Published on November 22nd, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann0
The Punch List with Davis Coen
Metronome Charleston‘s ongoing Punch List series puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, blues/Americana singer/guitarist Davis Coen — a longtime musician who splits his time between the Memphis area and the Lowcountry — has a go.
1. What is your favorite local hang and why?
“It’s a draw between the Griffon and Home Team BBQ in West Ashley. The Griffon is the old stand-by that I’ve been going to since I could legally drink, but how does one deny the hospitality of a respected restaurant/venue that provides you with the honorary title of ‘house band?'”
2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…
“When you confirm the sense that the larger the audience, the stronger and more confident the performance.”
3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?
“Loretta Lynn in Tunica, Mississippi, last summer was pretty inspiring. I’d never seen a female songwriter legend of that caliber up so close.”
4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.
“Contemporary country-blues juke-joint honky-tonk for the people.”
5. What’s your theme song?
“Probably ‘Mile After Mile’ off my 2012 album, Hard Luck Café [see video clip below]. It got some play on XM radio, and I played it at about every live show I did in town since last summer. I began to notice that friends would greet me by imitating the vocal hook, ‘Mile after mile after mile…'”
6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?
“Now, it is my Gibson ES-335 [semi-acoustic guitar]. I saved up for it when I was a teenager, and it’s the only one that I haven’t hocked or had stolen.”
7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?
“Clarence Carter’s Patches  is a contender. Just can’t get enough of it after a night on the town.”
8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?
“I was a bit mumbly and aloof when I opened for Ray Wylie Hubbard last year, and he unexpectedly stopped and complimented my slide-guitar playing.”
9. What’s your poison?
“Tennessee whiskey or Kentucky bourbon.”
10. In 10 years, I will be…
“Doing the same thing but hopefully with an elevated level of success and less daily struggle.”
Davis Coen has been rendering a variety of traditional and modern blues for years, from deep country blues and Delta standards to big-city electric blues and honky-tonkin’ country. He sings with a raspy, soulful style and emphasizes licks and riffs with his nifty slide work.
Based in the Memphis area, Coen regularly records rustic standards and original material in the coolest small-town studios in that region. He tours almost constantly, returning to the Charleston club scene several times a year.
Coen will perform at the West Ashley Home Team BBQ on Fri. Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. It’s his CD release show for his new collection, Get Back In, which is currently available online at iTunes, Amazon, and at daviscoen.com. He’ll come to town in mid-February for shows at Home Team BBQ, the Wreckfish, the Griffon, and the Pour House.
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