Exclusive Interview: Patrick Davis

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to Patrick Davis, who is a singer-songwriter in Nashville. Born in nearby Murfreesboro and raised on a farm in South Carolina, Patrick has written with people like Dallas Davidson, Lady Antebellum, Jason Michael Carroll and others. He helped produce Jason Michael’s latest album and has a cut on Lady Antebellum’s ‘Own The Night’ record. (Check out the song, “The Love I’ve Found In You” on that album. It really is one of the best tracks on it.) Patrick is working on establishing himself as an artist and is current single, ‘Lucky,’ may do just that. I caught up with Patrick after he had spent about six weeks on the road doing a radio tour. We talked about the single, upcoming album plans and the country superstar who will be producing the project, the song that is the most personal to him and why and his plans for next year’s CMA Fest. Check out my interview with him after the jump and don’t forget to buy is single, ‘Lucky,’ on Itunes. While you’re there, check out his other music as well.

1) I know you just got off the road from your radio tour, how’d it go?

PD: It’s going great. It’s going great. Been on the road six weeks out of the past couple months and I’m not done yet, I gotta keep on keepin’ on. It’s been going really great, it’s been great to meet all the folks that actually play the music that we put on the radio.

2) You grew up on a farm in South Carolina. Has that influenced your music at all?

PD: Oh yeah, of course. Where you grow up is always going to be a part of you. I grew up in an eight room farmhouse in South Carolina with horses and cows and chickens, everything. So I sort of can’t help but sing about it sometimes. All that stuff is a part of me and I sing about it and I’ll write about. I grew up in a small town and that’s kind of what ‘Where I’m From’ by Jason Michael Carroll is about. It’s exactly where I’m from and I think it’s where a lot of us are from.

3) Speaking of Jason Michael Carroll, what was it like to work with him, because I know you coproduced his latest album.

PD: It was great. Jason Michael is a really, really great country voice. We got to write a couple of the tracks on the album and I hope we get to do it again. GAC is doing a premiere of a song called ‘Meet me in the Barn’, kinda of a big video premiere for Halloween weekend and it premieres I think tomorrow. So that’s pretty cool, we’ve had a good run. We did ‘Where I’m From’ and a song I wrote with a buddy of mine named Rodney called ‘Numbers’ and that was a pretty decent hit for him as well and now, ‘Meet Me In the Barn’ written by myself, Jason and Dallas Davidson. So we’ll see if that one is going to make it out on the radio but it’s definitely on GAC and it’s always an honor for you when you get to have your songs put out there in any form.

4) When you were in college playing the hole-in-the-wall bars, what did you take away from that experience?

PD: When you play in those places, you really figure out how to entertain people. It’s one of those situations where when you’re playing in the corner of a restaurant or in a bar, your music is kind of way down on the list of things that people are there for. You’re having to play cover songs and you’re really having to learn how to entertain people and how to get their attention and I think that’s very, very important because a lot of the lessons I learned playing in front of those crowds in college I still use now. Whether I’m opening up for Phil Vassar in Chicago or Darius Rucker somewhere, a lot of those lessons I learned back in college are applicable now. That’s something that I think all performers should have to go through with entertaining people. I’m thankful that I did that, it wasn’t always easy.

5) I heard that you wrote with Casey James, the song called ‘So Sweet.’ What’s he like and how did that song come about?

PD: He’s a sweetheart. Really soft spoken and really kind and a southern gentleman. I’m not really an American Idol watcher, I’m not that familiar with the show and when people told me that he was on Idol and I didn’t really know much about him other than that. And we met and he’s a really great guitar player and a great singer and we sat down and myself and Dallas Davidson and Casey and we wrote a few songs. And ‘So Sweet’ is what we all felt like was the best of those that we wrote. I think it’s a great song and I think he even played it live at CMA Fest this year. That’s awesome and I know he has a song on the radio right now and hopefully that one will work out and we’ll see. I actually like ‘So Sweet’ and I play it live as well. We’ll see what happens. We have a few more that we’ll see what happens. There’s a couple of others that Casey and I have written, maybe he’ll record those too. We’ll have to wait and see.

–I heard him play ‘So Sweet’ at CMA Fest and I think it’s a really great song.

PD: In the radio game, you never know what’s going to happen and you always have to wait and see and you write songs and hope they get out there in some capacity. And that’s kind of how it works. It’s out of your hands once you write them and even as an artist you don’t really always have a big say in what’s going to be a single or anything like that. So you just have to kind of sit back and see what happens.

6) I will say that the song you wrote on Lady A’s new album, “The Love I’ve Found In You,” honestly, I really think that is one of the best songs on the album.

PD: (laughs) Aw, well make sure you tell people that. Thank you. You know, Charles is one of my best friends here in Nashville and I’ve known Dave and Hillary for a long time. And we’ve written a number of songs that were pretty heavily considered for the past two albums and for whatever reason they weren’t recorded. So it was surreal when they decided to put this song on the album. And it’s uptempo and it’s fun and I’m hopeful it’ll make it out there because it’s three minutes and it sounds like something that country radio would really like so we shall wait and see.

7) Your new single, ‘Lucky,’ where did the inspiration for that song come from?

PD: ‘Lucky’ was a song that I wrote with my buddy, Pat Green and a friend. And that’s one of those songs that we were just hanging out and trying to figure out how to write a song that encompassed how we feel that we get to do what we get to do. You know, we may not be making a million dollars but we feel very fortunate that we can play music for a living and do something that we really love. And I guess we figured that we feel the way a lot of people feel. The being lucky isn’t about Hollywood or winning a million bucks on a tv game show or dating a supermodel. It’s about having your family and your friends and the people around you that you care about and they care about you and if you got that and your health and all that kind of stuff, then you’re pretty dang lucky. That’s really where that song comes from. And I hope that when people hear it that that’s how it makes them feel. Because every now and again we forget that we’re pretty lucky and we’re fortunate to live here in the United States and having the freedom and the ability to do the things that we want to do. And I think sometimes we forget that and I hope that when people hear it, it gives them a little reminder that we’re pretty lucky.

8) I know obviously when you write songs, they’re all personal to you but is there one song you’ve written that is the most personal for you?

PD: My little brother passed away from drinking and driving on June 29, 2008. And when that happened, it was, as you can imagine, a very traumatizing event for my entire family and for all of us involved in losing my little brother. One week after that happened, I came back to Nashville and sat down to write with a friend of mine who actually passed away this past year, his name was Harley Allen. And we sat down and he said, “Well hey, Patrick what have you been up to?,” and I told him that my little brother had passed away and Harley said, “Why the hell are you here Patrick? You should be home.” And I said, “Well, I figured maybe I’d write a song today. Maybe make something normal, you know. Everything has just been so crazy maybe this will be normal.” And we wrote a song called, “Life’s the People that You Love.” Which, you can buy it on Itunes, on the ‘Numbers’ album that I have on there. Harley and I wrote that song in about thirty minutes and I think it’s one of those songs that I will play for the rest of my life because it’s true. Once again, we forget sometimes, we get caught up in day-to-day existence and work and money–And really, life isn’t about all that. Life is about your family, your friends and the people who you love and that love you and that song will always make me think of my little brother. And sometimes songs just happen, we’re not sure where they come from and I think that one was sent down from somewhere. So it’s a pretty special song for me.

9) It’s probably a very relatable song for a lot of people as well.

PD: Yeah. In my opinion, the best songs are the ones that are the most honest. And that’s what we strive for as songwriters and as artists, it’s to be honest. fortunately I’m working up to hit that mark every now and then and I think that was one of those times where it was like bearing your soul type of thing, with that song. So hopefully people listen to it and the lyrics and realize it’s something that comes straight from the heart.

10) Do you have any future plans for touring or maybe an album or anything?

PD: Yeah. I’m going to continue some more radio stuff, promoting ‘Lucky,’ and I have plans early next year to go into the studio with Kristian Bush from Sugarland and Kristian is going to produce an album on me. We will start working on that, like I said, early 2012. I’ve already been writing a number of songs with that in mind and I’ll continue to do that the next three to four months. And there are some talks of some tours that could be pretty unbelievable, some pretty great situations. I can’t say anything about those things yet but if they were to come down the pipe, it would be pretty cool. So I’m going to be working on all that but the big thing now is continuing to work ‘Lucky’ on Music Row and secondary stations across the country. And try to set myself up with some country listeners, so that people start to listen and find out who Patrick Davis is. That’s why interviews like this are great. You know, getting my name out there to people who may not have ever heard of me or maybe have heard of a couple of songs that I had a hand in writing but don’t really know much about me or my voice.

11) Would you ever consider doing CMA Fest? Whether it be performing or signing in the convention center?

PD: I actually played and did a thing before Rodney Atkins downtown this year and that was a lot of fun. I’m sure with next year, with me being a songwriter and now trying to focus heavily on the artist thing, I will be very involved with it next year, no doubt about it. Because something about CMA Fest, and the thing I didn’t realize until this year when I went down there and really took it all in is, the people who come to CMA Fest, are the real fans. The real, dedicated, diehard fans and that’s their vacation for the summer. Those fans, like yourself, are the reasons that we have jobs. So, it’s such an amazing opportunity to meet you guys that believe in what we do because I don’t think there’s anything greater than actually meeting the people who call in and request the songs and come out to the concerts. And why would you not, as an artist or songwriter, want to get into the middle of that. It’s a great opportunity and I know you guys think it’s cool to get to meet and see these people play but the way I look at it, it’s just as cool for the artist. Because we get to meet you guys and without you guys, we wouldn’t exist.

You can find out more about Patrick Davis at:

And of course, don’t forget to stop by Itunes and download, ‘Lucky.’ You won’t regret it!

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