Release Date: Mar 4, 2014
Record label: Lovemonk
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
West Coast singer/songwriter Bart Davenport has been a lot of things over the course of his long career: a bluesy garage rocker, a retro-soul crooner, a folkie on his most recent solo album Searching for Bart Davenport. What he does best, though, is '70s-tinged soft rock, and his 2014 album Physical World works incredibly well because it sticks closely to the soft sounds/sweet melodies/catchy songs formula of his best album (2003's Game Preserve). Working with a small band that includes guitarist Wayne Faler of Dream Boys, bassist Jessica Espeleta, a couple of drummers, and keyboardist Nathan Shafer, Davenport gets a sound that's simple and direct, while still radiating warmth through the speakers like one of those lamps people use to fight seasonal affective disorder.
There’s throwback rock. There are songs like Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” that call back to the glory days of rock and roll, but infuse them with a modern touch. And then there is Bart Davenport, who seems like some sort of musical impressionist (that’s Frank Caliendo “impressionist,” not Monet “impressionist”). On Davenport’s new album, Physical World, each song feels like a relic from a bygone era of pop music.
Bart Davenport’s latest album, Physical World, has a song called “Fuck Fame. ” Bart Davenport has never really gotten within distance of fame, but the songwriter spits at it with convincing disgust regardless: “Fame? What fame? I never wanted it, I never needed it/ Fame, what fame? I can be creative from behind the scenes. ” The guitar tone is pure Joe Jackson, and it's likely the song itself is Davenport’s savvy imitation of a Joe Jackson bitter kiss-off to fame.
It’s hard to believe that Bay Area crooner Bart Davenport has been doing the solo thing for over a decade. I remember seeing him in the ‘90s with his r & b combo The Loved Ones are various Bay Area dives then later with his next band, The Kinetics. Doing the solo thing he has been more in the folk/pop genre and does it very well, in other words, it seems to suit him.