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Greg Davis - Second Wind, Alive Again

CD Review

Feb 5, 2011
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Not everyone succeeds in getting a second chance aftersuffering with a severe illness. Greg Davis battled pneumonia for several months in 2005, not knowing whether or not he would recover. Every breath was a struggle. He expressed that you don’t really know what a gift breathing is until you can’t breathe. An especially healing massage from his wife turned the tide toward his recovery. To celebrate, he decided to record a third album of songs.

NY was freezing that winter, and every day he had totravel by train and bus to the studio. Besides the challenge of recording and producing with a weakened immune system, he also sprained his ankle, which further complicated the commute. However, by the project’s completion he regained his health, landed a new job and felt motivated and energized by the collaboration process. He named the album, Second Wind, Alive Again to expresshis gratitude to God for what he felt was a symbolic rebirth in his life.

Greg DavisGreg has performed music all of his life, mostly at venuessuch as coffee houses and festivals but he has also had some unusual opportunities. He was the music leader for a program for young people in the Soviet Union for a few months. That led to invitations to other exotic places such as Japan and Korea, where he played gigs with various musicians in restaurants and clubs. Deeply feeling that music can promote peace between races, religions, cultures and nationalities he sought to perform whenever and wherever he had the opportunity. One of his most interesting breaks was traveling to peace festivals in the Middle East, culminating with an invitation to take part in a Chanukah Festival in Jerusalem.

In a phone interview Greg told me that his voice wasn’t aspowerful on the CD as it is now because he was still recovering from pneumonia during recording, but that makes it all the more precious to him.

The first cut, “The Vision”, reminds me a bit of EmersonLake and Palmer or their predecessor, King Crimson. It has an epic musical quality, against the simple message of a man waking up from a vision of love that he forgets and ultimately remembers again.

“Everybody Must Go This Way” is a catchy rock n roll tunewith more of Greg’s hopeful lyrics about a sublime future for all mankind. Nicely executed and produced, highlighting Greg’s mean lead guitar playing! 

“The Ways of Heaven” is an optimistic song that starts outin the style of the Moody Blues. The song is a plea for a new world based on a paradigm of love and human transformation.

Halfway through the song, the time signature changes andtakes off in a kind of “After Midnight” direction, ala Eric Clapton, (when he played with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends). This song has the potential to be lots of fun performed live, replete with opportunity for improvisation and jamming. The song ends with the giggling of the backup singers, the Grace Girls, which are comprised of his two daughters, Miyo and Misook, and their friend, Soon Joong Fong. Very cute.

“Live for Others” is a gentle, Moody Blues-esque ballad,written to God and humanity.

“It was unknown to us
In our generation’s past
We were born to this
This noble journey
This holy task
Scattered to the four winds
Like the seeds that have been sown
We’re part of Your broken heart
Someday soon we’ll all be home
Though we may be battle weary
With all of our painful scars
The Light still lives within us
And we’ll press on...We’ll press on...”

Grace Girls“Grace – I Feel God” was co-written by Limi Perry andJessa Stadelhofer, who asked Greg for help composing the song at a high school church camp. The lead singing by the Grace Girls, lends a nice feminine spirit that gives balance to the collection. I can definitely imagine this song becoming a Christian rock classic.

“Whispers” is an instrumental prayer on guitar andkeyboard, a lovely way to end the album.  

For more information about Greg, visit his website:
Produced by Greg Davis and Diego Costa. 
All instruments played by GregDavis and Diego Costa.    

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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