Energetic, acoustic/electric, eclectic. Our instrumentals are pastoral with a psychedelic overlay; our original tunes range from pop-punk inspired rants to blues-rock meditations. We cover the Allmans, Zeppelin and everyone in between. Just to spice it up, we throw in the classic soul. Good times are had by all.
Price Range: $150 per 1 hour set - Negotiable.
Gig Length: 45 - 240 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish
Unions: No Union Membership
What to Expect
If you're at a Karen solo gig, expect all kinds of surprises! She'll start out with some good old rock and roll (Elvis or Chuck), move into some blues rock (Allmans, or Janice). Then, mid-set, anything can happen. You might get some Pearl Jam or Soundgarden; a couple of Aretha tunes might make an appearance, or she might dip back into the 50s for some Platters and a couple by Jerry Lee. If the mood strikes her, or if you ask nicely, whe might even pull out a disco tune. What ever she's playing, it's full of soul, power and dynamism.
If you're at a Karen and Joe gig, we're digging deep into the Classic Rock Cannon - acoustic style. You'll get Neil Young, The Stones, Mountain, Cream. In this stripped down form, you hear the bones of these artists' awesome songs, with all their power and beauty. Don't forget the original tunes: Lovely, lush textured acoustic guitar based instrumentals that evoke the peace of the deep woods; fun, fast and furious pop tunes; straight up blues and blues-rock. Again, all kinds of variety, held together with great vocals, wailing guitar leads, and propulsive rhythm guitar. In other words, ROCK!
Singer/songwriter Karen Davis has a great passion for performing. She taught herself to play guitar at age 9, so she could perform with her elementary school folk choir. At Cardinal Spellman High School, she competed and frequently won with the Cardinal speech team, nurturing her drive and allowing her to work on her intense, direct style. Karen began developing her aggressive, rhythm-driven guitar style, a la Pete Townshend. Next, she discovered Led Zeppelin and Yes; falling in love with the lush, layered acoustic guitars and pastoral images.
After graduation from New York University, Karen played several nights a week on the Greenwich Village open mic scene, scoring solo and band gigs at various clubs. Playing open mics, gigging, keeping a band together and working a day job got to be a bit much. Jettisoning the band, Karen kept up her solo work, playing every Sunday afternoon at CBGBs Gallery for about a year.
Joining the Black Rock Coalition, allowed her to open for funk-metal band Living Colour. Her music was featured on the Coalition’s WBAI Radio show, Strange Vibrations from the Hardcore leading to a live performance on BAI later that year.
The Sidewalk Caf became a regular gig spot for Karen; she was even crowned Queen of Anti-Folk. Through this, she met singer/songwriter Lisa St. Ann, who fell in love with Karen’s driving innovative rhythm guitar style. Lisa drafted Karen for one of her tours; inspiring Karen with her business savvy and ambition. Karen sent out even more material, netting regular gigs at New Jersey acoustic spots: Chapter One Books (Highland Park), Greene’s Bean Caf (Hackettstown), Starbuck’s (Jersey City) and The Java Joint (Toms River). Karen finally hit the road herself, touring New England colleges in 2001.
Karen continues to be a force in the New Jersey underground music scene. Jersey City’s Art House featured her for months in the opening sequence in their public access show. Several times she was the featured musical artist in Jersey City’s Grace Church Films at Grace series. She was also the featured artist in the Cathedral Arts Festival, performing and discussing her work with the community in the Gallery Talks segment. Add to this list appearances on Brooklyn Cable TV, live radio spots and internet radio performances, and you’ve got a woman who gets around indeed.
Two years ago, she began performing with singer/guitarist Joe Pla. The duo went as far south as Floyd County, VA to a beautiful winery in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They also went up to Massachusetts - the Mattoon Festival in Springfield and the cable TV show Home Grown in Greenfiled. Emack and Bolio's Ice Cream Shop (Albany, NY) has added Karen and Joe to their roster of regular performers. They plan to do more touring, but are looking to expand to the Carolinas and Maine. Karen and Joe continue to play Jersey City bars and coffeehouses whenever they can.
Between indie rock gigs, Karen and Joe keep in good musical shape performing in New York City nursing homes and private parties. In addition, Karen works for Hospital Audiences, Inc., performing two to four times a week in various mental health care facilities. What nthey love most about this is the opportunity to play great songs for truly appreciative audiences. "I always loved 50s rock and roll and show tunes, but never got to sing them in the rock bands I was in", Karen said recently. She went on to say, "When we play in a nursing home, we get to play all those terrific songs for people who know and love them. It's a great feeling to know that something you played made someone else's day." Those tunes also give Joe a chance to stretch out as a lead guitarist. "You can really rip on the 50s stuff!", he enthused in a recent interview.
The next move is a recording a new CD with Joe: “He’s a great guitarist and adds to my writing immensely.” Karen explains. About the recording, she adds, “I’m so looking forward to it!. I’m planning lots of acoustic guitar layering, very lush and melodic tunes. Somewhat of a change, but there’ll still be lots of double time and aggression.
Additional Booking Notes
We have our own PA, suitable for small the medium sized rooms. We also have a full complement of amps, mics, etc. We also have battery powered amps, so that we can play outdoors or sans power sources.
Partial Set List
1. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
2. Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
3. Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
4. Jail House Rock – Elvis Presley
5. Whole Lotta Shakin’Goin’ On – Jerry Lee Lewis
6. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
7. Bye-bye Love – Everly Brothers
8. Let it Be Me – Everly Brothers
9. Dream – Everly Brothers
10. Hey Good Lookin’ – Hank Williams
11. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
12. Twist and Shout – Isley Brothers
13. You Really Got A Hold – Smokey Robinson
14. Shop Around – Smokey Robinson
15. Respect – Aretha Franklin
16. Baby I Love You – Aretha Franklin
17. Do Right Woman – Aretha Franklin
18. Can’t Hurry Love – Supremes
19. Come See About Me – Supremes
20. Heard it Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
21. Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
22. Up on the Roof - The Drifters
23. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters
24. The Great Pretender – The Platters
25. I Only Have Eyes For You – The Platters
26. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – Martha and the Vandellas
27. Heat Wave – Martha and the Vandellas
28. Mr. Postman – Martha and the Vandellas
29. Walkin’ After Midnight – Patsy Kline
30. Crazy – Patsy Kline
31. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
32. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
33. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
|Karen Davis||Singer/Songwriter/Acoustic Guitar|
|Joe Pla||Electric Lead Guitar|
Influences & Inspiration
The Who, Led Zeppelin. Yes, Aretha Franklin, Robert Johnson, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone.
All we need is electricity and adequate space.
All we need is electricity and adequate space.
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