Jude Davison: Not Just a Pretty Painted Face
Rather than spend another evening booing the results show for So You Think You Can Dance, last night I mustered up some courage and headed down to my local Irish pub to slam back a few diet colas and have a listen to some first class guitar strummin’ and singin’.
On the bill was former Stratford resident and now British Columbia-based Jude Davison. Davison was returning to Stratford for a one night only acoustic solo show in support of his new concept album, Circo de Teatro, which sounds like the spawn of Tom Wait’s one night stand backstage at a traveling vaudeville show with a mariachi loving burlesque performer. The album is available at the Teatro website via download or good ‘ol mailed out shiny CD.
Davison has been doing shows in support of Teatro across BC backed by a 9 piece band, so obviously last night a stripped down format was presented. Davison is one of the few live performers that the expression ‘they could sing the phonebook and make it sound good’ actually applies. Throw in the fact that he is a superb guitarist and suave MC and the evening was a lesson in how accomplished songwriting beats bells and whistles any day. Now, being that this was a pub gig, Davison also broke out his catalogue of cover tunes, which featured songs from bands like Squeeze, Crowded House, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and The Jam, just to name a few. For his last of three sets of the night he was joined onstage by local songwriter and good friend Alan Ferguson, who added harmonies and additional guitar to the mix. Their version of The Beatles ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was an absolute highlight of the evening.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a rainy Thursday night. Good tunes, the requisite late night drunken stumble dancers (not to be confused with the Solid Gold Dancers), and an introduction to a new phase in the career of talented (and refreshingly grounded) singer/songwriter.