The Loss of Kim Davis

The word just arrived from back home that Kim Davis passed away.


Texas is justifiably renowned as the Guitar State and Davis was absolutely a wonderful player. (I challenge anyone to come up with a higher per capita list of six-string bad-asses than Texas, and that includes California and its myriad "I-moved-to-LA-from-Iowa-to-be-a-star" transplants.)


If Davis' name-recognition-quotient isn't as high as Billy Gibbons, Johnny Winter, Andy Timmons or Stevie Ray Vaughan, rest assured he was very much a respected and vital member of the brotherhood. In fact, his work as a bandmate with Vaughan in Blackbird is still legendary in the Lone Star State. He also reached moderate international/major label fame with the Southern blues-rock band Point Blank, blasting estimable leads and twin guitar fireworks with Rusty Burns.


Kim once told me a terrific anecdote about his introduction to life as a touring musician. Point Blank had just released their first album on Arista and their management company told them to get to an arena — maybe in Oklahoma? — because they'd scored a last-minute slot opening a show for Kiss. As I remember it, Davis said they hustled to the gig wearing their street clothes — after which they found out they were in fact going to be the opening act on Kiss' world tour. There was no time to return home and pack, and the next time Davis saw Texas was something like half-a-year later. The Point Blank guys—basically bought luggage and clothes and toothpaste and socks as they roared from town to town.


As fine a player as he was, Davis was also as sweet a guy as you'd ever want to meet. Though I barely knew him, we got together a few times when I was researching the book Texas Music, and he was a blast to be around.


One time, we were going to meet for Mexican food — it was always Mexican food — and Kim came rushing in, apologizing for being a few minutes late. Turns out his grandfather was in the hospital and, he wondered, could we reschedule? He could've called the restaurant — this was pre-cell phone days — but he wanted to come by in person so it wouldn't seem rude. That's the kind of guy he was.

Point Blank reformed a few years ago, though Kim was not part of the reunion. I found this live video of the new lineup playing my fave PB tune -- "Stars and Scars." Davis co-wrote and actually sang the album version (on the 1977 Second Season album). Though Kim's not on this clip, vocalist John O'Daniel nails the original melody and emotion. It's a beautiful song and I'm just sorry it will now take on an even more melancholy context. RIP.

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