Carrying on an old Alabama family tradition, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys offer audiences an opportunity to see a musician who has carried on his family’s musical heritage dating back to the 1930s. Warrior River frontman mandolinist David Davis nurtures his roots with integrity, tonal depth, and prose. Directly linked to the origins of bluegrass music, David Davis’ love of bluegrass grew organically. Back in the 30s, his father and two uncles played and sung in the brother style traditions of early country music. Uncle Cleo joined Bill Monroe as the very first Blue Grass Boy in 1938. David’s father went off to WW II and lost his right hand in a mortar accident. While his Dad’s dream of making music may have been shattered, he never lost his love and devotion to the music. It was a devotion he passed down to David who would carry his father’s love of bluegrass with him always. Saturday, June 30, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Warrior River Boys. Admission to the concert is $7 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.
David Davis developed a burning desire to sustain his family's heritage. Drawing on his childhood influences from his Uncle Cleo, his dad Leddell Davis, and grandfather, J.H. Bailey, who played the drop-thumb style banjo and old-time fiddle, David wanted to follow in their footsteps. He also wished to carry on the tradition of Alabama's greatest performers like Hank Williams, the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, and the Sullivan Family. Due to his declining health in 1984, Garry Thurmond (band leader), handed the reins of the Warrior River Boys to twenty-three year old David Davis. This band was one of Alabama's oldest traditional groups with more than a thirty-year history.
In the mid 1980s, David and the boys toured extensively and took their music to a national audience, thrilling music fans everywhere. Since then, David and the group have traveled over one million miles performing at major bluegrass venues from coast to coast in the U. S. and the Canadian provinces. The Warrior River Boys achieved worldwide acclaim with their debut recording for Rounder Records, New Beginnings. David Davis and the Warrior River Boys have recorded on and been part of over thirty albums. To be sure, there are strong elements of Bill Monroe in both the singing and mandolin playing of David Davis. Like all great singers, he expresses emotion, rather than merely referring to it ... indeed, his vocal intensity often seems to be at the edge of overflowing, like a strong man trembling (Bill Vernon). Their fast-moving, live show explodes with high energy as David's bluesy mandolin style, soulful singing, and veteran musicianship lead the way for this very talented group.
After a couple of Rounder label projects in the early 90s, David and the band snagged rave reviews with their self-titled 2004 release on Rebel Records with sure-fire picking and train whistle harmonies – USA Today. Their 2006 Rebel release Troubled Times is imbued with the innate sense of purpose that defines David and the band – carrying an Alabama family tradition.
Once ignited by Davis’ count, the solid backbone beat and harmony vocal duties fall on veteran Warrior bassist Marty Hays and guitarist Jeff Griffy. Their unmistakable, clear sense of timing breaks the song down to its’ essence. If it’s blue, David may draw on the dark, tonal double-stops of legendary fiddler Owen Saunders. Owen lends an opaque masculinity through exotic, awesome sounds that speak of ages. If it needs drive and speed, Warrior banjoist Marty Hays pops and chokes without imitation. Josh Smith lends his vocal talent and plays a mean banjo.
The Warrior River Boys define traditional bluegrass music with their heart-felt singing and extraordinary instrumentation. For more information on this group, go to their web site at: www.daviddavisandwrb.com. For some of the finest bluegrass music around, be sure to catch the Warrior River Boys at the Carter Family Fold!
Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on Saturday’s concert, contact the Mountain Music Museum at 276-645-0035. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054.