Heavy rains have plagued the area for the past several days -- collateral damage from the tornadoes that ravaged
"It's just been hellacious weather," Davis, a 2006 graduate of
Moments like this one have become a luxury for Davis. After moving to
The gig is the most recent step on Davis' path to leaving his mark on Music City -- a path that, much like that of many musical giants, began right here in
"I tell people where I'm from, and they say, 'Oh my God, that's where
Davis has been around music since he was "in utero," as he said. Dad Shaun, also a singer-songwriter and guitarist, would wake him up for school in the morning by singing and strumming. If his mother drove him to school, he said, she would spend the entire time quizzing him on rock and roll trivia.
"I can't get in the car with anyone without being like, 'Who is this? What album? What year?'" Davis said, laughing.
Davis picked up his father's guitar at age 9 or 10. Within two years, he began composing his own songs. By 13 or 14,
"Our main thing was writing and appreciating lyrics,"
Sports and music competed for Davis' attention throughout his school years, and it appeared that sports had won when he received a full scholarship to play football at
Davis tackled the player, resulting in a heap on the field. Another player who had been pushed fell across his leg, bending it at a 90-degree angle. Davis played the following play before he knew something wasn't right. His coach benched him the next day before clearing him to play again.
Davis continued to play until he realized that what had been diagnosed as a strained patella tendon was actually a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This revelation led him to question his future in football.
"My heart was not in the football thing," Davis said. "I realized my passion was in music. Once I made that realization, I had to get out."
Davis moved home and enrolled in
"It's one of those things that you don't realize the ripple effect," Davis said.
Davis, who has an associate's degree in vocal performance, was part of the music program's first graduating class. He considered several cities as the next destination for his career, but at the suggestion of a vocal teacher, he decided on
"She suggested that if he went as a student, it would provide him some structure and help him make some contacts,"
Davis enrolled at
Cooper introduced him to
"We went over to his house and put on some of my stuff," Davis said. "He looked at Ben and said, 'I'm in.'"
Davis and Cooper shared songwriting duties for Davis' first album, "You Are Here," and Kennedy has helped with guitar. Davis is funding the project through PledgeMusic, an incentive-based program that allows for donations from family, friends and fans. He had raised approximately 60 percent of the necessary funds by
"It's cool to be proactive and use some really cool resources instead of sitting back and waiting for something to happen," Davis said.
Davis describes his sound as "old-school Americana blues." He likens it to
"It's a gumbo mixture of music," Davis said. "It has all the elements -- it's its own take on Americana. There hasn't been that style to come around and wave their flag."
Evidence suggests that Davis is well on his way to carving out a niche among a sea of
Davis' father seconded that opinion.
"I'm admittedly somewhat biased, because I thought he was awesome from a very early age, but I believe it's Hunter's presence and his personality that sets him apart,"
As for Davis, he will continue his pursuit of a lifelong dream that is becoming ever closer to reality -- and while that dream has taken him all the way to
"You go to any corner store or bistro, and the waiter or waitress can outsing you and outplay you," Davis said. "You have to focus on what makes you happy and pursue it, because if you don't, you get onto a roller coaster trying to figure out what people want.
"The only reason you can pursue an art is something higher than yourself -- period, end of story," he added. "God gave me a sword, and I'm going to swing it."
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