Bart Davenport is a singer, guitarist and pop artist from Oakland California. Earnest, reverential yet borderline satirical, his music celebrates the idealized fantasy of true love while simultaneously conveying a sincere yearning for a better world. Over the last ten years he’s released a steady stream of albums that contain songs for dancing, songs for crying and songs for cruising down the highway. He’s been mesmerizing audiences on tour in the U.S. and Europe along the way, earning loyalty from fans and the respect of musical peers.
Bart Davenport’s roots are in the 90s garage and blues scenes. His first professional band, The Loved Ones released two albums on the Hightone label. The group performed a rawkus, high energy style of r&b, opening for the likes of Junior Wells and John Lee Hooker. In the 00s Davenport went solo and turned the volume down but not the intensity. Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience singer, Erlend Øye has called him the “best one-guy-and-guitar performer there is”. Bart Davenport’s decision to perform solo acoustic was born out of pragmatism as much as it was a love of 60s folksingers. Traveling light made touring possible and performing alone helped the artist to hone in on conveying subtle and meaningful material. The recording studio was another matter entirely.
Released in 2002, Bart’s self-titled solo debut was an indie pop layer cake filled with drums, organs and vocal harmonies. He quickly followed that with Game Preserve, released in 2003 on Antenna Farm. Tight, no-nonsense, analogue production and multi-layered backing vocals made the album a shimmering ode to 70s AM gold. Next came Maroon Cocoon in 2005, a carefully honed lo/hi fi record made on an 8-track tape machine. Several tours and side projects later, Bart Davenport returned in 2008 with the softrock opus, Palaces. Featuring production help from psychedelic main man, Kelley Stoltz, the album would be referred to by Sylvie Simmons of MOJO as “a fine example of San Fran’s vinyl and thrift shop culture, turning stuff people throw out into something new”.
Between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Bart Davenport released three records, including a covers album, Searching For Bart Davenport (Tapete Records, Germany). There’s also With All Due Respect by Incarnations, a side project featuring Phenomenal Handclap Band’s Daniel Collas and Bing Ji Ling. The three Americans are practically a Spanish band, recording in Tarifa on the southern coast of Spain and releasing the album on Madrid based Lovemonk Records, culminating in a prime spot at Primavera Sound Fest in Barcelona. Another European based side project is Honeycut featuring Herve Salters (aka General Elektriks). Although recorded in San Francisco with drummer Tony Sevener, their album titled Comedians saw its first release on Discograph in France. Both projects are soul music based but Davenport stirs in an inevitable pinch of melodic pop. He spent much of 2011 touring Spain, France and Germany promoting the three albums.
In 2012 Bart Davenport’s Someone2Dance b/w Cheap Words saw the return of longtime compatriot, Sam Flax as Producer. The Flax production opens a new chapter in the Davenport saga, with drum machine, synth and guitar lines reminiscent of early 80s new wave and power pop. Davenport relocated to Los Angeles and gathered a new band lineup including Jessica Espeleta, Paul Burkhart, Nathan Shafer and Wayne Faler. The new band, along with producer Luke Top (Fool’s Gold) went into the recording studio, resulting in a full length album scheduled for release in fall 2013 on Lovemonk Records.