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anne davis: reviews

Anne Davis
Letters, Prayers and Journal Entries

Anne Davis is a singer, composer and songwriter. Her musical career began as a child when she would perform for her pets and later, as she grew into her talents, played at coffee houses. Writing songs from journal entries and on the back of envelopes, it was only a matter of time before her freshman release of Letters, Prayers and Journal Entries in 2003. What makes this album truly unique is that every instrument is hand played. There are no drum machines cranking out canned percussion. Nope, only the real live thing. Davis penned each of the songs and every single one shines a little bit of light on who she is as an artist. Contributing musicians on the album are Ron de la Vega and the late Hunter Lee (uillean pipes)

“No I’m Not Going Anywhere” is a song that echoes with the elements of what real friendship means. It is messy. Some days are better than others as we all know. In sunlight and rain, a true friend will weather the storm. In tender lyrics and acoustic movements, this song strums along to the heartbeat of loves endearing commitment. There is no flash, only substance. With guitar, light percussion and lyrics that will inspire you in your own life, this song is touching and made me think of the people that make up my days and the true friends that linger over the years.

“The Crucible Song” is a song that will bring you to tears. The uillean pipes have an eerie sound that brings to mind bagpipes and echoing mountainsides. The presence of God in our lives during the tough times is an enduring thing. The people that came before us inspire us to greater heights and remind us that we are never truly alone. Theatrical imagery of baptism and holy rites is woven into the tender melody that rambles on in the background. “Be strong and courageous.” With God walking next to you, how can you not be?

“May Your Cokefloats Be Overflowing” was crafted as a wedding song. Starting out with a child singing “Jesus Loves Me,” it eases into a song of the Creator and the loving prayer Davis has for her listeners and friends. The original lyrics and song title bring joy as the light and airy penny whistle adds an element of eternal grace. Acoustic guitar paired with thought provoking lyrics make this song one of my favorite tracks on the album. Visions of the Kool-Aid man running headlong into your backyard and cool sheets in the summer bring a smile to the lips and a gentle tug on your soul.

Anne Davis has dealt with many obstacles in the making of this album, including chronic Lyme disease. Her lyrics are thought provoking and her music pure unadulterated folk with Christian threads running through it. Instruments included in the album are the cello, violin, uillean pipes, upright acoustic bass, penny whistle and the accordion. Take a listen and see if you don’t find a little bit of yourself between the lines of these lyrics and in the heartbeat of her sound. This freshman album is thought provoking in both lyric and sound. Fans of Amy Grant will love Davis’s sound and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a wink from the Almighty to brighten your day.

Key Tracks- Crucible Song, No, I’m Not Going Anywhere, May Your Cokefloats Be Overflowing

Dana Wright-Muzikreviews.com Sr. Staff
March 6, 2013
February 28, 2007

here is an english translation of the german online magazine article.....

Strong emotions with Anne Davis

There were artists like Sheryl Crow, Amanda Marshall and Melissa Etheridge - and now there is Anne Davis with finest songwriter folk made in America. Check out her ballads!

Anne, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., was so proud releasing her debut "Letters, prayers and journal entries" in 2003. For best reasons - she made it all on her own.

A label signing isn't everything for Anne, most important for her is to play live in front of her audience on festivals, in pubs and college bars just right around Nashville. In fact, she's also done some gigs in Europe.

Hand-made and acoustic sound is what fits best to Anne's emotional lyrics. Her wonderful ballad "No, I'm not going anywhere" will go under your skin and is a very special advice to fans of folk music.
January 6, 2007

a Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Anne Davis has a really comforting voice. It's got touch of smoke to it. The genre could be described as alt.folk or maybe even alt.country. But there's also a heavy dose of Christian religion here.

I can't help thinking that perhaps the title was a working title that ended up describing just what the album entails. So it stuck. There's nothing wrong with that.

This does feel like a pretty personal record. These are songs of love (aren't all songs on some level?) and faith. As I said, very heavy on the religion, of which I am not a fan. But I will say that the musical sound is not that of your regular Christian artists. It's not syrupy sweet or cheesy at all. Thank goodness for that!

"The Crucible Song" features a uilleann pipe played by a man named Hunter Lee, who unfortunately didn't live long enough to hear the end result. It's a beautiful tune and a beautiful sound. It's almost like a mini bagpipe (though not obnoxious or funereal sounding).

The last two songs, "Until That Day" and "May Your Cokefloats Be Overflowing," were written for friends as wedding songs.

If you are okay with or enjoy Christian music and are a fan of folk I think you'll like this record.

[NOTE--amy did tell me that her personal favorite on the cd was "no, i'm not going anywhere".......and did i mention what a BLAST she is??? outrageously funny!]
April 6, 2006

Anne Davis – “Letters, Prayers, And Journal Entries” – I’m really not into spiritual/religious music, but I like this CD anyway. Anne Davis’s voice is enchanting, and the music is lovely. She has a great pop/singer-songwriter sensibility, and clearly a strong faith. I could get down with the first few songs on the CD--they do not avoid god but have a lighter touch--which are clearly focused inward and cover emotions everyone can relate to. She has a great sense of humor and refreshingly acknowledges the flaws that plague all humans. Later songs are more overtly Christian, so I am not the right person to judge them, but I will say that the ones focusing on her faith and its role in her life are better than the ones where she’s preaching to the listener. If you like well-constructed Christian music sung by a lovely voice, this CD is probably for you.

CHT Pick: “Awakening” Reviewed by Mel Goldsipe

Artist website: www.annedavismusic.com
January 30, 2006

Anne Davis' intimate Christian-based songs and soulful vocal phrasing have brought comparisons to such folk-pop artists as Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Victoria Williams, and Sarah McLachlan. Although the Jackson, MS, native sang in church as a child, she didn't begin to pursue music seriously until she attended Mississippi State University, where she worked up the courage to finally perform her songs in public. Following college, she moved to Nashville and began
work on her self-produced debut album, Letters,
Prayers, and Journal Entries. Work on the project was slowed while Davis dealt with Chronic Fatigue and Immune
Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), a debilitating illness
that can sometimes make the simplest task seem
impossible. Davis prevailed, however, and Letters a
beautifully nuanced sequence of intimate songs brought to life by her seemingly effortless vocal phrasing and beds of acoustic instruments, including cello, violin,
acoustic bass, mandolin, accordion, penny whistle, and uilleann pipes was finally independently released in 2003. A Christian songwriter with an alternative folk
sensibility, Davis has an uncanny ability to make the deeply personal seem universal, and she does it
without the feel of fabrication, connecting the inner world of self-appraisal to the outer world of endless possibilities with her naturally unfolding melodies.
January 30, 2006

I'm a sucker for a girl folkie with a knack for clever song titles, a catchy tune and who's got something to say which is worth hearing. This is alt folk and, in places, reminded me of another favourite, Jan Krist. As you'd imagine from the album title, this is an intimate album as Anne definitely writes from her own experiences and yet it's filled with optimism, a sense of humour and spiritual insights. Musically, it has a warm folk feel with real instruments and brilliant, rich melodies. It's the perfect combination of poetic lyrics and well-produced artistry. Highlights for me include the memorable insight of "Temple Of Contradictions" and the updating of a Celtic prayer of St Patrick, "May Your Cokefloats Be Overflowing." "Where The Roads Cross" has a haunting beauty whilst "There Is A Light" is a plaintive cry of encouragement to a friend. Overall, this is beautiful, authentic songwriting captured for the refreshment of the weary.
August 30, 2005

"Let your hair down.
Let it fly in the wind.
Slip your shoes.
Make yourself comfortable."

With those words, Anne Davis offers the perfect invitation to enjoy Letters, Prayers and Journal Entries.

The album, a collection of 15 heartfelt songs, takes the listener on a fantastic trip with tales of love, life and God. Throughout the
journey, Davis' voice shines like a star and whispers like an angel. On many of
the tracks, she delivers solo vocals that a weaker singer could not have pulled off, making the performances even more personal to the listener.

Highlights on the album include "Awakening," "No, I'm Not Going Anywhere" and "Journal Entries." Davis has a gift for writing lyrics from the heart so that every listener can relate, and each song on this
album is something unique from the previous track.

The strongest of the album's songs is the catchy "Temple of
Contradictions." With a great guitar lick, and a toe-tapping rhythm, this is a track that could be a radio hit in a number of different formats. "Hey God, can you help these concrete feet walk away from temptation Godspeed?" starts off the chorus with a question that is blunt, but can be taken in many different contexts. Davis' lyrics make
you think outside the box, but still bring a comfort of familiarity at the same time.

As the album comes to a close, the listener is guaranteed to go away
refreshed and with a positive feeling. One can only hope that we will
be hearing much more from Anne Davis in the future.

Adam Waltemire
Host - Pop Garden Radio
www.popgardenradio.com
May 31, 2005

Shining through the music scene.....Anne Davis.

I first heard of Anne Davis when I was doing music reviews at garageband.com last year. Within just the first few lines of listening to her music I was hooked.

Anne Davis has a sound and over all style somewhere between Sheryl Crow and Jewel. The Jackson, Mississippi native writes and composes all her own material that she places into a "folk/alternative" genre. Her song "Where the Roads Cross" has made it to number four in the all time garageband charts and made it all the way to round four in the active music competition. This song has also been awarded garageband's Track of the day and Track of the week for the folk genre on two different occasions.

I am very proud that she gave me the honor of making my review of her song "Temple of Contradictions" one of her signature reviews.

I think we'll be hearing more from Anne Davis in the near future. Her CD entitled "Letters, Prayers, and Journal Entries" can be purchased through the garageband.com link (http://www.garageband.com/artist/annedavis) for $15.00. A money well spent in my opinion. Check out her music.
May 15, 2005

Band - Anne Davis
Album - Letters, Prayers, and Journal Entries

Review - Anne Davis isn’t afraid to let you peek deep inside her and see what’s making her tick. The anti-folk community in New York City would crave this enigmatic folkster but she’s native to Jackson,
Mississippi. I think it’s neat that she’s written two wedding songs for her
close friends and it’s even cooler that she’d share something so intimate
with us. Her music has been helped by her involvement in The Crucible Class in Nashville that unites artists of any nature as a 12-week course encircling the rediscovery of the Christian God and creative
expression. Her Christian-rock flavored melodies are wholesome and true to her religious spirit and doesn’t leave the rest of us out.
J-Sin - www.Smother.Net (May 15, 2005)
April 14, 2005

Anne Davis - Letters, Prayers, and Journal Entries

I don't know why really, i put the famous "Musings of a creekdipper" (by Victoria Williams), far back in the closet, early, to hardly be listened to ever again. Perhaps it was something with her attitude, or her annoying monotonic voice? It seemed like there was something missing. Of course it could be me too (it probably was if you ask any of her devoted fans). In general i know more or less exactly what i like, and i can be very picky sometimes when i hear to much pretentions in an artist.

Anne Davis, however, makes songs that remind me a little of Victoria, but more with both "feet on the ground", and she's into reality (Yeah, it's sure "hard to be a rainmaker", but, believe me... it's harder having cfids!)

Her only recorded debut-album (from 2003) has cello, violin, upright acoustic bass, mandolin, accordion, penny whistle and the uilleann pipe on one single cd!

"Letters, Prayers, and Journal Entries" is the title, and it was recorded together with first class musicians (Ron de la Vega, the late Hunter Lee, and
Justin Clark are some of them). Not an "autotuner" in sight, no, no. This is quality all through!

Anne Davis is an artist with open eyes i think. She writes music that is inspiring and true. Anne herself says that her influences are Sheryl Crow and The Indigo Girls among others [the usual
references are there Emmylou Harris of course, and Julie Miller, and
Nanci Griffith too. In my ears she can
allready well compete with them (at least with Julie Miller)], but give Anne some more time (hey, after all this is her debut-album) and we'll see...

Kudos also goes to her unusual phrasings, almost like frankie boy used to do it, well, a little bit anyway. Like the poet she is, where the words really have a meaning, and you can hear it!

Take your chance on her. An independent musician, higly recommended in a otherwise mediocre ocean of mainstream female singer/songwriters out there.

This music is good for you !
March 19, 2005

Pure, Real, Uncompromising!

Anne Davis is truly talented and gifted with the rare ability to move you at the very core of your soul. Not a true folk music lover at heart, this collection really rocked me to the depths of my inner being. She shook my foundations of reality and took me back to many times in my past that had long been buried. With simplicity and truth this artist has the uncanny ability to bring your childhood out of its burial ground and raise you to the blessings of adulthood with the power of her song. It is obvious that her passion is left on the page with her words of love and pain, reality and desperation, while being rounded off with a wonderfully real musical backdrop.

I am a believer Anne! I feel your love and have new faith in the power of song. Thank You!

Anne Davis presently works out of Jackson, Mississipi USA. She has been receiving favourable college radio airplay in Canada, Germany and nationwide in America. One listen and you'll know why. Keep an eye open to catch this fantastic artist in coffeehouses, college bars, pubs, festivals, and benefit concerts somewhere near you.

Standout Tracks: Temple of Contradictions, No I'm Not Going Anywhere
May 4, 2004

I received my review copy of Anne Davis' debut CD last week. I listened to it twice and I was just blown away. I could not believe how good it was. I sat down to write a review for it but I didn't know where to start. There was just so much about the album I liked. I decided to take the advice a friend once gave me. He told me if I ever found a CD I thought was great but wanted to be sure about it to put it away for at least a week then listen to it again.

I lasted 6 days, I listened to her CD again today and I still really like it. Anne Davis is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, who after college let her heart lead her to Nashville. A contemporary American Folk artist who lists Sam Phillips, Nanci Griffith, and the Counting Crows as her influences.

This album took several years to finish. During the time spent working on this album, Davis went through many ups and downs that tested her strengths as an artist but most importantly tested her faith in herself. The passion and self-discovery felt on this album reminds me a lot of Depeche Mode's SONGS OF FAITH AND DEVOTION. Only where Depeche Mode were rediscovering themselves, Davis on this album has just begun to unearth the talents and craftmanship which could see her become the next great American songwriter.

Davis, like many artists, has been referred to as a poet with her words set to music. The proof that Davis is a poet is her unique phrasing ability. Davis stretches, shortens, and does whatever needs to be done to the words to make them fit into the content of the melody played behind her voice. If Bruce Springsteen is the Steinbeck of songwriters, then Davis is the Emily Dickinson. Miles Davis once said Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra were the best phrasers he ever heard, I wish he were alive just to hear what he would have to say about Davis.

The songs are built around beautiful melodies performed by some of Nashville's most renowned studio musicians. Davis is also very proud to boast that no drum machines or any other kind of technologies of the sort were used to record the album. It has a very organic, homemade feel and sound. Some of the more unique instruments used in recording the album were upright bass, mandolin, cello, accordion, and uilleann pipes.

Most of the songs on the album have a slow melodic flow. Like tubing down a lazy river on a warm day. Think of Sarah McLachlan's slower stuff. The first two songs on the album do have a more upbeat pop feel to them--think of the Indigo Girls. These are a couple of comparisons. Better yet, let me stop comparing Davis to others and just let her shine on her own, which she easily does. Her album can be previewed and purchased here. Give it a listen. Then buy yourself a copy. This album would be a great gift for anyone who loves music about faith and finding yourself in the chaos that is today's world. Support independent artists. This stuff is the real deal. These are the artists who should be in the limelight reaping the rewards.
May 14, 2004

The first thing I thought of when I heard Anne Davis' voice was a huskier toned Suzanne Vega with Warren Zevon-influenced phrasing, which is pretty exciting. Anne's music falls into the broad, Folk-Pop, Acoustic Singer-Songwriter genre and although she doesn't mention it in her Starpolish profile, she's definitely a contemporary Christian songwriter. Her songs have an unmistakable spiritual message that's poignant without being preachy. That said; these songs also work as conventional love songs or confessionals. Anne has a perfect voice for the type of music she's doing, her songwriting skills are outstanding and the musical arrangements which include the cello, violin, upright bass, mandolin, accordion, penny whistle and uilleann pipe (a reed instrument in the bagpipe family) -- are excellent. Anne lives in Nashville and has apparently been singing and writing songs for 30 years, but she looks like she's still in her 30's, so she must have been playing since she was an egg. My favorite of the three songs posted on Starpolish is the beautiful, soul-baring "Where The Roads Cross," which is just an awesome song. Anne also has some excellent, outside the mainstream influences like Sam Phillips, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, David Wilcox, K's Choice, Marc Cohn and Jonatha Brooke, which is reason enough to check her out.
[Music] No, She's Not Going Anywhere

Anne Davis will play at The Art of Coffee on Dec. 6 at
9 p.m., where she'll be accompanied by cellist David
O'Gwynn; you can also catch Davis and O'Gwynn at Cups
in Fondren on Dec. 12th.

by Eric Stracener
Nov. 26, 2003

I have a confession to make: I am inherently
suspicious of confessional albums with a message. So
when I received a copy of Anne Davis' "Letters,
Prayers, and Journal Entries", which, by the way, is a
very confessional piece of work, I had my misgivings
about doing a review.

As I glanced through the lyrics, credits and art work
on the record, it became clear to me that Davis, a
Jackson native and longtime Nashville resident, is
serious about showing the world who she is, where
she's been and how serious she is about her faith. I
braced myself for a listen, thinking that this must be
yet another earnest female singer-songwriter with a
beautiful voice and not much new to say.

One listen to this record, however, eliminated any
misgivings I had. Anne Davis' debut is an extremely
well-conceived and well-executed collection.
Lyrically, Davis' main focus does seem to be on very
personal matters of faith and experience but, like
fellow Mississippian Neilson Hubbard, even the songs
that seem to be based on feelings of Christian love
somehow work when interpreted romantically. Let's face
it: love is love, right?

A particular lyrical highlight is "Temple of
Contradictions," a tough-minded song about spiritual
self-examination, guilt and doubt, all themes that
apply to issues of both faith and romance. "No, I'm
Not Going Anywhere" is another song that delves into
matters of faith, and the intimacy of depending on
others, worldly and otherwise, for support. It's a wonderful song.

What defines "Letters, Prayers and Journal Entries,"
however, are Davis' fantastic sense of melody and the
unique instrument of her voice. Throughout the record,
Davis? writing and arrangement shine through, as
dramatic and unexpected chord changes add depth and
complexity to the tunes that are all too absent in the
work of most of today's songwriters. Rather than
settling for a song to go in the safest, prettiest
direction, Davis seems to strive for an emotional
connection in her music, and it works. Davis' unique
vocal phrasing, with its breathy soulfulness, is
another facet that sets this record apart.

It is also worth noting that "Letters, Prayers and
Journal Entries" is an extremely well-made album.
Davis has clearly surrounded herself with excellent
musicians; there are tasteful glimpses of various
instruments such as cello, violin and accordion, that
complement the purposefully sparse arrangements.
Mississippian Shane Martin provides especially
outstanding acoustic guitar work. Davis' voice is
recorded particularly well; throughout the record her
tremulous vocals get a well-deserved center stage in
the mix.

"Letters, Prayers and Journal Entries" was a
delightful surprise, and a pleasure to review. It
reminds me of the best work of Nashville alt-folk
songwriters like Kim Richey, and sometimes even brings
to mind Lillith Fair-type rock. Davis has temporarily moved
back to Jackson from Nashville to recover from an illness
known as CFIDS. We music fans are lucky to have her back.
Her CD is available at Be-Bop Record Shops, Family
Christian Stores, and at http://www.annedavismusic.com
Eric Stracener is a lawyer and songwriter in Jackson.
eric stracener - JACKSON FREE PRESS (Nov 26, 2003)