Davis Loose in Nashville

Letting Loose in Nashville

by Ward Hughey

Near the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, FL is a local spot known for burgers, beer and more. Gas Full Service Restaurant has become a favorite for good reason, but this article is not about food. Step foot in Gas and you will always be greeted by a welcoming smile from whomever is working. If it happens to be a young man with rosy cheeks and a hearty handshake then you are likely being greeted by the owner’s son Davis Loose. He is what this article is about. Davis is not only the son of hard working and welcoming Ben and Lindy Loose, he is also an up and coming country singer/songwriter. At the ripe old age of 17 years, Davis is already making connections in the country music community. He has done so with a warm personality and genuine love for country music’s roots. This is something he credits to growing up listening to his grandparents' extensive collection. Recently, Davis set off to Nashville for a taste of the Music City. Once he returned I caught up with him to find out how it went.

Davis hit the road on June 5th, driving the whole way solo. With his Sirius Radio set, Davis was blazing his trail. Though his schedule was open he did have a few things set thanks to valuable connections. This included attending his friend Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam, an annual event on the eve of CMA Fest. Davis describes it as “the best show I’ve ever seen.” From there the next 3 weeks were a dream that finds Davis often at a loss for words trying to describe.

Much of his time was spent with Marty’s “right hand man Doug Hudson,” whose Davis’ gratitude for is evident. During their time together Davis got a behind the scenes look at Marty’s up and coming projects. He was also able to literally touch and play country music history. Doug introduced Davis to legendary ‘Opry’ photographer Les Leverett, a man who is said to have shot everyone in country music over 50 years. Davis found it an honor to visit the Opry with him and hear stories of the greats. Along with meeting Les, Davis had the pleasure of entering through the artist entrance and standing in the famed Opry Circle.

Davis also put in some work. He got to explore Sony Publishing where he met up with singer/songwriter Mark Irwin. During this time they did some songwriting. Davis also had some gigs. Through friend and songwriter Arlis Albritton, he was able to perform at The Listening Room. Then his connection with Mark Irwin got him on In The Row at the famous Bluebird Cafe with Mark and young artists Avalon Kali and Ryan Lafferty. This opportunity, Davis says, is one of the highlights of the trip and one that his parents flew up for. Another amazing moment happened during a Q&A with Marty Stuart, Kathy Matea and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor. At one point the conversation turned to the future of country music. Marty Stuart decided to use Davis as an example by asking him to stand up in the crowd. He went on to praise Davis, stating, “He knows every country song probably ever written since 1960. He amazes me.” These are high accolades from the famous artist, as Davis is only 17. Despite such praise Davis is humble. This humility, he says, has grown from this trip.

We talked for a long time and Davis shared much more than can fit here. He described the treatment he was given by the community as being “invited into a big family.” He knows he still has a lot of work ahead if he wants this invite to continue and dreams to come true. When asked if he learned any lessons during his time, he had a few; “Don’t drive through downtown Atlanta. It’s a scary place,” and “Stay humble. There are a million fish in that sea… and they are all probably better than you.”

Back home, Davis is hard at it. He and his band Davis and the Loose Cannons are currently finishing up a debut album of 10 originals, 2 of which were co-written with Mark Irwin and liner notes by Marty Stuart. They also have some upcoming shows in the works that may include sharing the stage with a friend or two. Oh yeah, and his senior year of high school. Through it all Davis says he will remember these key things; Humbleness, knowledge, honesty, hard work and connections.

You can find Davis and the Loose Cannons on all the usual sites. I recommend being on the lookout for the debut album and upcoming shows. If you find yourself hungry in St. Auggie, maybe stop in at Gas and shake the young man’s hand.

dave kosciolek