Jacob Davich lives a sort of double life, perhaps even more than many of his fellow singer/songwriters, in that he is also a successful actor. In fact, he’s been acting since he was only 12. As most actors know, however, the acting life can be filled with unwanted, long stretches of sparse activity. Therefore, Davich took up the guitar to busy himself during those periods where his phone simply wasn’t ringing.Eventually, Davich grew to love music – even more than acting. One big reason for his enthusiastic love of music was the creative control it allowed him. Directors may tell him what to do on the set, but when Davich writes and records music, he has the first and last word on it.
Not coincidentally, Davich’s father is Martin Davich, who is an respected Hollywood composer and has worked on such shows as ER, Beverly Hills 90210 and Days Of Our Lives. (Hmm…his father is a musician in the TV/movie business; is it really any surprise the younger Davich also straddles both endeavors?)
Curiously, though, the songs found on Davich’s self-titled EP don’t sound all that much like what’s currently in vogue. You won’t hear R&B with rap bridges, nor will you pick up on any EDM undertones. Instead, you’ll hear Davich’s James Taylor-like comforting vocals, matched to singer/songwriter-ly arrangements that sound straight out of 70s Laurel Canyon.
One of this project’s more unusual inclusions is a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” This song was originally ‘released’ way back in 1967. It’s most associated with The Band, which recorded the song on its 1968 album Music from Big Pink and sung by Richard Manuel. In fact, the song was also famously sung at the The Band’s farewell concert, The Last Waltz. The song has a long and honorable history, and has been sung at many a social/political protest concert over the years. One of the coolest versions of the song is by reggae band the Heptones, which recorded it at Studio One in 1969. A more recent rendition was by the all-star performers at 1986’s Conspiracy of Hope tour supporting Amnesty International. And it was quite the fitting song for that movement. “When I think about that song, it conjures up so much within me,” Davich has said. “I think of Nelson Mandela and the metaphor of being unjustly imprisoned. In some way, we all do that to ourselves, but we all hold the keys to our handcuffs. We can release ourselves.”
A more personal song on this EP is “Call My Name.” Interestingly, it has the sort of warm and fuzzy feel of an old James Taylor song, which is an artist Davich must get compared to often. In fact, most of the music contained here is of a personal nature. “Hold On,” for instance, finds him vowing to “Hold on to what I am.” Certainly, that must be a difficult task at times within the Hollywood scene – especially because acting always calls upon individuals to pretend they’re somebody else. This song also features a sweet female backing vocal and some pretty violin work.
In our high-tech culture, there’s just something gentle and comforting about Jacob Davich’s organic, acoustic pop.