Guest post from Sore Eros:
“John Davis was a very mysterious figure during my teenage years. A friend of mine in high school ordered a bunch of tapes from a label out of California called Shrimper. One tape in particular stood out from the group- “Stars and Songs” by John Davis. At the time (mid 90s) I was just getting into learning how to record, onto a cassette four track with middling results. When I began listening to Stars and Songs I was amazed how well John was able to convey such a great innocent feeling through such a lo-fidelity method. It gave me hope that I could possibly do something just as neat using just my four track.
Besides my high school friend, I never really met anyone who was into John Davis, until my freshman year orientation for college in Boston. I started talking to this kid who seemed pretty cool. We went into his room and I started looking through his cds. I couldn’t believe it -he had a John Davis album. The kids name was Adam Green and he dropped out of school after his first semester and started The Moldy Peaches. I just think it’s funny how our friendship was formed on talking about John Davis. We didn’t really know much about him so sometimes we would come up with Situations and think about what John Davis would do in them. Adam heard somewhere that he lived in Cambridge, and I think we got a phone book to look up his name and randomly call a bunch of people named “John Davis’’. Unfortunately he never answered.
John Davis still remains a mystery to me. Even now with access to the world wide web, I’ve never really been able to find information on him or even what he’s been up to lately. It seems like he just disappeared. If anyone has heard of him, they usually just know of his work with Lou Barlow in the Folk Implosion, but I feel his early solo work is much more interesting. Regrettably I do not have any of his early stuff on any sort of Digital Format, but I did find this song that appeared on a later release, Blue Mountain. It doesn’t have the exact charm of his lo-fi recordings but still encompasses the particular elements of John’s stuff that I’ve always loved- simple lyrics, catchy melody (delivered through his delicate sounding voice) and an almost tribal sounding rhythm. I’m not exactly sure what this particular song is about, but he mentions drive thru french fries, different kinds of baseball pitches along with rivers and streams”