Arkansas Dave was born and raised in the piney swamps of South Arkansas. Bred on blues and rock n roll, Dave cut his teeth playing in dive bars and the best honky tonks Arkansas and Texas has to offer. A self taught musician, Dave’s songs are interestingly original, blended with the humble sounds of the South. From the blues to gospel to rock n roll, his work comes full circle showcasing his raw talent.
Dave learnt at an early age that there are only a few roads out of a place like Camden Arkansas. One road
heads to the prison, another to a career in the army, and the other’s a swampy dead end. Determined to find an alternative route, Dave immersed himself in music.
While it may be an oft-repeated romantic cliché, finding an escape into music is far from an easy alternative. Ask Dave about growing up in a broken home, with fundamental Christianity on one side, and crippling drug addiction on the other, and you can see in his eyes that this is no easy ride, and that at times music really was his only friend.
Growing from bus boy to assembly-worker in a trash-bag factory, Dave never lost his determination as he played in a series of different bands. However, it was only when he reached breaking point that he finally got the wake up call he needed. He headed home for a rare visit, and was persuaded to play a few songs to his family. The response he got from his grandfather sent his mind racing, only for him to find out the next week that his grandfather had died 24 hours later.
Determined to clean himself up, and sort his life, Arkansas Dave enrolled on an audio engineering course at Media Tech in Austin Texas, driving into town with a trailer loaded with all his possessions, ‘like something out of the Beverly Hillbillies’. And that’s where everything changed – the college was housed at that time in the famous Arlyn Studios, home to sessions from Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Ray Charles. Dave with his musical co-horts took the night shift at the studios – laying down tracks and learning the ropes.
A succession of bands followed, picking up a strong local following around Austin. The final part of his musical education saw Dave touring North America as a member of old bluesman Guitar Shorty’s band, where he learned ‘what it took to be a professional musician’
On the cusp on 2018, having spent the past couple of years writing, recording and touring, Dave is nearly ready to share the insightful album he has written and ready. But before he shares his own tumultuous journey through the art of song, he is releasing a truly captivating and innovative cover of the Tom Waits classic, Chocolate Jesus.
“Tom Waits has always been a favourite artist of mine; and when it came time to record the album, I wanted a cover song to record. I went through several options before reaching the decision to record ‘Chocolate Jesus’ by suggestion of my wife. This song is such a direct metaphor for what it is like going up in a Christian, conservative church culture and what it means to question the powers to be and finding solace and refuge in your own interests, beliefs and satisfactions. I can truly relate to this
song, and I feel this song helps tell my story; some much, I included it on my debut album.”
You definitely want to be able to turn around to all your mates in 6 months and tell them you were the one who discovered him first.
Occasionally an artist comes along and wears their heart so firmly on their sleeve that you can’t help but be moved.
…Not only tugs at your heartstrings but punches you in the gut when you listen intently to his words… this is an album you too NEED TO OWN!