Introducing Chip Davis; Chip being one of the most in-demand background singers in the Nashville area. He has performed on literally thousands of records now. Worked with names like Mickey Newbury, Randy Travis, Tim McCraw, Gordon Mote, Michael English, Reba McIntyre, Dolly Parton and the list goes on and on. Check out Chip’s site (www.chipdavisworld.com) if you want to read all about Chip, because my formal introduction of Chip Davis ends here.
I want to talk about truth, talent and courage, and how all these great assets are manifested on Chip’s only solo album ever, that I recently bought. And I could talk to great lengths about how great his voice is. Or how well it was produced by his brother Billy. Could mention that Chip wrote or co-wrote most of the material on there and how thought-provoking and well crafted his lyrics are. How they talk about bigotry, prejudice, love, hate and religion. Would be nice if I could ramble on how he addresses these topics. Topics that hardly and sadly aren’t topics at all among Christians and in their churches. Could talk about the 10.000 flavors of Christians, that he sings about in ‘God Save Us All From Religion’. Maybe it would be nice to mention that, that song opens in almost the same fashion as ‘Pianoman‘ by Billy Joel. If I mentioned that, I probably would have shared the fact that Billy Joel is one of Chip’s musical heroes.
I read some comments on Chip’s website by other people, folks like Suzanne Gaither Jennings, Tony Campolo, Mark Lowry and others. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t, because some were so heartfelt/warming, insightful and eloquent, that I immediately felt inadequate and obsolete to add anything to those. But after hearing this voice, music, lyrics and it’s message, I felt called upon to get everybody I can reach through this writing to take notice of this gifted singer/songwriter. I just want to let you know how rare, and unique (regretfully so) this man’s music and message is.
So unique, that record companies that use his talents for songwriting, producing and back-up singing for their artists, won’t touch/release his solo album. Basically the album been sitting’ here for over 5 years. ‘So maybe it isn’t pretty or good enough’ I hear some cynics think! It’s often said that the truth ain’t pretty. And like all cliché expressions that expression rings true 99% of the time. Which by itself could be reason enough to become all crusty and cynical. Still sometimes truth can be beautiful, hence the remaining 1%!!! Now take my word for it or not, both truth and beauty are equally represented on this album! All wonderful truths like grace, forgiveness, and love are at the core of this album. Some lyrics are very in your face, downright confronting! Was reminded of a song Suzanne Gaither Jennings wrote entitled ‘Steel on Steel’ that said; “Well, we’re not known for holdin’ back opinions.I’ve got my knack for invadin’ your space. I ain’t afraid of cleanin’ your carpet And I ain’t afraid of gettin’ your face’. Confronting? I hear some say, ‘now that ain’t fun’, also true, it is not always comfortable and nice. So how can that be beautiful? Confrontation can be hard, hard for the confronter (is that even a word?) because he/or she summoned all his/her strength, and courage to tell you what is bothering them about you. Hard for the confronted, because what they are about to tell you ain’t all that pretty, and thus probably true, and that tics us off even more! Yet if that message is delivered with the right intentions, it can bring people together, if we set aside our pride. Like another verse in Suzanne’s song says; ‘When the smoke clears I know you’re a brother
Follow this through to the bitter end. If we stick around we might learn something, Something about how to be a good friend’. So we need to hear the truth every now and then, and not shoot the brother who delivers it!
Brother Chip singing his big ol’ heart out to remind us, what being a Christian is all about! And that is love! Love! that’s the reason Jesus went to the cross! Love is the greatest commandment, and granted, also the hardest. Don’t think for a minute Chip pretends that he’s got it all together, on more than one occasion he sings about his own shortcomings, doubts and failures. He’s vulnerable and transparent throughout this magnificent album.So make no mistakes Chip loves Jesus! He is his savior and Lord, but he refuses to hate other people who won’t, or don’t dance to his particular tune!
Though it may seem Chip in spite of all his talent got the short end of the stick. I would say, you are probably right! Which is also fundamentally wrong! Chip is one courageous dude in my book. Even when this album is never picked up by any label, I hope Chip finds consolation in what Thomas Jefferson once said. Jefferson said; ‘One man with courage is a majority’. Some parts of Ray Boltz’s great song ‘Thank You‘ came to mind, and fragments of the verses surfaced in my brain. Parts like where it says; ‘Little things that you had done, Sacrifices you made,They were unnoticed on the earth,In heaven now proclaimed’. And the final two lines of that song that say ‘My child look around you, for great is your reward’.
Also was reminded of some backliner notes on my favorite Statesmen Quartet album (LPM1605) from 1958. Where the group members were briefly introduced to the buying public by Paul Jones of the Atlanta Constitution (newspaper). When Jones introduced Jake Hess lead singer of the quartet, he wrote ‘Jake Hess whose great gospel singing is heard in most of the solo parts. Only his love for inspirational music has kept Jake from becoming one of the really great popular singers in the nation’. I happen to think Paul Jones was right about Jake.
If I had written the backliner notes on Chip’s album it would have read; ‘Chip Davis love for Gospel music, and the true meaning of the Gospel, has kept him from becoming a household name in the Gospel music industry’. Which is pretty sad, but as a jewish proverb says; ‘If God lived on earth, people would probably break his windows’.
I love this album! And I love Chip Davis! He ain’t heavy he’s my brother!
Chip’s album is available through his website http://www.chipdavisworld.com take a listen here:http://www.chipdavisworld.com/the_discography.html