Song of the South
Old churches are beautiful structures to look at and admire, but a little known fact is that they are also great places to record an album. Just ask Davis Nix. The local singer/songwriter has been tucked away inside Zion Episcopal Church in Talbotton, Georgia recording his debut album. Over the years, Nix has worked with countless musicians as a manager, touring musician and concert promoter. It has taken him roughly five years to kick-start his own solo music career.
“It just seemed like the right time for me to step back, drop some of those roles and solely focus on being an artist,” Nix says.
Growing up in a musical household—his father was a singer/songwriter in the ‘70s and ‘80s and his mother played piano and sang— Nix inherited his love for music. He first picked up a guitar at the age of 5, and later took piano lessons. However, it wasn’t until he got his first set of drums that his passion for playing music began to blossom into what it is today.
Nix seems to also have a passion for making records the old-fashioned way. He and his recording crew—drummer Sean O’Rourke, bassist Sam Phillips, guitarists Neal Lucas, Kenny Brown and Eddie “Cowboy” Long, and pianists B3 Hammond and Lloyd Buchanan—tracked the entire record live except for the vocals, piano and pedal steel guitar. With the help of producer Dean Castile, the album was sculpted in a raw and uncensored way.
“[I] wanted to capture an energy that made the songs feel alive,” Nix recalls. “No clicks or running the songs till they’re ‘perfect.’ [It’s] the only way to record if you ask me. What some might call reverb on this record is actually just the room. The church is one of the most important instruments on this record.”
In order to make his album, Nix relied on the support of his fans, friends and family in a unique way. Many DIY artists have recently been using a fundraising website called Kickstarter to help fund their projects. Nix set up a profile where supporters could pledge money in return for a variety of rewards such as signed copies of the album, t-shirts, koozies and posters. Nix made countless phone calls and sent a fair amount of emails to get the word out about his campaign.
“You become a politician of sorts,” Nix says. “It’s all about relationships and networking... Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I like to believe if you give people the opportunity to help, most of the time they will.”
It is this fearlessness combined with a lot of hard work that allowed Nix to have a very successful Kickstarter campaign. The album, which will be released on Jan. 13, is filled with heart-felt songs from an artist who has been cultivating his craft in the shadows for years now, waiting for his turn to showcase his talents instead of others.
“As a songwriter, I hope that my songs can make an impact on someone’s life,” he says. “At the very least, I’m just excited to have the opportunity to record my own album.” Be sure to show your support for Davis Nix by picking up a copy of his album when it releases and stopping by one of his album release shows.
Friday, Jan 16 – Dickson, TN – The Wanted Saloon II
Saturday, Jan 17 – Birmingham, AL – Pale Eddies
Friday, Jan 23 – Columbus, GA – The Loft
Saturday, Jan 24 – Dadeville, AL – Colonel Toms Tavern
Friday, Jan 29 – Montgomery, AL – Ric ‘N’ Mo’s
Saturday, Jan 31 – Montgomery, AL – AlleyBar