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.
My first exposure to music was gospel also, because that was the only thing allowed in the home. When I was six or seven years old, I was walking home from school and there was an old guy, Jim Hunt, sitting on his front porch and he was playing a big acoustic guitar. I had never seen a guitar so big and I was amazed at the sound of his guitar, so I just went across the road there to have a look. I had never heard this kind of music before , and the way he was playing and the way he was singing. I was just totally fascinated. I asked my mother what kind of music was he playing and she told me I shouldn’t go back over there anymore. [...] so I started to sneak over there without my family knowing it. I just fell in love with that music.
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 I lived only for the weekends - hanging out on Beale Street and at the weekly Jam Sessions in Handy Park, listening to all the great bluesmen like Bobby Bland, B.B. King, Junior Parker, Albert King ...! From the masters I learned the main ingredients: Work hard and sound good, entertain and look good. The audience paid their hard earned money to see you.
In Memphis, EB met Eugene Goldston. He owned the 521 Club in Booklyn and EB moved to New York to work for him.
I started working in the club, but not as an entertainer. Later on I started performing there on a regular basis. And when I formed a band in New York (‘The Soulgroovers’), we became the regular house band there. [...] We did a lot of the covers of whatever was popular at the time, a little bit of blues, but mostly soul. A good seventy percent of soul.
EB and the ‘Soulgroovers’ soon became one of the most important touring bands of the soul and blues era. Regularly touring with and supporting people like Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Ray Charles and B.B. King. Members of the band later becoming part of James Brown’s JBs and the Isaac Hayes Movement. After the band break up, EB started singing with ‘The Drifters’ and worked with them in Europe for the first time.
I had every intention of going back to New York. But there was a band called ‘The Bayou Blues Band’ and it was a nine piece band and the leader of this band (Wolfgang Ruegner)approached me one night and he said :”How would you like to join our band as the lead vocalist?” And being as they were, such a well-known, well-established band - they were playing all the top houses - I said : ”Of course.” I joined them around 1980 and was with them until ’83,’84.
One thing lead to another and from there came the Radio Kings and then ‘The Superband’.
EB Davis has more than 19 recordings to his name and can be heard on numerous other recordings as a guest; a career of more than 7000 concerts in more as 60 different countries. He has been invited to give lectures and seminars on the history of the blues and is the only bluesman to appear at the Posnan- (Poland) and Bratislava- (Slovakia) State Opera Houses.
He has appeared in five movies to which he contributed songs to the soundtrack including ‘The Innocent’ with Anthony Hopkins and his music has been covered by other artists such as the great Guitar Crusher and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones. EB is a yearly hit at many of the major festivals of Europe and America, where he recently played the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas.
www.ebdavis.com © 2002 Nina Davis