The One & Only Bill Davis

The official home of music and projects by The One & Only Bill Davis

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My Music Story Part 2: Finding Nashville

Living in the Vail Valley is a little too much fun. Ski every morning, work every evening, and go out after work. Some nights I played a gig somewhere. I started to replace work days with music gigs, but I was growing restless.

I was thinking about homeownership and I wanted more than a condo, which I could barely afford in the valley. I was bored working at a country club and I was ready for something different. Two weeks before my brother George's wedding, I put my things into temporary storage in Denver. From there I took what I needed and made my way from Edwards, CO to Cumberland Gap, TN via New Orleans, LA.

Toward the end of my fourteen-day trip, I stayed the night in Nashville. I walked up and down Lower Broadway looking for the bar with the oldest crowd because I knew they would be playing the kind of music that I wanted to hear. One step into Robert's and I was pretty sure I was moving to Nashville. 

Song History: Motivation

I started writing Motivation immediately upon falling in love with Melanie. I was basically just trying to get my feelings across. They say that when you fall in love you know it, and it's true. The trick, I think is making that clear to the one you love and saying "I love you" just doesn't cut the mustard.

I wanted Melanie to know, not just what I would do for her, but what her love had already done for me. Pretty mushy stuff! I felt it was too personal to share with the world, but as I've found, the closer something is to your heart and more personal it is, the more it resonates with others and proves how similar each of our unique life experiences are.

My Music Story Part 1: Colorado and Texas

I moved to Vail, CO carrying only what I could fit into a Honda Del Sol: clothes, tv, stereo, guitar, and amp. I had no real aspirations as a musician, but I did want to learn to play and it was fun to do it for an audience.

One day my friend Dave Perron suggested that the two of us put together an act playing the saddest songs we could find to the vacationing skiers. It was a pretty great idea. We called ourselves Psychobilly Cadillac & the Cottonmouth in honor of Johnny Cash's "one piece at a time".  We weren't great, but we had our moments.

Simultaneously, my brother and Dave went in together on a 1966 Cadillac Deville and we would drive that to our gigs. It was a white convertible with ox blood leather interior and it was about thirty feet long. The interior matched my Guild Starfire III, which Dave accidentally ran over and dragged across the parking lot. The guitar survived, and we learned that the clearance on the Cadillac was exactly one guitar high.

After playing music in the Vail Valley for a year, I decided that I wanted making music and performing to play as big a role in my life as film (my degree is in film). At the time, Austin, TX was receiving a lot of attention nationally for its film scene. I had recently met a group of nice people from Texas and I was thinking about checking it out. An old friend living in Austin needed a roommate, so one thing led to another and I moved to Texas. 

I had a fun exploring Austin and I spent most of my free time playing music and writing, it was there that I put together my first recording rig. I was there for just under a year when I was offered a good job and a weekly show in Edwards, Co. I came back and moved to a house with fewer people and a room with enough space to record.

Favorite Pastime: Sailing

One of my favorite pastimes is sailing. When I was in 6th grade my best friend, Christopher, and I started taking sailing lessons at the Manitowoc YMCA. We learned to sail 8-foot Sinbad dinghies. They had no jib, just a small mainsail and they were like little tubs. Nevertheless, they were an absolute blast to sail around the harbor. We would race each other, catching enough wind to cause our boats to take on water or capsize. We always wore life vests and had supervision, so it was a very controlled environment to experience some would-be frightening moments.

Every summer we would return to the program and as the classes got more advanced the boats got bigger. We moved up to 17 foot Flying Juniors, which were open-cabin 2 person boats. I ended up buying a 12 foot AMF Puffer, like a smaller Flying Junior. It was a great boat, but I sold it for a Precision 18 (eighteen-footer).

I got a job working at the marina during the summers and I sailed before and after my shifts. I eventually sold the Precision 18 to go to college, which I have always regretted.

I hadn't been sailing in ages until 2017 when my Dad found a great deal on a incredible boat. Her name is Omar and she is a 17-foot Holder; almost exactly like my old Precision 18, but one foot smaller.  My wife and I keep her docked on Percy Priest Lake at the edge of Nashville and take her out as often as we can. 

Song History: Act

Sometimes a melody comes and goes. Act was written in parts and basically backwards over a period of roughly 5 years.

It first crossed my radar while I was still living in Edwards, CO. It was just a partial melody (the chord progression after "anguish") back then; a loop that I would whistle or hum while I was in transit or at work.

A few years later I decided to try my hand at jingles. I attempted to write a 30 second song about pizza. The opening melody of the song was originally worded "Pizza's really good and that is understood by everyone". This was obviously terrible (unlike pizza!) and, as a result, it was shelved. I laughed it off, but never forgot the melody. 

A year or so later when I was unemployed and feeling particularly down on myself, I gave myself the pep talk that I could have used from just about anyone else. But like they say, "If you want something done right do it yourself". The second (pizza) melody rolled right into a new third melody and that fed into the first. It came together rather quickly, in the way that Thanksgiving dinner takes hours and hours to prepare but travels from the kitchen to the table in minutes.