Newspaper article on Jeff "Stick" Davis

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Newspaper article on Jeff "Stick" Davis

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:05 pm

Hi Dogs,

Here's a real nice article on Stick Davis, the man who gave us a powerful year on bass while Mike Reilly is on leave. The article appeared in the Evansville Courier and Press , Indiana.

Jeff has played with an incredible array of groups and musicians throughout his career , so getting him in the lineup for the entire year was huge, not to mention the fact that he enjoyed PPL's legacy enough to become a part of it.

Many may remember Jeff from The Amazing Rhythm Aces, a group he founded in the 70's. I recall seeing them on Saturday Night Live, doing Third Rate Romance, a very popular tune of theirs. Bill Murray joined them on stage, singing some background vocals. It's really wild to think that over 30 years later I'd get to meet Jeff and see him perform live as a member of PPL !

All the best,
Tom Sheridan

Music is still pure pleasure for Harrison grad
By Gordon Engelhardt (Contact)
Sunday, December 23, 2007

During his multifaceted career, Jeff "Stick" Davis has seen the world and played with and visited his share of legends, musical and otherwise.

Not bad for a skinny kid from Harrison High School, class of 1968. Once he saw the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964, Davis knew he wanted to become a musician.

"They had long hair and there were screaming girls," he said. "My education was over. That was me. That was it."

Davis has toured all over the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. He's played bass in B.B. King's band and performed or recorded with several other famous artists, including Little Richard, Al Green, Ron Wood and Bobby Keys of the Rolling Stones, and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

As a member of the Grammy-winning Amazing Rhythm Aces, Davis visited Hunter S. Thompson's ranch in Woody Creek, Colo.

Davis, a current resident of Nashville, Tenn., may be best known locally for playing in the Fabulous Silvertones in the mid-1980s with Scott Sublett. Before the proliferation of oldies radio, the Silvertones played classic 1960s garage rock. Ecstatic fans at Shenanigans literally danced on the tabletops.

"Especially me and Sublett, we grew up playing in high school bands in the 1960s, and playing that music was pretty well second nature," said Davis, who joined Pure Prairie League last February. "I didn't realize we could sell it again, so to speak."

King was arguably the highest-profile musician Davis has played with.

"He is truly a gentleman, one of the finest artists I ever worked with," Davis said. "I had kind of been working the R&B side in Memphis. I had lived there a long time.

"After the demise of the Amazing Rhythm Aces, R&B came natural. He came into a club I was playing in Memphis and sat in with the band (in the early 1980s). I got a call a week or so later and somebody who was part of his group said, 'Do you want to go out and do dates?' He was the Beatles of the blues. When you get the call, you go."

After six to eight months on the road, however, Davis returned to Memphis to help attend to his two small children.

"It was great to be the only white guy in the band," Davis said. "It didn't matter. The common thread is we were all musicians. These guys were gracious fellas to me."

Thompson, the legendary gonzo journalist who committed suicide in 2005, was such a fan of the Amazing Rhythm Aces that he helped them land a gig performing on the original "Saturday Night Live."

"I have one of those little 'gramophone' statues, just like Snoop Dogg," Davis joked.

He was deeply saddened that Thompson took his own life instead of dealing with deteriorating health issues. He said Thompson's books were mild in comparison to his actual demeanor.

"He walked in the door with five automatic weapons and a cattle prod," Davis said. "I think he did it for shock value. But he was far more interested in shocking than harming.

"He was an amazing man and a true fan of the Amazing Rhythm Aces. He was responsible for our appearance on 'Saturday Night Live.' They were making (the movie) 'Where the Buffalo Roam' with Bill Murray.

"He was bigger than life. When he drank, he drank big. He partied big. There was nobody like him, His untimely death really affected me. Unfortunately he didn't leave some of his ways behind."

The Amazing Rhythm Aces won a 1976 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Group for the song "The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune)," Nominated in 1975 for Best New Group, the Amazing Rhythm Aces were probably best-known for their country-pop crossover hit, "Third Rate Romance."

While Davis said many could relate to the subject matter of infidelity in "Third Rate Romance," he wasn't sure what made Pure Prairie League's "Amie" such an enduring hit.

"You never know what the public is going to want," he said.

Two days after Christmas last year, Davis underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He was diagnosed in Nashville and had a stent "installed," but the actual surgery was performed in New York.

The doctors took a section of vein from his left leg and grafted it into veins and arteries around his heart.

"I was out of the hospital in three days and walking the next morning," said Davis, 58.

Still recovering, he received a call to join Pure Prairie League. He came up to Evansville to play with Warren "Rock-it Billy" Batts (a former member of Bill Haley's Comets) and drummer Danny Erkman to get warmed up because he hadn't played in a couple of months.

Once Davis got back onstage for the first of 40 gigs with Pure Prairie League, it was as if he had never left.
"I have seen the future of country music and it's name is Pure Prairie League."
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Small World

Postby Vice Admiral Swiss Navy » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:01 pm


It is a small world since as I now live 2 minutes from Evansville in the suburb of Newburgh, Indiana and with the kids and everyone in town before Christmas I missed the article in the Courier.

We are currently in Ohio in the Cleveland area visiting the wife's familiy and will return to Indiana tomorrow after spending time last week in Waverly visiting Mom and other family members and also attending a family funeral there.

I hope you and your family, as well as all prairie dogs worldwide, had a joyful Christmas and our family wishes everyone a very Happy New Year!

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