By James Calemine
Born in 1931, James Davis grew up on a farm in Perry, Georgia, located in rural Houston County, near Macon. He began playing guitar as a child. His sister is the great gospel singer–and fellow Music Maker recipient–Essie Mae Brooks.
One of Music Maker Relief Foundation’s interesting releases, Georgia Drumbeat, epitomizes hypnotic trance blues. No other collection exists where 13 compositions are threaded into one long song like this James Davis recording.
This spooky recording exists with Davis playing electric guitar accompanied only by drums which he calls “Georgia Drumbeat”. The collection contains a primal element in the droning beats and rhythmic guitar phrases in songs that contain no lyrics. This CD casts a certain mood…an eerie sound…images of dirt crossroads…last fair deals…black cat bones…fever dreams…and poison whiskey. Your correspondent finds Georgia Drumbeat an vital collection to hear while writing.
James Davis’ music goes down like a shot of clear mountain moonshine at dawn. Georgia Drumbeat marks another great release from the distinguished Music Maker vault.