Benjy Davis Project: Lost Souls Like Us

RIYL: Pat McGee Band, Collective Soul, Sister Hazel

Benjy Davis Project is the quintessential college band: they have a jangly jam band sound, but don’t jam a lot. Rather, front man Davis writes upbeat, melodic songs that are perfect for tapping your foot, singing along, and of course, drinking beer and partying to. BDP’s new album, their fourth, Lost Souls Like Us, is hip enough to appeal to the college frat crowd, yet has two features that make it attractive to the AAA market: Davis’ appealing tenor (which sounds a lot like Mat Kearney), and also his some lyrical depth. Witness this snippet from the opening track, “Mississippi”: “I think you’re really pretty / And that’s all I wanna say / Did you miss me/Did you miss me Mississippi / Would you kiss me if I stayed?” Of course, you can’t not appeal to the college crowd with catchy anthems like “Get High.” But Davis and company aren’t content to give you a few good songs. Sure, Lost Souls Like Us has a lot of sameness about it, but it’s a good sameness. In addition to the tracks already mentioned, other standouts are the G. Love-ish “Send Your Love Down” and “Light of Other Days,” which uses some super-cool, crunchy ‘80’s guitar tones and has some of the best harmonies on the record. If you like to have a good time, and like Southern-tinged party rock, you owe it to yourself to get familiar with Benjy Davis Project. (Rock Ridge Music 2010)

Benjy Davis Project MySpace Page


Pat McGee: These Days (The Virginia Sessions)

Pat McGee has dropped the “Band” from his name and is going it alone, so to speak, in his solo debut and first effort for Rock Ridge Music, These Days (The Virginia Sessions). There is something breezy and easy to enjoy about McGee’s songs – they are delivered in a way reminiscent of ‘70s pop (think Jackson Browne) or akin to in more modern terms, Train or the Fray. McGee has a good, if not spectacular, voice; but as it’s always been, his songs are the driving force of his career, and he’s brought us another batch of good ones here. One of the only negative things you can say about Pat McGee is that much of the material, in melody, tone and arrangement, sounds very similar. But occasionally he steps things up, as he does on These Days with the stunning “Come Back Home,” a track originally written when McGee’s longtime drummer, John C. Williams, left the band, with the sentiment being how a military couple deals with separation during times of war. Sadly and somewhat symbolically, Williams’ younger brother lost his life in Iraq after McGee wrote the song last year. The Tonic-esque “The Hand That Holds You” is also a standout track. (Rock Ridge Music)

Pat McGee MySpace Page


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