w/ Seth Bernard & May Erlewine! Joshua Davis Band featuring: Laura Bates, Jen Sygit, Mike Lynch, Geoff Lewis & Zak Bunce.
:: Album liner note ::
In February of 2012, I joined the non-profit organization On the Ground for the Run Across Palestine and what was to be a truly life-changing journey. The focus of the 5 day, 129 mile ultra marathon was to raise funds and awareness in support of fair-trade olive farming communities in the Palestinian West Bank. Planting olive saplings and building friendships across a land that was at times barren and lush, chaotic and serene, idyllic and war-torn.
I was trusted with the honor of carrying some of Michigan – in song and story – to Palestine, and in return, to soak up some of the art and culture there to share with my community. The fear and courage I witnessed there, on both sides of the wall, and also within myself, were profound. I returned much less resolved and far more inspired than I could have imagined.
I was shaken by the hardship and conflict that I witnessed, but inspired by the strength and spirit of the runners, by the courage of the Palestinian farmers and the Israelis and internationals who are committed to nonviolent resistance in the face of such oppression and fear. By the artists and musicians who continue to create and push against both an occupation and a conservative culture. The Run helped me to stow away some of my biases and partialities. To examine that grey space between the black and white. To question my absolutes.
As a Jewish-American in Israeli-controlled Palestine, I grappled every day with a barrage of conflicting emotions. I traveled shouldered with the fears and concerns of my Jewish family and friends over my safety and for our history and future as a people. On the other hand, compassion and justice are core values of my Jewish heritage and I was disheartened by the ways I saw those values being ignored.
I returned with more questions than answers, but the songs that came after are straight from the heart. They are honest expressions of my experiences in the West Bank, colored by my own unique history and upbringing.
Thank you for your support of this project. Thank you for opening your ears to these stories and songs- I hope they’ll touch your heart as well.
Shalom – Salaam – Peace,
:: Bio ::
Joshua Davis is a husband, father, friend and music lover. He shares songs for a living; as a songwriter, record producer, band member, solo act, guitar/songwriting teacher, mix-tape-maker extraordinaire, all with the most amazing people on the planet! Josh was raised on American roots tradition: the music, the social movements, the land. He writes original songs that blend many folk traditions – including gritty rock n’ roll and vintage soul. Performing Songwriter Magazine called the result, “Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around.”
Joshua has shared his songs, knowledge, interests, and know-how across the US at festivals, theaters, concert halls, coffeehouses, schools, parks and dive bars. He has released albums under his own name, with roots ensemble “Steppin’ In It”, classic swing band “Shout Sister Shout”, and has appeared on many more.
Josh is especially interested in the ways in which music brings individuals and communities together, to foster peace and understanding. He’s noticed that songs can re-soundtrack people’s lives and peoples’ lives too. In February, he travelled to Palestine and Israel with non-profit org On the Ground to participate as “cultural emissary” in the Run Across Palestine, a fund raising ultra-marathon in support of fair trade farming communities in the West Bank.
This fall, Davis will release an album inspired by his experience in the Holy Land. Half of the proceeds will mean olive tress and educational scholarships for the farmers and families he encountered during his travels. The songs are deeply personal and deal with his struggle between his Jewish identity and the oppression and confusion he found in the Middle East. Josh is developing a program to bring to schools and communities that combines his music and stories about the trip as well as club dates with a six-piece band.
JD lives in Lansing, MI with his brilliant and beautiful wife and daughter.
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