First let me say that Denton continues to be a town where you can belly up to a bar and meet amazing people in general. On this particular night, I had the opportunity to meet Elise Davis an up and coming Nashville/Little Rock singer and songwriter who not only can belt out some great tunes, but is also just a very nice person. She has been touring through Texas over the past few weeks and landed in the home of all things cool, Denton Texas. Elise is a beautiful young lady that came to the show adorned in a flannel shirt and a trucker’s hat. Her understated wardrobe had little impact on her overall appeal which was apparent as she easily navigated the advances of the male patrons like a pro. The ease in which she worked the preshow crowd reminded me of a southern matriarch working a down home fish fry.
Elise’s love for music was apparent from self-critiques of her process, to the story of finding the prefect instrument to tell her musical stories. The sincerity of her smile as she discussed her creative companion, the Larrivee guitar, required no further prose to understand the importance of the relationship. During the conversation, I couldn’t help but note a glow about her that speaks to her passion for the business that has yet to be tainted by the woes inherent in the craft. This may be naiveté, but I suspect it’s a presence of mind that has been honed by a few years on the road. She currently has five albums under her belt and each shows a steady progression of skill in her songwriting and vocal chops. From the staccato and syncopated rhythms of “The Same Vein” album to the hypnotic groves of “Big Ol’ Dreams”, Elise is producing music that demands the attention of the listener.
Unlike many artists who rely heavily on the magic of studio production, Elise’s performance was pure and energetic. Her set was packed with sweet gliding guitar work and meticulously controlled vocals. She grabbed the audience’s attention from the first note and held us to the resolution of the show. If there was uncertainty in her mind regarding the reception of her tunes, it did not impact upon her ability to belt out song after song with precision. This young artist has amazing potential and should be followed closely. If her past growth is any indication of future performance, she will be musical force for many years to come.
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