Q&A with charismatic blues and soul showman Eb Davis, has been delighting audiences all over the world

"One of the most outstanding lessons I have learned in the business is the power of music, especially Blues, to touch people on a very personal and emotional level. Plus, the Power that it has in making and cementing friendships."

Eb Davis: Treasures From The Vault

Ebylee "EB" Davis is an internationally known blues singer. Davis, who not only impresses with his expressive voice but also with his harmonica playing, offers a perfectly coordinated performance. With all the connection to the roots of the blues, he also spans the musical arc from rock'n'roll to soul. Eb Davis was born in 1945 in the Delta town of Elaine, Arkansas and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. In the sixties he moved to New York where he spend many years performing before moving to Germany. When EB was about fourteen, he left Arkansas and the ‘country-life’ behind and moved to Memphis, which at that time was truly the home of the Blues. In Memphis, EB met Eugene Goldston. He owned the 521 Club in Booklyn and EB moved to New York to work for him.                                                                      (Photo: Eb Davis)

He came to Berlin over 30 years ago as a spy for the US military. What he experienced is almost too unbelievable to be true and to be seen in the documentary “How Berlin got the Blues”. In 2008 he was given the official title of “Blues Ambassador to the State of Arkansas” in the USA and the German Rock and Pop Music Association unanimously voted him the best R&B singer in the fall of the same year. This charismatic blues and soul showman has been delighting audiences all over the world for over 40 years. Eb Davis latest 12-tracks album released in 2020 and titled “Treasures From The Vault”.

Interview by Michael Limnios                     Eb Davis, 2012 Interview @ Blues.gr

How has the Blues and Soul music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

My views of the world in the many journeys that I have taken has been greatly shaped and formed by having been lucky enough to be a part of a very special community. The community of Blues and Soul music. In many parts of the world I have met and formed many contacts and friends by being a part of this special community of people.

How do you think that you have grown as an artist since you first started and what has remained the same?

I have grown as an artist over the years by learning more and more about my heritage and the people that looks like me who has gone and left this world impacted legacy. The thing that has remained the same is my love of and dedication to this treasure left to me.

Arkansas, Memphis, NYC. What are the differences and similarities between the US local scenes?

When we compare Arkansas, Memphis and New York. Some of the differences I found. Many of the blues greats (Albert King, Son Seals, Robert Junior Lockwood, Sonny boy Williamson, just to name a few, all immigrated from Arkansas. In my youth the two main hubs of blues and Soul activities were in Helena Arkansas and Memphis Tennessee. With Beale street in Memphis being a magnet attracting people from numerous other cities and towns. New York City had a very good music scene but was never known as a Blues Mecca. During my stay in New York I had to work a lot in the Soul or Soul Blues Genre.

"My views of the world in the many journeys that I have taken has been greatly shaped and formed by having been lucky enough to be a part of a very special community. The community of Blues and Soul music. In many parts of the world I have met and formed many contacts and friends by being a part of this special community of people." (Photo: Eb Davis)

Are there any memories from Treasures From The Vault studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

One of the most outstanding memories from treasures from the vault is spending a day in the studio with so many good musicians and listening to their various experiences in the music industry and their various takes on the music that we call the Blues.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

The thing I miss most from the music of the past is the sheer dedication that was brought to it. When people played it just for the love of and dedication to the art form. My hopes for the future is that the music will get a fair shake in the industry and my fear is that it will not.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

If I could change just one thing and it became a reality it would be all of these rockers, pretenders, blues wannabes, etc. calling themselves Blues Artists with absolutely no knowledge of or dedication to, the art form.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

One of the most outstanding lessons I have learned in the business is the power of music, especially Blues, to touch people on a very personal and emotional level. Plus, the Power that it has in making and cementing friendships.

"The thing I miss most from the music of the past is the sheer dedication that was brought to it. When people played it just for the love of and dedication to the art form. My hopes for the future is that the music will get a fair shake in the industry and my fear is that it will not."

What is the impact of music on the civil rights and socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?

I would want and hope that music would be listened to with open ears and minds because music speaks to a wide array of socio-cultural implications.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

If I could take a trip in a time machine it would be back to the days of my youth hanging out on Beale street in Memphis watching greats like little junior Parker, BB King, Roscoe Gordon, and the magnificent Bobby Blue Bland. All just hanging out on Beale street.

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