Home Music

Hear Outlaw Singer Ward Davis’ Bad Luck Ballad ‘Black Cats and Crows’

Driven by Davis’ ominous piano playing and tortured vocal, song is the title track to his upcoming album

Ward Davis, a contemporary and collaborator of modern-day outlaws Cody Jinks and Kendell Marvel, has announced his new album Black Cats and Crows. Due November 20th, the announcement arrives with the brooding title track, an ominous piano ballad in which Davis questions why the deck is stacked against him.

“God must have it in for me,” Davis wails. “Every road I walk I see black cats and crows.”

Written by Davis with Jinks and Tennessee Jet during what the singer-songwriter calls a “dark chapter of my life,” “Black Cats and Crows” became therapy for Davis, who describes a cathartic recording session. “I remember the day we tracked it was the first time in a long time I’d felt anything good while I was singing. I had a sinus infection, it was late in the day, but I sat down at the piano and hammered it out, and I felt my feet come off the floor,” he says. “The vocal on the record is as it was the day we recorded it. Covid restrictions kept us from re-tracking the vocal or adding harmonies in time for the album deadline.”

Black Cats and Crows is the follow-up to Davis’ 2018 EP Asunder. Produced by Jim “Moose” Brown, the new album highlights Davis’ introspective songwriting and his evocative piano stylings, and features a guest spot by Anthrax’s Scott Ian on the murder ballad “Sounds of Chains.”

“This album took my whole life to make, pushing 41 years. I had to live and live and live before I even understood what these songs meant, or why I wrote them in the first place,” Davis says. “So many of them were written with men of great perspective and empathy, about things that weren’t at all apparent to me when they were crafted, but have revealed their truths over thousands of days and nights of just being a human being, with every victory and failure being another lesson or trial, from which I’ve learned.”

Black Cats and Crows is out November 20th via Thirty Tigers. Here’s the track list:

1. “Ain’t Gonna Be Today”
2. “Black Cats and Crows”
3. “Threads”
4. “Sounds of Chains”
5. “Get to Work Whiskey”
6. “Colorado”
7. “Book of Matches”
8. “Heaven Had a Hand”
9. “Where I Learned to Live”
10. “Papa and Mama”
11. “Lay Down on Love”
12. “Nobody”
13. “Good to Say Goodbye”
14. “Good and Drunk”

From Rolling Stone US