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September 5, 2013
Gamecock alumnus and Camden native Patrick Davis is one of country music's most accomplished songwriters and performing artists, having written songs for Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Jason Michael Carroll, Pat Green, Jimmy Buffett, Jewel, Robert Randolph and a host of others.
This year, Davis teamed up with the University of South Carolina to release The Gamecock Album, a collection of Gamecock-related songs and seven other tracks highlighting Davis' solo works. Davis spoke with GamecockCentral.com about the project recently:
Chris Clark: "Tell me about how this project got under way and how it came about, basically."
Patrick Davis: "I wrote 'Just A Big Ole (Game)cock' I guess about three years ago just on a whim, having fun on a Wednesday afternoon on my couch in Nashville. I played it for my wife and she thought it was funny. I played it for my buddies and they said 'you've got to record that.' It became sort of an underground cult thing and that's what really sort of started the whole project. I began to get requests from Gamecock fans to do more Gamecock material. That was three years ago and I kind of kept that on the backburner. I did the Wingo song ('Wingo and his Yardcocks') during the second College World Series but then I got approached by Eric Nichols (Associate AD/Marketing) at the university about trying to put something together than was an actual compilation. I said if I could figure something out that I think the fans would enjoy it would be a win-win for myself and the university. That's when I came up with the idea for the actual Gamecock album. It was a lot of hard work but Eric was wonderful. We had to work with the NCAA compliance department and that was all kinds of excitement. I felt like I was Johnny Manziel."
CC: "Take me through your writing process. Are you someone who has to sit in the same chair, same room, with the same guitar every time or how does that go?"
PD: "Inspiration can come from anywhere. I'm never not in writing mode. I might be sitting at breakfast one morning and overhear somebody say something that makes my ear perk up. I may hear some line, we may be talking and something may catch my attention and I may be writing. If it tweaks my interest it's probably worth diving into. It's really just a matter of making sure you're paying enough attention to those small moments that can end up being a big piece. Those moments will pass you by. It's those things you don't expect that can be great."
CC: "Tell us a little bit about your background as a Gamecock fan and how you came up following South Carolina."
PD: "I grew up in Camden listening to Bob Fulton on the radio on Saturday, heartbroken like most of us. I always say that and laugh but we did have some moments that were a lot of fun, some big wins even back then. I went to the university, graduated in 2001. Back then, that was kind of the high there. We were 0-11, 1-10 then got to the Outback Bowl right after I left. It's been a hell of a ride. Things have definitely turned around. We kind of finally feel like something happened where we're no longer worried about whether or not we're going to show up when we're playing the lesser teams or get blown off the field against the big teams."
CC: "It seems like several guys with ties to USC have done well in the music industry; yourself, Darius, Amos Lee. What's in the water in Columbia?"
PD: "Darius and Amos, the Hootie boys wave the flag but there are a lot of guys who have moved up here to Nashville, to L.A., to New York. Columbia, although we can't really seem to sustain a constant music venue, it has an energy with Five Points and The Vista and just a lot of creativity there. There is a lot of passion that comes out of being in the south. You listen to Edwin (McCain), Darius, and Amos who is a Philadelphia boy but went to school down there; the beauty of the state and the kindness of the people comes through in the music. I guess we're just lucky. I think we're all pretty proud to be a South Carolina Gamecock."
CC: "This album is a collection of some songs about the Gamecocks and some others that you wrote. If you can, give us a little background on a few of those songs."
PD: Big Ole Gamecock "I came home from the Thursday game against Ole Miss about three or four seasons ago, we beat them like a drum. That was a big (Eric) Norwood game. After that I went home and kind of filled with Gamecock pride and said we need a song."
My Carolina "I really just wanted to write an ode to the state of South Carolina, not just Carolina football. I wanted it to be a song that Clemson fans would fall in love with. Some of my Clemson buddies said they wanted to hate that song but they liked it."
Wingo & His Yard Cocks "Wingo is pretty funny because that song was written during the second game of the national championship game that season. I wrote it and put it on YouTube. I had to manipulate the lyrics because it had names on it and the NCAA said we couldn't release the song with a certain name on it. I had to call the manufacture and tell them to take them off the press and go back on and record a different name where I said the name. I never thought I would have anything to do with NCAA infractions."
Game Day Carolina Girls "My wife told me I better have a song for the Carolina girls. Any smart man listens to his wife. Anybody that comes to the South Carolina football game talks about the gameday girls with the black sundresses and cowgirl boots. I wanted to make it kind of like an arena rock thing where they play it at the stadium."
Numbers "That number is on there because June 29 is my wife's birthday but also the date that my brother passed away. It means a lot to myself and my family. That kind of comes from that place."
CC: "Given that you worked with the university on this, are there any more plans for this music to be featured at games and things like that?
PD: "We did a video in the stadium with all the current players, 'We Ain't Far'. They played it right before the band went on the field this week. Justin King did it. We're working on a new video that has old players in it. We're going to do kind of a special deal for the 'Game Day Carolina Girls' song. We're going to do a video with pictures of girls, people at the game tailgating. Without Eric and Coach Tanner, this would have never happened. I kind of toyed with this idea with the previous administration and they were not interested in ideas like this that were completely out of the box. I have to give a lot of props to Coach Tanner and Eric Nichols. It was top 30 for three or four days on ITunes. I think last week we almost sold 2,500. That outsells basically about 95% of the country artists on the radio. It was a really great first week and I think there's a great buzz around it."
The first five Gamecock fans to sign up for an annual subscription to GamecockCentral.com and to send an email firstname.lastname@example.org with your username will receive a FREE copy of The Gamecock Album! CLICK HERE to sign up for your annual subscription and make sure you email us!
If you're making the trip to Athens this weekend for the Gamecocks' matchup with Georgia, be sure to check out Patrick live on Friday night in Decatur, Georgia at Eddie's Attic beginning at 9:30 p.m. Purchase tickets to the show in advance here.
You can purchase a digital or signed disc copy of "The Gamecock Album" by Patrick Davis here. Visit PatrickDavisMusic.com for more about Patrick, his music, and his show lineup.
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