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Song Painter

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Album Review

Prior to releasing Song Painter, Davis was very well-known as a songwriter, particularly for penning the Elvis Presley hits “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” songs strong enough to earn him his own recording contract with Columbia. The label decided to spin his songwriting success as a badge of honor, positioning him as something more than a professional — he’s not a pen-for-hire, he’s a "Song Painter," a term that certainly carries the weight of art. To be sure, the album itself carries through on that promise, containing hints of Mickey Newbury’s impressionistic country, brief bridges between full songs, and quiet moments of introspection, sometimes drifting into a sweet psychedelic haze as it does on “Home,” but the heart of the album is anchored in a rootsy rock reminiscent of Joe South and a splashy orchestrated country-pop in the vein of Elvis’ ’68 comeback. The latter would provide Davis the vehicle toward massive pop success, but it takes the backseat to soft, symphonic country-pop throughout Song Painter. Davis punctuates this lushness with the terrific boogie “Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham” (co-written by Delaney Bramlett) and a touch too much cutesiness, but this remains an ambitious yet soothing piece of period progressiveness that maintains much of its charm over the years.

Customer Reviews

"Must Own" Mac Davis

If you're going to purchase or listen to Mac Davis, "Song Painter" is my personal favorite. Minus most of his FM hits, this album has many of Mac's masterpieces. Add in great covers of "Memories", and "In the Ghetto", and you've got a classic collection of Mac Davis.


Born: January 21, 1942 in Lubbock, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

At his commercial peak in the mid-'70s, Mac Davis was one of America's most popular entertainers, a countrypolitan-styled singer and actor who found considerable success in both fields. Born Scott Davis on January 21, 1942, in Buddy Holly's hometown of Lubbock, TX, he began performing in local rock groups while still in his teens. After moving to Georgia, Davis first broke into the music business in 1962, when he was hired by the Chicago-based record label Vee-Jay as their Atlanta-based regional...
Full Bio

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Song Painter, Mac Davis
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