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Back in  January  we highlighted a single from a little known blues man, FRED DAVIS. His  tune was ‘Wine Hop’ and it came  from some long lost tapes that had resurfaced thanks to blue-eyed soul star Eli “Paperboy” Reed and his father Howard Husock.

As we recounted in January, the story is remarkable and bears re-telling! It seems that  the obscure Davis worked in and around Cleveland and fronted a band – Dave & The Blues Express. For reasons never explained his career terminated when  he was jailed and on  release he  went to work in a Cleveland factory before being tragically shot and killed in a liquor store parking lot in 1988. A classic blues man’s story! Fred, sadly, never cut any proper records but he did record!

By  a strange quirk of  fate one of Fred’s  co-factory  workers was the aforementioned Husock, and the pair (Howard and Fred) became great friends sharing a passion for blues music. The friendship blossomed and Howard got Fred to record some music with a band in his living room! For many years, it seemed the tape was lost but it was eventually found by none other than Eli Reed – busy forging his own music career.

‘Wine Hop’ was the taster for the whole album, ‘Cleveland Blues’,  which is released on Colemine Records on April 21st. The 11 tracker is rough and ready (well, it was recorded in a suburban living room) but there’s no doubting the power and the passion in Davis’ music. The various cuts are a mix of electric and acoustic blues and tread familiar blues paths … song titles like ‘Drifting Blues’, ‘Five Long Years’ and ‘Piano Boogie’ say it all.

FRED DAVIS AND THE BLUES EXPRESS; Cleveland Blues. Released April 21st via Colemine.