Reviews

Moot Davis’ Seven Cities of Gold


By Brian Rock

Moot Davis searches for riches on his fifth album, Seven Cities of Gold. Not so much combining his country and rock influences, as playing country and rock side by side; Moot flips his golden, musical coin to see which side wins for each song.

When his coin lands country side up, he goes full banjo and steel guitar on, “Turn In The Wind and Burn.” Lamenting all he has had to give up to pursue what he wants, Moot sings, “I killed everything I loved just to get here and wait my turn.” Based on the weepy minor keys and forlorn vocals, it’s clear the pursuit of glory was not worth what he had to pay. In the end he confesses, “Me, I’m just a puff of smoke. And when I finally figure out the joke, you’ll be gone.” Moot explores the Bakersfield side of country on the Elvis tinged, “California,” and the Yokam-esque “Lassoed and Lost.” He adds a little Memphis flavor to his Bakersfield sound on the deliciously danceable, “Hey Hey,” and the organ infused, “Interstate Girl.” He finishes his country musings with a spirited rendition of the Patsy Cline classic, “Crazy.” Doubling the tempo, Moot completely changes the mood of the original, making it an almost masochistic celebration of dysfunctional one-sided relationships.

And then the coin flips to rock.

“Lone Radio Star,” begins with electric guitar feedback and a string of power chords. The driving rhythm and soaring guitar solos give way to barroom pick up lines as Moot tries to entice a potential paramour to, “run for the bar, ‘cause you’re soon to be drinking next to a lone radio star.” The unabashed lyrics and hot guitar licks are pure rock and roll. “Lonely Road,” keeps the soaring guitars and adds a touch of rockabilly flair. “Seven Cities of Gold,” gets a little murkier with fuzz box guitar effects. The song is a foreboding, cautionary tale of the greed of the conquistadors. Moot even goes spacey, art rock on “Annunaki War Bride.”

Again, this is not a country rock album. This is an album that is half country and half rock. The juxtaposition of the two genres may prove a bit jarring at times. But like the conquistadors before him, Moot knows that if you want to find gold, you have to take some risks. Whether he finds gold here may be a moot point, as the adventure proves to be as exciting as the goal.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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