Teddy Davenport will celebrate the release of Middle of a Miracle at the Door Creek Church (6602 Dominion Dr – 53718 – Madison) on December 12th with guests the Krause Family Band, Madison Malone and Tyler Preston.
“Please, give me one more bridge to burn…” So goes the refrain from the final track on Teddy Davenport’s new seven-song release Middle of a Miracle. The song chronicles his troubled past and time spent behind bars with country swagger and Steve Earle honesty. Davenport’s obviously been down a hard road and is clearly a changed man with a mission to help people through music.
Davenport’s been working hard, releasing his first EP Shot of Grace last year and performing frequent gigs across the region and the country. As could be surmised by the titles, Davenport has found a lifeline somewhere in the spiritual realm though he won’t bang the listener over the head with it. “One More Bridge to Burn” is a good example of that along with “How Low Do Ya Gotta Go,” another biographical tale of lessons learned in the hardest of ways. “Just fifteen when I found out / What getting’ locked up was all about,” an opening phrase right out of the Johnny Cash / Country Outlaw playbook. There’s all kinds of Dylan and Neil Young in these songs but Davenport’s drawling vocal delivery gives the music a modern country music vibe with shades of rock and gospel.
Middle of a Miracle was recorded by Matt Spransy, former member of Servant, one of the country’s leading Christian music bands from 1976-1990, and now living in Oconomowoc. There are a host of fine supporting musicians from the area, most of which you’ve probably not heard of. The husband-and-wife team of Blaine and Ruthie McQuinn (formerly Ruthie Krause of the Krause Family Band) add some beautiful violins to several of the tracks. “Use Me for Now” is a gorgeous tune that features violin, ghostly backing vocals from Amber Dawn Middleton (Rabid Aardvarks) and a magnificently played pedal steel by Sun Prairie’s Lynn Martin. Martin also shines on “House a Home,” another ballad that benefits from Spransy’s piano and beautiful, multi-tracked backup vocals from Alycia Betz (Heather and Snow) that are reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Husband Jeff Betz contributes drums to the recording.
“It’s a Long road to run / It’s a long highway,” Davenport sings on “Long Highway,” the only track to feature electric guitar. The song also benefits from Spransy’s soulful organ. Davenport has a fine talent for songwriting and he’s poured a lot of his heart and soul into Middle of a Miracle. He’s clearly moved a long way down his own road, courageously looking back without going back. He’s found himself and this infuses his songs with life.
Music is a potent force; it inspires, it teaches, it motivates, it entertains. It can break your heart or change the world. But one quality of music is often overshadowed in the noise that is the music world and that is its ability to redeem, perhaps its most powerful gift, given to those lucky enough to get there on their journey.