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True-blue Bluegrass

February 11, 2005

David Davis and the Warrior River Boys is a traditional, hard-driving bluegrass band from Alabama.

We and our friends always see this band when they're in town—and once a year they do drive up from way down South for a quick weekend show. That's the kind of driving they do.

If you like beautiful playing, wonderful harmonies and honest as all get-out music, you should check them out.

Dave Davis has a honeyed voice and style: a crooner among 'grassers. He has a bass-player who harmonizes with him to no end and sings a few of his own. All 5 guys are total pros.

We're family friends with Owen Saunders, the fiddle player. I don't want to brag beyond the range of my knowledge or show bias, but I suspect he's an attraction for the band. He plays an old, uncommon style of fiddle called Florida Longbow. The bow moves slowly and the sound is richer and more expressive than usual---but the notes can still fly out rapidfire. It's amazing to hear how fast it sounds combined with how relaxed and slow he is. He has a smokier, bluesier fiddle than I've ever heard.

Dave Davis is a longtime pro and I heard myself on another live recording how he reacted to Owen back before Owen played with him, so he's not just being biased either, in having Owen as his fiddler. Well, he is---but he liked him before he was in his band.

Owen is the son of my literary hero Jack and is a chip off the block in ways. His hefty presence and dry, laconic style is an asset to this musical experience and he gets in his solos, singing and side-remarks.

They're at least as hard-driving as any rockers---drive the whole height of the US, and back, in a van, for a small show, some weekend to compare.

The Boys' Homepage.

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