Brian Davis, on tour with Brantley Gilbert, admits being 'hell on wheels'

SPECIAL
Brian Davis, above, and Kip Moore will open for the Feb. 15 Brantley Gilbert concert at James Brown Arena.
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Rising country-music singer Brian Davis, now opening for Brantley Gilbert on his Hell On Wheels tour, admits that he and his older brother were hell-on-wheels kind of kids growing up.

“Of course I was, man,” he said in a phone call. “My mama has called me ‘reckless’ all of my life.

“It’s funny but just the other day I was saying, ‘Mom, I know you have expected me to grow up at some time, but there still is a touch of that recklessness in me.’ ”

Davis said he and Gilbert recently had been going through a morning songwriting session in Nashville, Tenn., and broke for lunch.

“On the way back, we went by this construction area that was all muddy from some rain,” Davis said. “We couldn’t resist turning onto the site and driving through that mud before we rode back to the office.”

Yep, just two country boys (Gilbert from Jefferson, Ga., and Davis from Bilboa, N.C.) having some country fun in the big city of Nashville.

Davis’ growing legion of fans can catch him and Kip Moore opening for Gilbert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at James Brown Arena. Tickets are $37, $29.75 and $24.75.

Gilbert just last November was at James Brown Arena for the WKXC-FM Guitar Pull. He also has been seen at the Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon.

Davis and Gilbert met through mutual friends, but they really came to know each other when both were on a show in Raleigh, N.C., not far from Davis’ hometown.

“I was finishing up the sound check and was playing around with some songs that I had recently written,” Davis said. “BG (the two refer to each other by their initials) said, ‘Did you write those, bro?’ And I told him that I did. And before we were heading back to Nashville, we were working on a song together.”

Many songs have resulted between the collaboration of the twosome and others since then with some very likely to be on Gilbert’s next CD.

Davis began with Gilbert’s Hell On Wheels tour on Jan. 31 in Independence, Mo., with stops in Nebraska, Minnesota, Kentucky and West Virginia before the Augusta show.

“It’s been amazing really,” Davis said. “People all over just have latched onto BG’s music. He has this massive, underground fan base. You can see his fans singing along with his songs that radio hasn’t even touched.”

Gilbert’s hits include Country Must Be Country Wide and You Don’t Know Her Like I Do. He co-wrote Jason Aldean’s hit singles Dirt Road Anthem and My Kinda Party.

Davis also has been building his fan base through his extensive performing and six independent albums.

The extent his fans care about him is exemplified by what one wrote on the
amazon.com site about Davis’ fifth CD Pull Up A Tailgate:

“I saw Brian Davis perform in Raleigh, N.C., back in 2009 and thought to myself, ‘Where in the name of all that’s country in country music has this guy been?’ ” the fan wrote.

“This entire CD is outstanding, foot tappin’, butt shakin’ good music, and Brian’s vocals are flawless. Brian is the total package. He writes it, sings it and performs it.”

Davis, who also was a rocker growing up loving everything from AC/DC to Bob Marley, came by his love of country music honestly through his father and grandfather, who played with honky tonk bands in North and South Carolina.

“My dad met a lot of people in Nashville and had a lot of things going with his music early on, but he chose his family over being on the road and became a welder,” Davis said.

“When I was in the third grade, he took me to see Ronnie Milsap in concert and got us backstage. I was so excited! I went to school and told everyone I had seen Ronnie Milsap. I think the only person who was excited about it, though, was my teacher.”


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