For nearly four decades Morgan Davis has been on the road travelling across Canada, the United States and Europe.
He comes to the Cumberland Hotel on Oct. 19.
His performances draw from a rich tradition of country blues, as well as his own contemporary songs infused with wit and a large dose of humour.
Originally from Detroit, Davis grew up listening to a prolific mix of rhythm and blues. The music of Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino was in the air.
He later moved to California with his family, and then in 1968 left for Canada. While living in Rochdale College, Toronto’s mecca for the subculture of the late 1960s, he immersed himself in the study of Delta Blues, especially the music of Robert Johnson.
Toronto’s music scene in the early 1970s was the perfect place for Davis to cut his teeth as a journeyman, having the opportunity to see and play with many legendary performers. Bukka White, Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Snooky Pryor, Hubert Sumlin, and John Hammond were encouraging supporters.
Davis hit the road with the Rhythm Rockets, the Knights of The Mystic Sea, and David Wilcox’s first band, eventually forming his own trio.
Over the years he has had the privilege of opening for Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, John Hammond, Albert Collins, and Eric Bibb. A highlight of his career was backing the phenomenal Dr. John.
Morgan has shared the stage with Colin Linden, who also produced his second album, shared the stage with James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Snooky Prior, James Harmon, Gene Taylor, Dutch Mason, Gene Taylor, Sue Foley, Ray Bonneville, Carlos del Junco and many other great blues artist over the years.
Davis’ songwriting talent received international recognition when Colin James covered his searing ballad Why’d You Lie.
Morgan’s recording Blues Medicine on Electro-Fi records, garnered critical acclaim as well as awards for songwriting and production. His multi- award winning release Painkiller won an impressive four awards at the 2004 Maple Blues Awards and not long after took home Canada’s top music prize — the Juno for Blues Album of the Year.
Vancouver Island MusicFest presents Morgan Davis on Oct. 12
at the Cumberland Hotel. Tickets are available at the Cumberland Hotel for $20. they cost $25 at the door.
— Vancouver Island MusicFest