Raymond ‘Chip’ Davis – Singin’ Rascal

chipper

Raymond ‘Chip’ Davis a West Virginia native who grew up in Baltimore Maryland as a preachers kid. Davis made the move down to Music City U.S.A. in the late 80’s after playing the clubs and bars in and around Baltimore for years.

‘Chip’ as everybody knows him around Nashville nowadays, is a singer/songwriter and producer. Who worked with some of the biggest names in gospel and country music. Chris Cagle recorded Chip’s song “What Kind of Gone” it was the only song in 2009 to get a 2nd Airplay award for staying in the top 50 for two years! Just to name a few more Chip worked with are Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Don Felder, Mickey Gilley, Michael English, Russ Taff, Kenny Hinson, Gaither Vocal Band, Carman and the list goes on and on. Chip sang in the ‘behind the scenes choir’ on a bunch of Homecoming videos. The Martins performed Chip’s composition “Grace” on the Hawaiian Homecoming video. He currently tours with country music legends Alabama. In fact he wrote the title song of Alabama‘s latest project ‘Southern Drawl’. Chip is a singing machine…..a one man choir. Check your music collection and you’d be surprised on how many other people’s he has worked on. He’s either credited as Ray(mond) Davis or Chip Davis. As we speak he’s probably cramped in a vocal booth somewhere round Nashville…..laying down track by track…delivering only the best, to the ones who hired him! Making everyone around him sound better!

Sounds a little dramatic perhaps, but this guy has a signature sound in background vocal land. When you listen to various projects in the country/gospel field from the 90’s till the present day you understand why he’s the guy who got the call. Like George Younce once said to Chip when he ran into him at the National quartet convention ‘Raymond you singin’ rascal… you…’. Chip sang on two of George’s solo projects, and George loved to hear him sing! Davis a singer’s singer….respected for his ‘ear’ for harmony and his remarkable pleasant voice. He embodies ‘easy on the ears, heavy on the heart’ like no one else. Chip recorded a solo album a couple of years back and it is truly one of the best albums out there! It is titled ‘Standing in my own way’. Vocally, lyrically and musically a top notch project! Yet very few know it’s out there, and that’s a shame. He also recorded a stellar Bluegrass album entitled “Lifetime” with his family. Go seek that one out too, it’s one of the most moving and honest albums you’ll ever hear.

So what is Chip up to these days? Well he’s still doing session work either as producer or background vocalist. Traveling with Alabama as mentioned before, where he’s singing and playing keys. And he is still writing wonderful tunes, tunes that have a common thread…being truth. Love and truth…that’s Chip alright! I had the pleasure of hearing some amazing tunes while visiting with Chip just recently. As soon as I heard some of these demos I texted every SGM artists I knew, that I just heard a song that would be perfect for them. At the moment he’s collaborating with Dony McGuire and Reba Rambo McGuire and it’s amazing what these three have crafted! Wonderful songs with poetry and content. Potent stuff! Every group today that is looking for some new material should stop what they are doing and get a hold of one of these three, because these are real message songs…songs of hope and love!

Mark Lowry recently recorded  one of those songs entitled “Come As You Are”. Lowry also posted a video recently that he’d shot at Chip’s home. In the video, that has had 1.9 million views on Facebook, Chip his talented brother Billy, and sister Amelia sing a song that he and Billy wrote over 25 years ago entitled ‘Lord Remember Me’. A song that is an instant classic from the first time you hear it! People love that song, all the comments you read on Facebook and Youtube are nothing but raving! Here’s a link to the studio cut of this song; https://youtu.be/FrvIZRWoC18

Though it’s available on iTunes, and it has had that many views on social media, you would think that song would do well for Chip and Billy. i’m sad to report that sales are not worth mentioning. I hear people say all the time ‘nobody makes real music anymore’ or ‘aren’t there any good songs anymore? Well I tell you there are! But if these artists don’t get what they deserve, you’ll probably never get to hear them! Making records doesn’t come free! Rare songbirds like Chip Davis need to be heard, and his wonderful poetry has to be shared with the masses, there’s a lot to be learned from his songs. So spent $0.99 on that tune…feed the birds…..ultimately feed your soul!
Chip Davis is besides an artist, also a loving family man with a big big heart. A loyal and hard working individual, with a genuine love for all of God’s creatures….great or small. A guy who not quotes the verse ‘the greatest of these is love’ but lives it in a humble and real way! Like George said, this guy is a singing rascal, well indeed he is, but he’s more than just that!

Go to http://www.chipdavisworld.com and get to know this incredible brother!

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The oddball #2

From a vintage 1993 southern gospel album ‘Southern Classics’ comes the oddball in this blog..or should I say ‘Vlog? Does anyone still use that term?? Vlog….sounds kind of raunchy. Video-blog or vlog? I opt for video-blog for an apparent arguable reason. Back to the actual oddball…it’s a song from an album that is titled “Southern Classics”. A record of the world-renowned Gaither Vocal Band. A record that I regard as the ‘benchmark’ in the recent history of SGM. Why? Because it is not a tribute to classic Southern Gospel but an attribute…it added a legendary album to a genre that is on freaking life-support since The Imperials! This record set the bar…..it really did! The line up in ’93 was Bill on bass, Mark Lowry on baritone, Michael English on lead, and the magnificent Terry Franklin on tenor! Not gonna say anything on Michael because I don’t wanna sound like a teeny bopper! But man is he awesome on this album…enough already!!! I want to spotlight two guys, out of this line up. Bill being the backbone of this quartet, and Mark Lowry being the spinal chord…Mark  is what makes this body of voices function! Without Mark the baritone, it’s just two guys with amazing voices, and a big checkbook with fuzzy hair! Speaking of Bill, his bass is very underrated…and I don’t care if he is stacked to high heaven in live concerts, heck he might be the snappiest lip-syncher ever…I DON’T CARE! On this record he nailed it! But the absolute star on this here record is Terry (I hate you) Franklin!!! The best first tenor ever in the Vocal Band, and the best tenor in any quartet! If you don’t believe me, ask Glen Payne if you run into that fine gentleman up there, he’ll tell you the same thing! On this oddball Terry sings wonderful solo’s, with a rare kind of control, diction and amazing tone! Why is this an oddball? Well the title of the album suggest that all these songs are classic southern gospel songs. Songs like ‘I Bowed On My Knees’, ‘There is a River’ and other SGM favorites. Well those are on there, and this one is the only song on it, that breaks that mold. I don’t vividly remember who wrote it…but if memory is like the  friend he mostly is, I’d say that Terry and his lovely wife Barbi wrote it. But I could be wrong…hey give me a break! It’s not like I know everything!  I’m just human. Yes! just like you, a sinner saved by grace…‘put your hand down now, they might think you’re pentecostal! Amen!

Here’s the link to the oddball….enjoy! And really listen to these guys, and pick out each part…superb is the word you’re looking for.

So let’s dance, let’s dance…..tooooonniiiigghhhhhttt!!!