Somewhere between the rootsy. psychedelic jams of the Grateful Dead and the alt-country narratives of Jason Isbell lies the cosmic twang of Ben Davis Jr. and The Revelry. Eager and absolutely willing to defy the genre conventions within which they work as a band, this Ohio quintet has built a considerable following from admirers who are drawn to their ability to adapt and redefine the folk and country influences that run rampant throughout their music.
Before The Revelry entered the picture, however, Davis was performing solo at The Court Street Grill in Pomeroy, Ohio. Based on the strength and authentic nature of those sets, he was asked to join the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival, and the fact that he had also released his acclaimed debut record, “The Day After Payday,” as Ben Davis Jr. and the Dirt Poor Troubadours in 2013 might have had something to so with it as well. After his performance in that festival, he met producer and musician Eddie Ashworth while playing in Athens, Ohio.This chance encounter led to Ashworth recording and producing Davis’ next EP, 2016’s “Leaving Cincinnati.”
But there can be a lull sometimes after finding success, and Davis encountered sporadic disillusionment with the music industry over the next few years before refining his own rhythmic outlook and finding himself joined by The Revelry. Built around the complicated and compelling creativities of the band – which includes singer-guitarist Davis, Ashworth on Wurlitzer and mandolin, Ben Ervin on lead guitar, Levi Westfall on bass and Erik Miller on drums – they’re able to combine and dismantle their collective inspirations depending on any given situation. From atmospheric guitar riffs to elegiac Wurlitzer lines and gorgeous acoustic arrangements, their songs keep one foot in the past and one foot in some parallel world where these sounds overwhelmed everything in their path.
The band is currently gearing up for the release of their latest album, “Suthernahia,” which is due out physically on June 22 and will be released digitally sometime later this Summer.
With their recent single, “I Think You Should,” they create an alt-country charger that recalls the late-‘80s country fervor of “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle. There’s a definite polish to the track, but it doesn’t forgo the necessary grit and earnestness which is necessary to make it so compelling. Davis’ voice is omnipresent and acts to guide the music down endless deserted highways while nursing countless bruised hearts. The band’s flawless dynamic allows the song’s rurality to evolve and build without restraint, growing in intensity until it threatens to overwhelm your senses – which isn’t actually such a bad thing.