Black Music Matters Festival

Moot Davis

Moot Davis – 2004 (Little Dog)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

CDs by Moot Davis

Though Moot Davis may hail from Trenton, N.J, listening to his debut wouldn't make listeners look to those kind of roots. In fact, the roots that Davis can easily and fortunately with authority point to are the honky tonkers of country music.

That is evident from the lead-off track, "Thick of It Now," where Davis' voice showcases great timbre, twang and holding of the notes, somewhat reminiscent of Hank Williams first and foremost and Dwight Yoakam, though Davis doesn't possess Yoakam's ultra rich baritone. Ace producer (and Little Dog head) Pete Anderson handled the chores for Davis and lets his fine voice shine through again and again. Anderson, who produced much of Yoakam's work, also lets the musicians have their say in keeping the pace going throughout the 10 songs, all of high quality. He mixes it up enough sonically with fiddle, pedal steel and upright bass to enliven the music where it otherwise could have been a bit repetitious.

This is straight, honest to goodness honky tonk music - how couldn't it be with titles like "Jug of Wine," "Whiskey Town" and "Hall of Smoke & Wine." Davis proves that making honky tonk music is not victim of being geographically challenged.