I am a musician who used to do the music scene thing full time in my 20’s, but now works full time in public education and political organizing while moonlighting in music as much as time allows. (My mother always said the three reasons to go into teaching were June, July and August….). This website is mostly focused on music, rather than on stuff I do as a teacher for Durham Public Schools and Treasurer of the Durham Association of Educators.
Musically, I’m most known for having released a bunch of records in the ’90s as half of a duo called the Folk Implosion that I co-founded with Lou Barlow in 1993 and left in 2000. Folk Implosion has recently reunited and are working on a new single, which we are excited about. I also released a series of solo records from 1993 to 1997, and from 2013 to 2020 to …. ? I/We have worked with various record labels, including Shrimper, Communion, London, Domino, and Interscope. Folk Implosion songs have been featured on various film soundtracks, (Kids, Adaptation,) soundtrack albums, (American Beauty,) and TV shows, (The People vs. OJ Simpson, NFL on Fox, 20/20, The Today Show.) We had a one-hit wonder Top 40 hit with Natural One off the Kids soundtrack, but were not formed for or motivated by pursuing that kind of thing generally. It was just one spark that flew off the wheel of 8 years of burying ourselves in the process of creative reinvention through making records.
What next? I’m in the kinda-late-ish stages of working an LP with the Cicadas about the 19th c. colonization of Turtle Island, now known as the United States. I’m also working on a new Folk Implosion single with Lou Barlow. I hope both those projects will be finished during the summer of 2021, or failing that, by the end of 2021. You can check out more details about it on the Upcoming Projects page of this website.
The Shows and Events page of the site has been dormant due to the pandemic, unfortunately. When (the USA gets its shit together and) that blockade lifts, I plan to return to our general pattern of touring when I have spring break and summer vacation, along with scattered & sporadic weekend shows during the school year when I am mostly busy with teaching and organizing.
I was born in Brattleboro, VT, grew up in Cambridge MA, and spent most of my life in Cambridge or Watertown until I moved to Durham NC in August of 2013. I got a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1993 and went went back to school, reluctantly, to get a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University 20 years later, in 2012/3. I have practiced Vipassana or Insight meditation since 1986, as adopted by westerners from Thai and Burmese traditions, as well as in a few different schools of Zen that came to this country from Vietnam and Korea. I identify as a 21st century socialist and want capitalism, patriarchy, heteronormative gender roles, and the rule of the corporate duopoly to die a swift death, in order to make it possible for people I love to survive.
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John H. Davis