By now you will have understood if you have been attending this column for some time: country is full of incredible stories. Tragic stories, hard stories, lives that often sink and then reborn, but sometimes really crazy and funny stories. Here are friends, today I will talk about one of the stories that has kept independent country music fans glued to social media, more than any other, in recent years. I will talk about it in brief, of course, it would take pages and pages of story, but if you want to deepen then find everything on the net and you will not be disappointed. It all started in 2017 in a place called Hays in Kansas, a small town halfway between Kansas City and Denver in Colorado. The tour of the “King of Independents”, Cody Jinks, after the stage in Colorado was performing right there. Keep in mind the “after stage in Colorado”. With the great Cody, on tour there was also one of the most incredible talented artists of recent years: Ward Davis (for those who have read my book “The Last Ballad of the Wolf”, now you know where I took the first name of one of the protagonists, ed). After his performance and towards the end of Jinks‘ performance, Ward was leaning against his van to smoke a cigarette in peace, while inside the vehicle his band was relaxing thinking maybe they were still in Colorado (for those who do not know over there marjuana is legal). At that precise moment a policeman from the town of Hays decided it was the right time to check and knocked on the door of the van. All down from the van and search: moral of the story the bassist of the band and the good Ward Davis arrested, picked up in the car and rushed to the police station (which was 45 seconds by car from the concert), while Jinks came out at the time and started insulting the cops. Bail paid, weed first thrown for fear of being stopped again, but then recovered and finished in a hurry and a fantastic story to be included in some new piece. Over here? Absolutely not! The beauty began right then and all thanks to the irony and genius of Davis. He began to insert jokes and teases under every single post of Hays‘ police officers: he left him no respite. First sharp jokes with answers always ready, up to the thanks from the Department for sharing a campaign for a charity initiative, which earned him the hilarious “card free exit from prison” posted by the Police. The exchange lasted several months until Davis himself applied to be hired at the Department and eventually the battle had two winners: as they say if you can’t beat them, join them. The story that I briefly summarized led Ward Davis to organize and record a live right here and, friends, I can tell you that, on the final of this 2022, comes one of the most beautiful live of these last years, definitely at the level of Red Rocks Live of his friend Jinks and Live from the Desert of Shane Smith and the Saints. The artist is perhaps one of the most complete and versatile that American music has produced in recent years: great songwriter, guitarist, poet and pianist. An all-round artist, who makes intelligence and irony a reason for living. The live is a burst of energy and talent that we will hardly forget, 17 pieces that look like one, a monolith of music without breaks, without drops and, indeed, enriched by the beats and short stories of a true genius. It begins with his Papa and Mama, whipped by guitar and his intense and powerful voice: a departure with the proverbial bang. A train that will never stop. Should I mention each piece, have to do it with the wonderful Waylon Jennings cover, Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? Thanks to his many fans, although his music is not passed by mainstream radio in Nashville and his pompous (and useless) competitions. A manifesto, a piece that is all that independent artists are and represent for thousands (perhaps millions) of fans around the world. Outlaw in name and in fact. The live could stop here and it would be already wonderful, but continuing reaches levels of energy and quality unmatched for most artists today in the music business. It follows a triptych of pieces that Davis wrote with Cody Jinks and coming from Jinks records. The songs are crazy and energetic versions, his musical twin will be proud of these versions at the level of his. From the works of Cody Jinks, he also performs another co-written piece that is one of the most beautiful for those who write about the Texan discography, namely I’m Not the Devil. Friends that version! Friends that voice! When I hear Ward Davis sing and play my thoughts go to another incredibly talented musician who hasn’t left us for a long time: Tom Petty (of whom he performs a wonderful cover, Time to Move On), his sound, his energy and his poetry are very similar. Wonderful 15 Years in a 10 Year Town and Old Wore Out Cowboys, taken from his first EP, two intense pieces, poetic and with incredible expressive power. The medley of two covers as diverse as Right Here Waiting (by Richard Marx) and Freebird (by Lynyrd Skynyrd, perhaps one of the most beautiful pieces in the history of rock music), is pure art and fire. Only someone with boundless talent could think about and succeed, then the devastating solos in the end are the classic icing on this wonderful cake. A live that releases energy and poetry, Ward Davis is probably one of the most underrated artists that American music has produced in recent years, one that deserves to sit at the table of biggest and in this concert shows the world what country music and its stories really are. A story that could become a book or a film, but that is now a great live album as it has not been heard for some time. The music of Ward Davis is smile, energy, poetry and feeling; a beauty that I recommend everyone to discover and what better way to do it than to listen live in the city where now Ward Davis is for everyone “the Sheriff of Hays, Kansas”?
Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it
(you can find original italian article at this link: https://www.ticinonotizie.it/ward-davis-live-from-an-undisclosed-location-in-hays-kansas-2022-by-trex-roads/ )