Patrick Davis plays Bishopville Opera House

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 1/21/18

Special to The Sumter ItemSinger-songwriter and Camden native Patrick Davis believes in coming home to perform each year, he said Wednesday. The Nashville resident has presented concerts with his Midnight Choir at the Sumter Opera House, the Fine …

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Patrick Davis plays Bishopville Opera House

Patrick Davis performs at the famed Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. He'll be featured on three PBS specials in 2018, the first in April.
Patrick Davis performs at the famed Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. He'll be featured on three PBS specials in 2018, the first in April.
PHOTOS COURTESY PATRICK DAVIS
Posted

Singer-songwriter and Camden native Patrick Davis believes in coming home to perform each year, he said Wednesday. The Nashville resident has presented concerts with his Midnight Choir at the Sumter Opera House, the Fine Arts Center in Camden and the Bishopville Opera House, where they will perform Friday, Jan. 26.

Davis has had songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music Charts and continues to write for himself and for some of the most popular singers in the U.S., including Darius Rucker, Jewel, Lady Antebellum and others. He wrote his first song at the age of 18, but he first performed in a public venue at LB's restaurant and club in Sumter when he was "15 or 16."

"My dad's a great guitarist," Davis said, "and I played there with him."

He said he'd grown up in a home filled with music, but playing for an audience there and "getting more involved in music at" the University of South Carolina led him to choose music as a career.

He laughed. "Girls talked to guys who played guitar and sang, too."

"I used to read the liner notes on albums," Davis said, "and saw that most of the songs were written by other people, instead of the singers. I fell in love with songwriting, creating songs."

At the same time, he said, "I always appreciated the talent of people like James Taylor, Paul Simon and Van Morrison."

After his 2002 graduation from USC, Davis decided, "If I wanted to make a living writing songs, Nashville was the place to be." He's lived there ever since and is one of the city's more successful songwriters.

About two years ago, Davis said, "I decided to get back into performing live with a band.

"Some people compare our concerts to a revival. There's a lot of storytelling, emotions that transfer to an audience. You don't get that as a songwriter."

The band's name, Midnight Choir, comes from a lyric in the song "Bird on the Wire," by another songwriter Davis admires, Leonard Cohen - "Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free."

He said a midnight choir "could be religious, could be a bunch of Irishmen walking the streets of Dublin singing. I thought it was a cool name for a band.

"Not a lot of people have large groups. I feel fortunate to have a band. I probably wouldn't tour if I couldn't do it the way I do; it wouldn't be special. The reaction (of audiences) has been nice."

Davis describes his music as Americana, citing the artist Chris Stapleton as another example of the music "that has been its own genre for about 10 years. It's kind of where my leanings take me."

Davis' father, Rusty Davis, and other family members will be in the Midnight Choir when he plays the Bishopville Opera House. He and the band will also perform in three specials on PBS this year, the first in April.

The Bishopville Opera House and the Ruth Josey Bell Performing Arts Series will present Patrick Davis and His Midnight Choir at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. Tickets can be purchased at the Bishopville Opera House, 109 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by calling (803) 484-5090. General admission tickets are $15, and VIP tickets are $30 each. Season ticket holders can pay an additional $15 for VIP admission, which includes the concert, a pre-show meet and greet with Davis and the band, a copy of Davis' new EP, reserved seating for the show and refreshments. The meet and greet will be held at 6 p.m. at The Swamp Log Artisans Gallery, 229 N. Main St. Doors to the Bishopville Opera House open at 6:30 p.m.

For information, call (803) 484-5090. For more on Patrick Davis, visit his website, patrickdavismusic.com.