Brock Davis is healing before our ears. His latest solo album, “A Song Waiting To Be Sung”, is a cathartic collection of americana and indie country. Here, the singer songwriter confronts childhood trauma, the demise of an unsustainable marriage, and years going 100 miles an hour running a Silicon Valley startup. Ultimately, though, the 13 song album is a triumphant statement of 2nd chances, love, oneness and forgiveness.
“Out of the ashes comes rebirth, and out of pain and loss, against all odds, comes love”, Brock says. “I repressed so much, and I didn’t really start addressing any of it until I pretty much had a breakdown. In the end, the way out of it for me was to go back and connect with the thing in life that had always given me the most joy, music. This album comes from that, these were the songs waiting inside of me all this time”.
Today, Brock splits his time between Santa Cruz, CA, and Nashville, TN, but he grew up in a small mill town near Vancouver, Canada. He started working as a professional musician in his early teens and spent many years performing and recording before taking a sabbatical from the music industry to raise a family. Brock’s previous releases have earned critical acclaim. Vancouver Arts Alive Magazine said, “His powerful and authoritative voice brings to life the honest and intense emotions within the heart felt lyrics”. Kitsilano News remarked his work shows “impressive, emotional songwriting depth”.
His adult life took an unexpected turn when he became a CEO of a high tech startup. “There are a lot of parallels between building a startup and managing a music career. In both cases, you’re building something entirely new from scratch, and selling that vision”, he says. “I don’t know who hears more pitches every day, the venture capitalists on Sandhill Road in Palo Alto, or the music industry executives on Music Row in Nashville”. Brock’s tough childhood, his small-town roots, his experiences as a musician; his sense of adventure, and his savvy gleaned from his time in the business world, and his challenges as an adult, all come together to inform his seasoned songwriting.
Brock was initially inspired by Bruce Springsteen, he often says seeing Bruce with the E Street Band live on TV at the age of 15 was his Beatles on Ed Sullivan moment. His songs share with Springsteen an exhilarating sense of romantic optimism. No matter how much the songs dip into the darkness, they always shine forth rays of hope. Brock’s music encompasses the rural landscapes of country music and folk, and the rousing anthemics of pure rock’n’roll. These are achingly beautiful roots rock songs lavished with fingerstyle acoustic guitar, twanging Telecasters, redemptive bursts of B3 organ, and lonesome slide guitar.
“A Song Waiting To Be Sung” bursts open with the sweetly reflective americana track, “I Choose Love”. The song is elegantly adorned with folk guitars, delicate female harmony vocals, splashes of B3 and chiming, clean toned electric guitars. Brock’s richly expressive low register vocals shine throughout as he sings about detaching from divorce with kindness. “I wrote that song because it was a message I needed to hear. It’s a message that sinks in a little deeper every time I sing that song”, he says.
While many of the songs on the album address relationships and love, some of the songs, like “All Free”, speak about the broader social condition. “All Free” was written during the summer of 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests. Brock wrote the song from the perspective of a white male US immigrant being confronted with and exposed to the reality of racial injustice. The chorus features the goose bump inducing refrain, “if we’re not all free, then we’re not free at all”. The power of these words is amplified as the gospel vocals join in singing it.
The Dylanesque title track showcases some of Brock’s poetically poignant lyric writing. In this powerful song, written from the perspective of a father to his newborn son, he sings, “these old hands have played a song or two, I look at yours and I wonder what they’ll do, my simple dream is lying in my arms, a tiny son, the greater scheme enfolds us in the mystery that has come, a circle culminating, you’re a song that’s waiting to be sung”.
The country tinged ballad, “Second Time Around”, highlights Brock’s vocals, which ooze a paternal warmth balanced by just the right amount of rugged grit. This is almost a fairytale song for those of us longing for late in life love, but, in actuality, it’s an autobiographical love song about rekindling an old flame. “Every detail in the song is true”, Brock affirms. “My sweetheart happened to live in Nashville and was writing and recording songs. It was her influence, more than anything else, that helped me rediscover my passion. And then, we co-wrote this song about finding each other again”.
“A Song Waiting To Be Sung” was recorded and mixed in Nashville by Grammy award winning engineer Zach Allen (Keb Mo’, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram) at Ronnie’s Place in Nashville, TN, a historic studio once owned by Roy Orbison and, later, Ronnie Milsap. Brock produced the album, and his vision for the production aesthetic was an organic live from the studio floor vibe captured by crisp modern fidelity. The band is made up of A-list Nashville session cats whose credits include work with Keb Mo’, Taj Mahal, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Michael MacDonald, among others.
Now that these songs are no longer waiting to be sung, Brock is firming up live dates and working on several videos to support the new album. Pondering his journey thus far, he says, “I feel like the reason I was put here was to write songs that touch people, but I got a bit lost along the way. Writing and playing these new songs released years of grief about innocence lost, and as that weight lifted, so many other emotions became available to me, including, surprise, surprise, happiness”.