Joshua Davis was raised in the folk tradition: the music, the social movements, the land. For the 17th Annual MWSFF, he present an evening of songs, joined by special guests Jen Sygit and Laura Bates.
An upbringing that occupied the urban landscapes of Detroit while spending summers in the wilderness on the southern tip of Lake Superior in Marquette, MI brings into view the backdrop of Davis’ latest works. The Way Back Home, his 2017 release, follows a series of singular recordings (Fool Rooster, Magnolia Belles, A Miracle of Birds) by the prolific songwriter who has shared the stage with a “Who’s Who” of American folk music icons such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Greg Brown, and Abigail Washburn. Recorded in East Lansing, MI by legendary engineer Glenn Brown, The Way Back Home highlights Davis’ longtime collaboration with Jack White’s bassist Dominic John Davis, pianist Mike Lynch (Willie Nelson, Leon Russell), and drummer Mike Shimmin (The Olllam).
Already a heavily touring/recording artist with his previous band Steppin’ In It (who have released five albums) and as a solo act with five albums under his name, getting a call from “The Voice” was completely out of the blue for Davis. Unfamiliar with the show, he initially rejected the inquiry but the producers were persistent. After being convinced by his wife and allowed to skip the auditions, Davis signed up for an incredible six months in the national TV spotlight. He went on to sing high profile duets with Sheryl Crow (Live Finale: “Give It To Me”) and Adam Levine (Live Finale: “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shows”), and he helped break the mold of original material being showcased on “The Voice.” Davis was the first artist to sing an original on the show, which spawned the later segment, “This Week of Original Songs.”