More People Really Should Know About: Ryan Davis

State Champion performing My Over My Under

Ryan Davis’ catalogue of work with his band State Champion and recent solo project, Ryan Davis & The Roadhouse Band, is a treasure trove of brilliant songwriting and winding, unhurried alt-americana. I first came across State Champion in late 2018, with the release of their fourth album, ‘Send Flowers’ – a set of rangy country-rock tracks full of wise and well-observed barroom philosophising. Over their four releases, State Champion gained a devoted following built around Davis’ unique lyricism and the band’s tight musicality and oxymoronic laid-back energy.

Davis also heads up Jefferson, Indiana-based record label Sophomore Lounge, which releases a steady stream of great indie and DIY records. At the same time as growing this label since the release of ‘Send Flowers’, Davis worked on a new set of songs, which was released as ‘Dancing on the Edge’ in November 2023 under the moniker Ryan Davis & The Roadhouse Band. This was possibly my favourite album of 2023, with epic-length songs given time to breathe, packed with witty yet profound ruminations over intricately constructed instrumentals.

As an introduction for those who are not already acquainted with Davis’ work, below is a track from State Champion’s ‘Send Flowers’, and two newer tracks from ‘Dancing on the Edge’; I hope you enjoy them and are inclined to delve deeper.

About Joe Graham 14 Articles
New Cross based fan of americana, country, folk and folk rock music. Besides that, I enjoy exploring the city on runs and walks, finding pubs and gig venues, playing guitar and watching some football every now and again.
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