Ryan Davidson delivers the goods on ‘A Wick Burning High’ LP

Ryan Davidson‘A Wick Burning High’
Ryan Davidson (self-released)
3.5 stars out of 5

Youngsters turn to music for all different reasons but for Chico, Calif. native Ryan Davidson, he became a musician pretty much out of necessity. While riding his bicycle at age 13, Davidson had an ill-fated run in with a semi truck. The truck ran him over twice, dragged him and ultimately came to a stop on top of the teenager.

Ryan Davidson CDBedridden for almost a year, Davidson eventually underwent 15 surgeries to provide him with a semi-artificial right leg. With nothing else to do, he turned to music.

“I was a super active kid, but after that accident, I couldn’t really do much,” Davidson recalls. “We had these instruments in the house, and I told my mom I wanted to learn how to play guitar. My accident took a lot from me, but in return I was given an amazing gift — music. I wouldn’t trade anything for this journey.”

He started playing in bands by age 14, soon landing in a series of local punk outfits. Older and wiser, Davidson has made the transition from punk to acoustic-based folk rock. New album “A Wick Burning High” is a terrific mix of originals and traditional tunes that showcase his strong vocals and first-rate storytelling ability.

Lead track “Through It All” sets the tone, and Davidson also scores with “St. Louis,” “Whisky With My Friends,” “Catherine” and the title track. There’s also a spirited take on the fiddle instrumental “East Virginia Billy,” as well as a solid rendition of “The Silver Dagger,” a tune that’s been covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show. Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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