After years that have included notable stints playing abroad, “Detroit Soul Ambassador” Melvin Davis has returned to the motor city for a rare welcome hometown gig. On this late December Friday night at The Shelter in Detroit, Davis is turning heads. This 71 year old, ageless, should-be legend, Davis is playing the Found Sound record store’s holiday revue. The audience in this city basement club is small, but very grateful.

Dressed to the tee in a shining bright red suit and black shirt and tie, Davis is belting out original soul songs and gems from his catalogue of some 600 rhythm and blues compositions. ‘Find a Quiet Place (and be Lonely)” is an understated knockout of a number. Davis’ singing is spot on and his presence is something else - seemingly a good six foot five and skinny. Quite magnetic.

Mostly Davis sings songs about love-love lost and love found, and he does so poignantly. Davis was part of the heart of Detroit’s 1960’s soul scene, including his work as a Motown label staff drummer, playing behind the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Serving as a touring drummer for two years for storied Motown greats Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Davis’ will and perseverance however have always been as a singer and songwriter. He is also undeniably a front man.

Charismatic female soul singer Pat Lewis is Davis’ impressive warm up act. She sings a moving heartfelt set, backed up by a capable band and horn section, making for a festive pre Christmas celebration.

Davis however is the show stealer, singing brilliant soul songs and passionately connecting with his audience. It is troubling that a talent as great as Melvin Davis is not enjoying widespread recognition. He is that good.

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Commenting On: The Shelter, Detroit, 20/12/2013 - Melvin Davis

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