The #davisNation rises to the occasion as their small-town hero returns from Hollywood’s bright city lights.
I know that I’ve been cluttering your news feed; pestering you to participate (call! text! tweet!) in a surreal reality show; urging you to support my friend, Joshua Davis, who has made it to the Top 5 of NBC’s The Voice. And amazingly, so many of you have. More amazingly, many of you have actually *thanked* me for all my cluttering, pestering, and urging — you actually like and use the not-so-gentle reminders that I send out via any and all platforms at my disposal.
Well, I want to thank *all of you* for heeding the call. Through some weird game that the gods are playing, Josh has been able to take the power of folk music — music by the people, for the people — to a national platform that is otherwise only filled with catchy pop songs, written to sell merchandise and sex. He’s been sacrificing his sleep and his sanity (come on, you guys have seen the Davis Zoo by now, right? It’s sheer proof that life in L.A. has cost him a few marbles!), so that so many other musicians and nonprofits who are doing good work back here at home can be elevated to that national platform, too.
Week after week, Josh’s performances and your votes for him are showcasing what’s so special about Michigan — and Northern Michigan, in particular — to an audience who might otherwise never know. Not like we who live, eat, drink, play, and die here do. Community, that’s what. A vibrant, strong, beautiful community of people who want to make a difference in the world and who choose to do so through place-making on a hyper-localized level… “Be the change you wish to see.” I dont know about you, but I’d love to attract more like-minded people to our area; to build our local economy to one that supports (green) industries AND artists; to alleviate, no, how about we *nullify* the Michigan brain drain!?
Yesterday, a team of Hollywood producers followed Josh home, and a whole bunch of great people made sure that they liked what they saw: a homecoming befitting of a small-town hero, with hundreds or people lining the streets and filling The State Theatre, colorful banners and decorations, and a modern-day Normal Rockwell picture of Americana and good ole Midwestern values at their finest.
On Monday, the entire nation will get a 3-minute snippet of what we have here. (UPDATE: You can watch it at minute 40 here.) It’s not nearly enough, but it definitely something. I’m so grateful for Josh’s hard work, and I’m so grateful to all of you for believing in this common dream that we all have here. In this place. In this time. “This here. Now. Us.”
The following photos are all mine from that day, except for the ones labeled JBB in the bottom right-hand corner; those photos were taken by Jordan B. Bates.