What has Boulder musician Stuart Davis been up to in the two years since What, his 2006 album? This local Renaissance man has been up to a little bit of everything.
He's currently finishing work on a book, "Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll," a fictionalized memoir edited by local philosophy heavyweight Ken Wilber, author of "A Brief History of Everything."
On the acting front, he and his wife appear in an upcoming episode of Showtime's "I Can't Believe I'm Still Single" (Davis' song "Already Free" is the theme music for the show), as well as on his Web-based "The Stuart Davis Show." In August of this year, Davis will be starring in a feature-length film being shot in Boulder, and "Already Free" is featured prominently in the 2008 comedy "Drillbit Taylor."
Davis is also an accomplished painter and runs his own record label, Dharma Pop Records. He's even invented his own language ... seriously.
But it is his new CD, Something Simple, that is on the frontburner. Davis celebrates the release of the album Friday with a CD release show at the Soiled Dove in Denver.
"They're going to be very fun," Davis says of his upcoming release parties, including dates in Florida. "The band that I'm touring with right now is my favorite band I've ever toured with."
For tonight's release party, Davis will open for himself ... sort of. The concert will begin with clips from "The Stuart Davis Show." Then Davis in the flesh will take the stage, performing "all the greatest hits" from his previous albums and the majority of material from Something Simple.
The new album features 12 tracks of pure pop-rock pleasure, beginning with the opening track "Already Free." The relaxed, acoustic-heavy tune is reminiscent of All Shook Down-era Replacements, a comparison that Davis, a Minnesota native, is happy to embrace.
"Paul Westerberg was totally a magnetic force there," Davis says. "That configured the landscape."
The album features a wide array of influences and guest appearances, including Ed Kowalczyk, of Live, famed producer Brendan O'Brien (who's worked with Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam) and Wendy Melvoin, a member of Prince's old band, the Revolution. Davis recorded Something Simple at Henson Recording Studios in California, which houses six studios. During down time, musicians would travel from studio to studio, often sitting in on each other's projects.
"The studio I was working at in Hollywood was kind of like this Disneyland of rock 'n' roll," Davis says.
His most impressive achievement, though, is that he's been able to follow all of his passions and juggle them successfully.
"For the most part they really are interwoven and they're complementary," Davis says of his various projects. "When I'm doing the TV show, I also get to use my music as the soundtrack. The book has been very much the same way for me. You get these narrative threads running through the book, the movie, the television show, the most recent album.
"They are all exploring the same subjects through different lenses," he adds. "My interest and love for art has flowered into these other domains. I want to explore those relationships."
Contact Camera Music Writer Vince Darcangelo at firstname.lastname@example.org.