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Dan Davidson: 'I Really Wanted To Make Another Big Splash In Australia'

18 April 2024 | 3:13 pm | Claire Dunton

After his recent signing with ABC Music in Australia, punters can expect more of Dan Davidson and, hopefully, more collaborations with Australian country heavy hitters.

Dan Davidson

Dan Davidson (Source: Supplied)

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Country singer-songwriter Dan Davidson has released his third album, Nineteen Eighty Something, with an Australian Special Edition for lucky fans in Oz.

The album was released on April 12 and coincided with a mini-Australian tour, with performances in Toowoomba, Campbelltown, and Dubbo for the Stock Route Festival. Won’t Forget was the first single track released from the album and features a lively collaboration with fellow Canadian Tim Hicks and our very own Australian Golden Guitar winner, Max Jackson.

While he continues gathering new fans in Australia, Davidson brings a standout music career that spans more than two decades. With 8 CCMA nominations, 10 ACMA awards, a platinum record, a number 1 selling Canadian song and record, Top 20 charting numbers and hundreds of performances, Dan Davidson has amassed over 30 million streams globally.

Having spent a career as an indie artist with indie management, Davidson signed with ABC Music in Australia in February. He is excited about the “boots on the ground management” and the audience and impact he hopes to garner down under.

When Countrytown spoke with Davidson earlier in the month, he had just touched down in Queensland. He was earnestly navigating his way on Australian roads, with the good humour and energetic attitude that had us feeling certain he was Australian-grown.

He was excited to be in Australia, and when he met and connected with Max Jackson years before, he was drawn to her voice and work ethic and knew they could create music together despite the nearly 16,000 kilometres distance between them. 

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Davidson said, “I really wanted to make another big splash in Australia. I met Max at the Groundwater Music Festival a couple of years ago, and she had just been coming off a [Toyota] Star Maker [competition] thing that she had won.

“She just struck a chord with me, you know, as a wonderful, very personable person. Again… I think maybe I just gravitate towards people that have a work ethic. I'm sure you've probably noticed online that she's always been grinding and posting lots of content, and she's just an interesting person with a great voice. So, I thought it'd be a really good match.”

Won’t Forget is an instant ballad, a love letter to youth, and the unpredictable beauty of being reckless in pursuit of “living our best life without regret”. Davidson said that when he approached the album, he was inspired by the classics of the 80s and those tracks that mean so much to so many people, attaching themselves to an entire era. 

He said, “I started to think, ‘What were the songs that were from my childhood that never went away?’ What are those ubiquitous tunes that were larger than genre and larger than an era?

“And I kept coming back to things like, you know, as a Canadian, Bryan Adams, or, you know, Bruce Springsteen, and there's so many great Americana songs that that just felt inspiring to me at the time.

“I tried to keep that in mind when I was writing this record, and I was in a place partly because I was inspired by these 80 songs. I wanted to deliver them in a way that felt bright and summery and a little bit nostalgic.”

Davidson is knowledgeable and passionate when speaking about artists, influences and moments in music, which comes from his extensive background in music. Before pursuing a solo career in country music in 2014, Davidson was lead guitarist and vocals in the five-man rock group Tupelo Honey. You would be forgiven for thinking that rock and country have few overlaps, but Davidson says there are many similarities in the genre and the community aspects.

Davidson said, “As I grow as an artist, and I get older, I found that the thing I like most of us doing what I do is it's about connection, meaning people and finding a way to just like understand the world a little bit better and trying to provide soundtrack somebody's life.

“I think that country fans are really open to that experience, and they liked that human connection side of things.”

Davidson also acknowledges that it’s an exciting time for country music, with the genre growing in popularity, especially in Australia. He speaks about touring in Australia with the excitement you would expect from an emerging artist, and not an award-winning artist with 20 years under his belt tours with Bon Jovi to his name.

Davidson’s energetic stage presence was perfectly matched at the Stock Route Festival in Dubbo, Toowoomba, and Campbelltown. Audiences were treated to a live performance of freshly released tracks from the Nineteen Eighty Something.

“We've got a few songs from the record and the show and then a few songs that we know are crowd-pleasers… a little bit everything in the show. I think that fans are going to see that they're going to feel that a lot of singing a lot of smiling and a lot of drinks in the air.

“There’s a song that we released in Canada, and we actually released it in Australia as well. It’s called Found. That one always destroys live! That'll be a fun one to play. But honestly, we haven't played Won't Forget; we haven't played that one very much live, so I'm really excited to roll that one.

“Usually, the show that we do is always very high energy. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and I like that sometimes it almost comes across like we’re just entertaining ourselves. It’s just a huge party; there are a lot of good crowd moments and a lot of familiar twists and turns. At the end of the day, it’s fun, it’s high energy. It’s a little bit of rock and roll and a bit of country, and hopefully, we’ll leave people going home saying, ‘Hey, that’s something I wouldn’t forget.’”

After his recent signing with ABC Music in Australia, punters can expect more of Dan Davidson and, hopefully, more collaborations with Australian country heavy hitters.

Nineteen Eighty Something – Australian Special Edition is out now. You can catch Dan Davidson co-headlining this weekend’s Stock Route Music Festival in Dubbo.