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Doug Davis continues to set the professional bar when it comes to locally created music here in Winston-Salem ... an expertly produced collection of thoughtful songs ... a mature, thoughtful, and solidly professional piece of songwriting and recording craft. It communicates the hard work and struggle it takes to get reach the point in your life where your accumulated wisdom has started to catch up with your artistic ambitions.” - Chad Nance

Camel City Dispatch

Doug Davis wears many hats in the space of his small, two-story recording studio, Flytrap Music. He’s producer, songwriter, performer, band-mate, writing coach and promoter, to name just a few. But this week he’s wearing what many people may consider his most enviable hat, that of front man for an indie rock band. Doug Davis & the Solid Citizens is releasing his latest EP, “A Pageant of Gold,” with a party Friday night at The Garage. 'This is the material that is closest to my heart,' Davis said. 'I get value out of everything that I do, but if I had to pick one thing, this is what I’d do.' The Solid Citizens is one of the 'eight or nine' bands that Davis plays with. Others include The Mediocre Bad Guys and the Vagabond Saints Society, an open-ended group that plays tribute concerts about twice a year. Davis sees 'Pageant' as the first of four EPs that will comprise one album. 'I still believe in "the album",' he said, 'Albums with songs that work together to tell a story.' He expects to take about five years to complete the project to his satisfaction. 'As a producer, I always tell my clients that song-writing is a difficult task,' Davis said. 'I expect to see 30 or 40 songs before I have a good one.' 'Pageant' is already available on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. Davis said he’s having only 200 CDs made. Some will be for sale at the release party. On 'Pageant,' Davis provides lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, percussion and lead guitar. Lee Terry and Mitchell Snow play electric guitar. Ken Mohan plays bass, and Dan DesNoyers plays drums. Kirk Vernon plays harmonica. Susan Terry plays viola. Karon Click (of Karon Click and the Hot Licks) and Molly Davis (Doug’s wife) provide vocals. Rick Nathey plays pedal steel on one cut, 'June Parade.' Davis wrote all six of the songs on 'Pageant,' except for 'Midnight Moan,' which he co-wrote with Mitchell Snow. 'The last album (‘Penny Brown Penny’) and what I’ve been honing ever since is the kind of music that’s important to me,' Davis said. You’ll hear echoes of 'Penny Brown Penny,' Davis’ 2008 CD, on 'A Pageant of Gold.' Davis’ warm, intense vocals, the Americana sensibility with undertones of hard-driving rock are still in evidence, but the new CD sounds brighter, more mature and maybe even a little happier. Originally from Charlotte, Davis took piano lessons from age 5 to about 13, when he picked up a guitar and taught himself how to play rock music. 'I was just tired of playing scales,' he said. He discovered indie rock in Winston-Salem, of all places, when he came here in the ’80s to go to Wake Forest University. Davis’ involvement at the Wake radio station brought him in contact with Mitch Easter, who was producing REM, an indie rock band from Athens, Ga., that was big in the 1980s, at the time. Davis finished his course work for a master’s degree in comparative literature in 1991 and moved to New York in 1995 to play in bands and learn about the recording industry — everything from performing music to producing it. But before he left Winston-Salem he had started dating Molly Yarbrough, who was then working at the now-defunct Record Exchange. Yarbrough, now Molly Davis, currently works at WFDD. Davis finished his thesis and received his master’s degree in 1999. 'Turns out, it’s hard to write a thesis in the back of a tour van!' he said. He came back to Winston-Salem in 2001, married Molly in 2003, and the two have a daughter, Sophie. On the liner notes for 'A Pageant of Gold,' Davis calls The Garage, 'our musical home since day 1.' Richard Emmett, founder of the fun and funky music hall on Seventh Street, said that his relationship with Davis 'goes way back.' 'We like to think that one of the reasons that Doug came back from New York was because we provided him with a place to play,' Emmett said. 'He can play just about any instrument. As a composer and a writer, he’s just so great. He’s been able to make a living doing music, and he’s been so supportive of other musicians and doing benefits in the community. 'If you see him in any of his other projects, you can get a feeling for just how talented he is. He orchestrates the Vagabond Saints. He’s worked with many people in the community to help record them. He’s just so giving. It’s not just about him. He’s one of the people who has made the Winston-Salem music community what it is.' And you can get a taste of 'what it is' Friday night when Doug Davis & the Solid Citizens play his favorite kind of music, along with one of the bands that he’s helped develop, Vel Indica, all at The Garage.”

— The Winston-Salem Journal

If you're looking for cut-and-paste music with zero passion and production quality that sounds like it was created by your nephew in GarageBand ... go somewhere else.

  If you're looking for music that comes from the heart, vocals that exude soul, well-written and well-crafted songs, impeccable performance and production that is so spot-on that adding anything else or taking anything away would make the songs less than what they are, you've found the source of your next six bucks. And the beauty is that you'll wind up getting something worth much more than that.” - Steve Lindsley

— Thoughts and Musings blog

If you can remember when John Mellencamp was good and the Black Crowes brought a new sound, you'll find 'Penny Brown Penny' a delectable offering. North Carolina vis a vis New York native Doug Davis has had a long history in the power pop band playground and quite a bit of cache as a recorder and producer in his own right. Having worked with numerous artists as a producer, songwriter and even recording Daughtry's band before American Idol got a hold of him ... Davis knew his way around a stage and a sound board but hadn't explored the arena of doing what he knows best for his own work. After spending time as one of the anchors in the NC music scene for the past few years Davis finally decided to record his own debut cd and it is about time. The result is eleven songs that span three or four genres easily and capably... folk, blues, rootsy rock all with chunky, chewable lyrics and near flawless execution. Perhaps the biggest demonstration of the cd’s solid-ness is that while “Penny Brown Penny” is self produced and a largely self performed cd it manages to avoid sounding like it misses the punch which is yet another testament to Davis's talent. While the cd is thankfully void of any filler, the keynote track is #7 'Missed My Connection' which truly demonstrates what Davis can do when he lets loose and dives into his blues rock self. As a debut this cd has enough depth to make you ask, 'so when can I have some more?'” - Kim Thore

— All Access Magazine

“You’ve got hints of the Black Crowes and Bruce Springsteen mixed with that folky, bluesy rock feel. Yeah, quite a combo, but it works. Doug Davis proves why Americana can be so much fun ...””

— Americana Rhythm

The playing is pro, and Davis' voice is continually impressive, but it's his songwriting -- particularly such ballads as 'Something's Happened' -- that shows him to be a songwriter well on his way to individuality.” - Ed Bumgardner

— The Winston-Salem Journal