Karla Davis booked for Ham Fest performance
by Justin McGill, Executive Editor -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Jun 02, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Karla Davis has gone from shy, North Carolina girl to performing at the world-famous Ryman Auditorium and winning a national singing contest. In October, Trigg Countians will get the chance to enjoy her talents in person.

Davis, winner of the Colgate Country Showdown National Final on Jan 14., will perform at the 34th Trigg County Country Ham Festival. She is scheduled take the Real Country Stage at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, it was announced Tuesday afternoon on WKDZ 106.5 FM.

The 24-year-old acoustic artist now lives in Nashville and is working as part of 3 Chord Entertainment, Inc., along with British producer John Eden and manager Gabrielle DiMora.

“I’ve been singing since I was young, but it was only in church,” Davis said. “I didn’t start playing guitar until a little over two years ago, and it was only in my room. I wouldn’t play for anyone.”

Davis, who learned to read music as a child but plays guitar by ear, said she was asked to sing at a wedding and, after surviving the nervous performance, was later encouraged by a friend to upload videos of her singing to Youtube.com.

“I put up a video on a completely anonymous name because I didn’t want anyone to know it was me,” Davis said. “I was afraid of getting some really bad, awful comments, but as it turned out, people liked it.”

She then decided to take a shot at a local Open Mic Night and started booking other performances from there.

“It was very spur of the moment,” Davis said. “I had no idea I could do this thing.”

Then came the Country Showdown, which began with local competitions that fed into state and regional events.

“My region, the Southeast Region, was just packed with talent, and I was surprised to win that,” Davis said. “Getting to the final after that was just surreal. Walking into the Ryman ... I realize now that I didn’t take enough pictures. I haven’t played all that long, and to get to play somewhere like the Ryman is just unbelievable. So many people have played there, and you can just feel it. I’ve been on big stages before, but it’s so different with the Ryman. The history is everywhere.”

Davis, who moved to Nashville in 2009, said she feels comfortable in front of groups like she’s likely to see at the Ham Festival, which will be her largest festival performance in her career so far. Between now and October, she plans to make several trips to the area to get to know the people here.

“I grew up on a farm in a small town, and I feel like people in those towns are more appreciative of seeing artists who really care about what they’re doing and the town they’re playing in,” Davis said. “I want people to get to know me. If we’d had more artists in my town to do that when I was growing up, it would have meant the world not to have to drive two hours to see them play. I’ll prepare for it like I’m playing in my hometown.”

Davis said she plans to clear plenty of time in her schedule to fully experience the Ham Festival and will join Bill Booth live on WKDZ sometime during the weekend.

While she lists artists like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Etta James, Bonnie Rait and John Legend as inspirations, Davis stops short of calling them influences because she wants her sound to be unique.

“I like for somebody to come away from one of my performances and say, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard anyone like that,’” Davis said. “I think when people hear my music live, they will hear what drew me in to music. It’s soulful country.”

Davis said she’s excited to perform at the Ham Festival and is looking forward to meeting the people of Cadiz and Trigg County.

“The people of Cadiz can expect a good-old, small-town country girl with a lot of soul who is ready to have some fun,” Davis said. “I’ll be singing songs off of my debut album along with some country hits that everyone has grown to know and love. It’s going to be a night to remember, and I can’t wait!”
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