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Archive for April, 2015

Joshua Davis: Echoes of Simon & Garfunkel

Monday, April 27th, 2015

#DavisNation @JoshuaDavis77Oh, joy! My friend Joshua Davis is now in the last 8 performers competing on NBC’s The Voice show.

Josh still needs our votes. I’m here to do my best to encourage you to listen (8pm Monday night, Eastern Time). In Lansing, Michigan you can watch for free at Celebration Cinema, and there are other locations for viewing in Frankfort, Leland, Grand Rapids, Bellaire and Portage. Check http://EarthworkMusic.com for information on the #DavisNation and how to vote/view.

I’m really impressed with how well the show is set up to help the contestants get to know each other and feel like family (rather than encouraging competition and conflict). There is enough drama in waiting to hear for who got voted in by “America” (the voters), there is no sense making the competitors feel alienated and alone on stage. That nonsense is not happening here, and I’m grateful.

I spent time a few weeks ago reading everything I could about the show, because I was new to this. I found a number of people suggesting that Josh’s performance of Budapest reminded them of Simon and Garfunkel. This intrigued me, because I felt that way, too, and I couldn’t figure out why.

While you are listening to Budapest, notice the subtle voice he starts with… it also reminds me of the soothing voice of Art Garfunkel. And then he gets so strong at the “Michigan feels like a dream to me now…” section. Of course. His stronger voice has echoes of Simon… and of course, he always sounds like himself under it all.

Then I listened to the intro guitar picking pattern on Budapest and it reminded me of something… so I went and listened to some intros to Simon and Garfunkel. I found it! Listen to the beginning of Budapest and then listen to April, Come She Will at about 11 seconds, where the second intro pattern emerges. The same pattern!!! And the voice of Art Garfunkel has that soft insistence we hear at the beginning of Budapest. Yeah, Josh!!!

 THEN THE SURPRISE!!!

So… I started to write this post and it was involved enough that I didn’t finish in time for the top 10… so I got surprised. Josh picked America by Simon and Garfunkel as his performance at that point. And he did it artfully, perfectly and with so much emotion! It stands tall even when listened to with eyes closed on earphones. Sound alone, he delivers it beautifully.

Even Music Times agrees with me:

Team Adam still feels like the weakest batch to me, but I think America did right by picking Joshua Davis as the first of his three to make it into the top 10. His performance of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” on Monday night was soft and perfectly balanced, proving that the power of quiet music never leaves.

Carolyn Menyes, Music Times

And that got him into the top 10. And last week, he sang for top 8 and got the instant save via tweets on Monday night… So much adrenaline, my stomach hurt… but this guy is really showing his chops from having been on many, many stages over 15+ years on tour with Steppin’ in It and now solo. What a pro. His “instant save” song was “I Won’t Back Down” (we know this one from Tom Petty).

If you download any of these songs by Joshua Davis via iTunes, he gets votes that follow him to the end. Only $1.29 for the studio version, and the pleasure of hearing them any time you want on your favorite gizmo!

Two Hours to Show Time

I’m sitting here 2 hours before he sings again. I need to get going and post this… and get over to the Theatre to watch. I don’t have a TV in my house, so it’s pretty lovely to watch with others who also want to support our friend!!!

There will definitely be knitting. I’m going for the 2nd week with my knitting friend Helen. So fun!

Pass this along, if you would please. All the 8 are stars. Let’s give them credit. And let’s be sure to give Josh our well-deserved votes.

Friend Josh Davis, on The Voice, needs you!!!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Joshua Davis on The VoiceLongtime readers here know that I sing with my husband Brian, as The Fabulous Heftones. One of the amazing things about singing professionally is that I get to meet and jam with other musicians who are top notch. It’s a joy!

One band we’ve known for about 15 years is Steppin’ in It. They played weekly (for years) at the Green Door, a music venue on the Eastside… my favorite part of town!

#DavisNation @JoshuaDavis77About Joshua Davis
Josh Davis is the front man for Steppin’ in It, and writes many of their songs. Lately he’s been doing more solo work (they all have). Josh got a surprise call from NBC’s show The Voice, and is on the current Season 8.

I don’t watch TV… we literally have no way to watch at home. I’d never heard of The Voice. But with my friend on it, I’ve been finding ways to watch.

The Voice is a Class Act
I’m really impressed at the respect the contestants receive from the celebrity coaches, and the way they are set up to cooperate and learn to feel connected to each other in spite of the competition. Very refreshing!

Please Support Josh: Vote before Noon Tuesday!
Josh is now in the final 12 people. At this point, the celebrity coaches can not impact if he moves on or not. It’s all up to us, the public. If he is in the top vote-getters, he can complete the competition. If not, he goes home. Please consider helping him out. (There are videos below to show you why he is worthy of your votes.)

Each fan can vote up to 41 votes.

To help, you must vote by noon, Tuesday 4/14!!!

Here are instruction pages on how to do it:

How to Vote for Joshua Davis on The Voice from Earthwork

The Lansing State Journal: How to vote for Josh Davis by Anne Erickson

Listen to Joshua Sing
Here is a video of the song he sang Monday 4/13. (America by Simon & Garfunkel, a wonderful song.) If you download it from iTunes before noon ($1.29) it will count as one vote and you can listen to Josh serenade you whenever you want!

And besides… Josh’s voice singing Simon and Garfunkel? I must confess I cried.

Here he is singing “Budapest,” a song that was a hit in Europe. I didn’t know it, but I think it’s my new favorite recording.

Thanks for your support and your consideration. Hugs from Michigan’s music heartland.

Use that Good China!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

I clipped this quote somewhere on the internet, and now I’ve done a Google search and a search of Facebook and can’t find it. May the writer forgive me for sharing these wise comments (which clearly were intended to be shared) without attribution.

” When I was studying nursing, I worked in a nursing home. There were so many residents that had sentimental and special things that were given away, in pristine condition and never used. It just seems like such a waste!

Tomorrow may never come, so don’t leave your beautiful, sparkly things sitting in boxes and in the cupboard. Use and enjoy them!”

I also found a column by Regina Brett, Columnist Regina Brett45 life lessons. It’s being circulated on Facebook as written by a 90-year old. They have her name right, but her age is 53 (I found this information on the urban-legend-busting website Snopes.com). I particularly want to share this goodie that relates to the one above:

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

–Regina Brett

For the record, I’m showing Ms. Brett’s photo here… and then showing the photo that has been accompanying the post on Facebook. Iris Apfel, Fashion DesignerI happened to recognize the incorrect photo. It’s Iris Apfel, a New York fashion icon and designer. I love her style!!! Click here for more photos and information on Iris.

My Own Challenge

I’m in a group on Facebook full of entrepreneurs working solo. One week there was a challenge to find things in our homes that we had not used, that we were essentially “saving for good.” I did well in the kitchen area, there was one jar of golden syrup that I deem so yummy I was saving it for a special occasion. I’d used my long-saved saffron and a vanilla bean, before the challenge.

Hawaiian dressBut in my closet? Oh, the beautiful clothing I wasn’t wearing. I have a 1960’s Hawaiian dress, in like-new condition. I sort of think of it as a museum piece and so I leave it for later, which never comes. I have a hand-woven/hand-embroidered dress from 1970’s Egypt which I’ve never worn and now doesn’t fit me anymore.

I do have some textiles I deem collectible which I never intended to wear (hand-embroidered with hand-dyed threads, from Uzbekistan and Turkey… and hand-knitted Turkish socks and Andean hats). I also have an amazing wool double-knit top from the 70’s (back when polyester double-knit was king… with op art patterns).

But really? Why not wear a dress until it doesn’t fit my 50-something body… when it did fit when I got it as a gift from a woman who bought it in Egypt?

And I have some amazing yarn I’ve collected as souvenirs on my travels. The problem with this is that I typically buy yarns I can’t get at my local shop. And I make a living helping shops help their customers, by pairing their yarns with my designs. So it’s hard to justify knitting with a specialty one-off yarn.

Isn’t life funny? I think I don’t hoard. I don’t hoard food or household supplies. I don’t hoard money, goodness knows. But I hoard textiles, which are my most precious things.

I am now eager for a hot day. It’s time to wear that dress.

How about you?