February 24th, 2007 - OLD Bio

The OLD Stuart Davis Bio
Stuart Davis is a man with a purpose, and he is in a hurry. Like a cosmic Curious George on a Jet-Ski, Lakeville, Minnesota’s strangest son has raced headlong through life-hungering for, devouring, digesting, and regurgitating Experience at a dizzying pace. High school was a haze of hockey and getting high; those goals accomplished, he was on to 12 steps and 6-strings. Obsessive, inquisitive, determined, and eloquently intelligent, young Stu clobbered the former and rushed on to master the latter, culling astonishingly prescient observations along the way. Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Randy Newman, XTC’s Andy Partridge, John Prine, and even (inevitably) home-state icon Robert Zimmerman, Davis has created a rich , multi-textured musical backdrop for his creations. Equally adept at impossibly delicate acoustic numbers, mid-tempo rockers, and soaring, raging anthems, Stuart can melt your heart from the ache of an infant’s passing, then send blood roaring through your ears as he acts out on the Viking heritage found buried in his geneticblueprint. Still, as eclectic as that mix would suggest, what truly separates him from an already tiny crew of skull-prodders is his uniquely penetrating world view.  Scouring society, interpersonal relationships, and the annals of history, Davis pounces on and mercilessly explores hypocrisy, scientific folly, shallowness, man’s inhumanity to man, and the unbearable tragedy of lessons oft told yet never learned.  No one-the artist included-is spared. Hyperbole aside, the rate of expansion of Stuart’s art has been truly remarkable.  Each of his five studio recordings has demonstrated obvious growth in his guitar playing, melodic constructs, vocal facility, and-maybe most importantly-lyrical depth and complexity.  The bar was improbably high to begin with.  At each juncture, reviewers have marveled at his precociousness; apparently bewildered by the possibility that a Gen-X product, raised in the shadows of MTV sound bites and slacker nihilism, could be so broad, so timeless, so provocative.  Given the clime of the times, such skepticism is understandable, yet, as Stuart Davis’ output attests, it can happen. Our lad continues to blast onward and upward. Now, as the planet begins its 27th lap of the sun with Stu on board, something of a rite of passage is at hand. Years of ceaseless, passionate touring culminated with “16 Nudes”, a nearly definitive harvest of 15 of Davis’ compositions performed “live” and as “plugged-in” as an acoustic solo act can ever be. As startling in its diversity as it is as it is seamless in its consistency, “16 Nudes” strips away session players and rock arrangements to present some of Stu’s faves with a brilliant clarity of purpose and performance that will still rock you, by turns, like a cradle or a hurricane.

Along with latter-period stalwarts and previously unrecorded gems, the disc allows for early Stu songs to benefit not only from vastly improved guitar work and vocal nuance, but also lyrical fine-tuning reflecting the artist’s growth and experience. In short, this meteoric work-in-progress has effectively summed up his startling formative period with eyes to the next stage. The phenom, the golden child, the wunderkind, has surely shed the aura of promise for the mantle of deliverance. What does come next, of course, is anybody’s guess; yet what has gone before bodes well for aficionados of intelligent music which draws its lyrical inspiration from beyond the stale confines of tabloid topicality, microwavable jingoism, gross materialistic herd behavior, or pop-psych “I’m okay, you’re okay” approval of responsibility-dodging via situation ethics. As a bonus, it’s all delivered in tighter, more succinct language than this awkward attempt at describing Stuart’s singular talent. And he’s a lot funnier too.

Infused by a wildly mercurial wit, Stuart’s spiritual explorations from the late 20th century are informed and shaped by gray matter heavyweights Ken Wilber, Teilhard de Chardin, Dirk Freymuth, Henri Bergson, Kurt Rudolph, Frederick Bodmer, John Mack, Plato, and that motley bunch of bloody-knuckled scribes who channeled Jehovah’s perennial best-seller. Not that you have to know or even understand such weighty tomes. You still get the hefty benefit of nutrition-packed tales with what would otherwise only be great folk/pop/rock music. See, Stuart even eats your vegetables for you! Stuart Davis is a galvanizing performer possessing classic stand-up spontaneity, riveting guitar stylings and jaw-dropping vocal capabilities. Little more can be said- you just gotta see him.

—blatantly ripped from the official bio at the one and only stuartdavis.com

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