Where do emerging singer-songwriters come from? In the case of David Bavas, the answer is from the Appalachian foothills by way of Seattle.
Bavas's latest CD is his second. And though I missed his self-titled debut in 2005, after hearing Songs of Love, Death, and Trains, I can assure you that you don't want to miss this one.
This CD has 10 tunes; nine that Bavas wrote and one Townes Van Zandt classic. Bavas' cover of "No Lonesome Tune" is a great introduction the Seattle-based singer. It's rare to hear an emerging artist do a rendition of a song that surpasses the original, but Bavas did it.
That track definitely got my attention. Bavas has an expressive voice, a collection of eclectic styles and uses an array of instrumentation. However, that's still just the tip of the iceberg. The weightier element is his songwriting, the constant that ties it all together.
Some of his songs tell dark stories, and like Hank Williams Sr., the tunes on Songs of Love, Death, and Trains are tinged with tears.
The CD opens with "All the Trains," a song of hard luck and heartbreak backed by a plaintive pedal steel.
All the songs on the CD have a timeless quality. They could just as easily have been sung by Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Rogers, Hank Williams Sr. or Johnny Cash. But even though those master storytellers may be gone, Bavas is still singing their songs ... songs of love, death and trains.