, Ye Mighty and Latenights. There will be crowd scenes and cameos from folks involved in the local music scene. So if you want in, be there early so you can sign a release form.

The concert starts at 9 p.m. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $5. For more, visit http://tinyurl.com/ DOPvideoshoot.

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