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A Mythical and Moral Tale To End All Tales With Barrett Davis

Barrett Davis
John Gillespie
Barrett Davis (center) performs at the Albino Skunk Music Festival 10-08-22

This one is for all the late bloomers. For anyone that went all in on their passion as an adult rather than a youth (or hopes to still), you will find a kindred spirit in Barrett Davis, who in his late 20s has released his debut album and is pushing to make music his career. While it may be harder to start a music career later in life, it has been done before: fellow North Carolina artists Chatham Rabbits come to mind, as well as previous Southern Songs and Stories guests Pony Bradshaw and Jeremy Pinnell, plus icons like Leonard Cohen and Al Jarreau are also examples.

Davis, a carpenter by day, has the additional challenge of providing for his family while he chases his dream. If his first album The Ballad Of Aesop Fin is any indication, though, he has a good shot at realizing his goals of making carpentry more along the lines of a hobby or side hustle than a daily endeavor. The eight song collection features Woody Platt of Steep Canyon Rangers fame, and is produced by longtime friend and former bandmate Aaron Aiken, now a member of Asheville indie pop group Pink Beds. We spoke on a video call in early September 2022, and touched on everything from the sense of place in his music to his faith to what he described as the “old man emotions” that he witnessed on construction sites. Of course, we dip into his music as well, including a live performance of his song “Lazarus”.

Songs heard in this episode:

“Aesop Fin” by Barrett Davis, from The Ballad Of Aesop Fin

“Highway 64” by Barrett Davis, from The Ballad Of Aesop Fin, excerpt

“Quiver” by Barrett Davis, from The Ballad Of Aesop Fin, excerpt

“Lazarus” by Barrett Davis, live at Albino Skunk Music Festival 10-08-22

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Joe Kendrick