Voo Davis did not take up the guitar until the ripe old age of 19 and by age 21 was playing solo concerts. He has evolved into one of those artists who stride the line between blues and rock. His lyrics are blues oriented but his guitar play will cross over to fairly straight rock and roll. He has now returned with his second studio album, Vicious Things.
His backing band consists of four Chicago based musicians: Stephen Bores (bass, ukulele), Calvin Conway (harmonica, fiddle), Jon Wade (keyboards), and Mike Gock (percussion). The key is Conway. When he adds his harmonica to the mix, and he is consistently excellent, it tends to move everything in a true blues direction. When he is on the fiddle or not present, the music starts to move away from a blues format.
Davis is a competent vocalist but his work on acoustic, electric, pedal, and slide guitars is what shines brightly on this release. He is at his best when playing off Conway’s harmonica runs. At times he does overwhelm the rhythm section but that that may be due to the production mix. He is probably a guitarist who learned his chops on the stage and is now in the process of transferring his sound to the recording studio.
Another question that will need to be addressed is what will make him stand out from the crowd. It seems that the current music world is populated with rock and blues guitarists and it requires something special to go to the head of the class. Voo Davis continues to evolve and it will be interesting to see what the future holds. Until then, we have Vicious Things, which is not only a fine introduction to his style and sound but also contains some fine blues/rock among its 11 tracks.