Davin McCoy

Davin McCoy

PAIN, SUFFERING, AND LOSS…
three elements baked deeply into the fabric of love, or rather, a true love lost. These are the things of which the greatest artists of all time have feasted, in through their uniquely experienced and engineered pores, and out to the world après time served within the walls of the artist’s hearts and minds. Such are the autobiographical, painstaking roads traveled by Davin McCoy’s eloquently crafted, individually wrapped soulful pieces of art, his songs, tied together, so ever tightly, by a grief stricken fueled common thread, by cigarette stained fingers avec a not yet finished quarter left high ball. A personal compilation of emotions wrapped with and by a heart-wrenching bow known as McCoy’s sophomore effort Whiskey Sexy.

Recalls McCoy, “I called up [label head] Adam Blank, and said, ‘I’ve been on the floor for two weeks with a bottle of whiskey and a guitar, and I’ve written a whole new record—if you want to do this, tell me right now,’ and Adam didn’t hesitate. He said ‘Let’s do it.'”

Enter veteran producer Don McCollister. After 20-plus years producing hits for artists like Shawn Mullins, Third Day and Sister Hazel, the studio veteran admits he’d lost his passion for making records. In fact, he’d stopped entirely until the prospect of working with McCoy singlehandedly brought him out of retirement. “Davin’s voice is so compelling,” McCollister says. “As soon as he opens his mouth in front of a microphone, everybody stops to listen. Working on this record with him really rekindled my fire.”

Together, they recorded Whiskey Sexy in just two weeks, powering through a series of inspired sessions using Brendan O’Brien’s state-of-the-art gear at Third Day’s studio, The Quarry, just outside of Atlanta.

“We were always on the same page, and we completely committed ourselves to the process,” McCoy says. “I basically slept at the studio for two weeks straight—Don and I both did, and we had some amazing players rally around us. It seemed like everybody knew we were making the record. There was a buzz about the project—all these great Atlanta musicians were dropping by to hang out. There was a pool table and a bar in the studio. Ryan Newell from Sister Hazel would be shooting pool, and we’d be like, ‘Hey, man, you hear something? Why don’t you go in there and lay down a guitar part?'”

Whiskey Sexy also features Grant Reynolds (of Ed Roland’s Sweet Tea Project), Marty Kearns (Shawn Mullins, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Anthony David), Davin’s live band and about a half-dozen others. But more than all the prime guest spots, it’s McCoy’s inspired voice and unmistakable songcraft that tie the record together as it meanders from blue-eyed soul to country, classic pop to blues and rock & roll. It’s a sound rooted deeply in the artist’s childhood.

On irreverent pop-culture sendup, “Movie Stars and Drama Queens,” McCoy sings, “God made a monster to shoulder the blame / He gets the glory, we take the shame / I ate the apple, but you made the tree / So you go to hell and leave heaven for me.” You can hear his unique blend of childhood influences come to fruition on Whiskey Sexy, as he turns his clever wordplay inside out with his impassioned delivery. And he’s equally adept at taking a simple line and wringing every ounce of feeling from it. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in his stirring, incendiary delivery on the outro of pensive, lovelorn ballad “C’est La Vie.”

For a fleeting hour, Whiskey Sexy fingers the jagged grains of life and love, expectation and disillusionment, anger and anguish, and—finally—transcendence through music. “Turning real heartbreak into song can validate the whole experience,” McCoy says. “It can take all that negative energy and do something productive with it.” And not just for the artist, for the listener, too.

“MEET NEON MOON, WHOSE MUSIC WILL SCRATCH ALL YOUR TWANGY COUNTRY ITCHES.” – MOTHER CHURCH PEW

Neon Moon formed from a love of songwriting. In 2015 Josh and Noelle dedicated one year of their life to writing a new song every week and posting it on YouTube. They named the project Our52Songs. From this immersion into the crafting process, they discovered their deep love for the sounds of yesteryear’s country music.

After choosing their 5 favorite tracks from Our52Songs, the duo headed to Forty-One-Fifteen in historic East Nashville’s Inglewood neighborhood and started carving out the sonic landscape that would become their first release. This long process paid off with the birth of Neon Moon’s 6 song album, 6:53– named after the 52 song project plus 1 more they wrote and recorded later to make 6 songs out of 53. When asked about the record Josh says “I think Country music fans feel a little disconnected from what’s (being played) on the radio today. Our goal was to make something they could listen to and feel connected again to the things they used to love about listening to country music.” Upon listening to the album you’ll hear a plethora of familiar sounds. From the heart wrenching ballad “Already Broken” (which the band agrees is the song they are most proud of from the 52 songs written in unknown preparation of this 6 track record), to the cheeky tune “Homewrecker” that’s full of Loretta and Dolly-esque piss & vinegar and playful lyrics. Noelle says with a laugh “[Homewrecker] keeps radio on their toes. They’re waiting on the edge of their seat for these curse words that never actually come.” You might even pick up on the Fleetwood Mac vibes from “Smoke”, but the swinging country groove of “If I Knew” is all their own. With 6:53, Neon Moon has created a melting pot of modern-vintage country music.

This twangy-Americana pair started gaining traction when CMChat premiered their debut single and music video for “If I Knew.” Neon Moon’s dedicated fan base then shared the premiere over 400 times helping the video to over 70k YouTube views. They also caught the attention of Nashville’s longest running independent radio station Lightning 100, who asked Neon Moon to play on their sponsored porch at Westhaven’s Porchfest – a festival with over 12,000 attendees just down the road on I-65 South in Noelle’s hometown.

Noelle grew up in Franklin, Tennessee playing piano, attending songwriting and rock band summer camps, and belting out Martina McBride and Aretha Franklin songs. Given her young age, her talents did not go unnoticed and she was given opportunities to open for the likes of Michael McDonald and Blake Shelton.

Josh Bohannon, born and raised on country music in a small town in Georgia, moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of his musical dreams. Ten years ago, after completing an international USO tour, he followed a country band to Nashville, Tennessee. The band broke up shortly after the move, but he stayed in town and started going to writers’ rounds while rediscovering his love for Nashville songwriting. Weeks later, Bohannon met his musical partner and future wife Noelle. Eventually, the pair decided to team up and become Neon Moon.

In October of 2017, No Depression picked up the debut for their second single, “Smoke”. The official video for “Smoke” was then premiered by influential website PopMatters, and has since amassed over 80K views between YouTube and Facebook.

“Smoke” has a real Nashville songwriter’s quality to it. The lines are precise and descriptive. This is not abstraction; it hits you right between the eyes with the difficulties of a successful relationship. It’s the kind of song that feels comfortable to listen to despite expressing deep, harrowing pain.” –Ear to the Ground

The Alternate Root also added the track as number 3 on a top 10 list just behind country roots-rock power house Turnpike Troubadours.

In just under two years, these two have already logged thousands of miles in touring, capped by successful stops in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

” You really find out who you are and where you stand when you’re on the road. The crowds don’t lie. If they like it, they’ll let you know. If they don’t, you might not sell enough merch to eat. I believe in our songs and I believe in our ability to win over the room no matter where we go. We’ve done it each and every night so far. I’m excited to see what happens in 2018.” – Josh

These partners in crime (and music) continue to nurture their love of songwriting by making sure to write constantly while preparing for a full length release, and continually posting new raw songs and and videos on their social media and website.

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