Davisson Brothers to perform at Pickin' in the Panhandle

September 01, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • West Virginia-based band The Davisson Brothers Band will perform Friday at Pickin' in the Panhandle.
Submitted photo

HEDGESVILE, W.Va. — Donnie Davisson has practically known nothing else except music.

As lead singer and rhythm guitar player for the bluegrass/Southern rock/country music group the Davisson Brothers Band, he has spent nearly his entire 34 years immersed in music.

"I was singing onstage with my dad when I was 4 years old," Davisson said during a telephone interview the day after a gig in Washington, Pa., getting him to his home outside of Clarksburg, W.Va. He splits his time between West Virginia and Nashville, Tenn.

"I learned (music) at such a young age, I really don't remember being taught," he said.

It was at the feet of his dad, Eddie Davisson, and his uncle, Pete Davisson, regulars in the West Virginia country scene, that Donnie and brother Chris learned about music while growing up in Clarksburg. In fact, music dates back generations, Davisson said.

By the time the guys were juniors in high school, they already had regular gigs during the week.

"My brother and I did acoustic shows for a long time," he said.

They'd play chili cookouts with their acoustic sets. Eventually, cousin Sammy Davisson joined the group. Rounding out the group is family friend Aaron Regester.

The Davisson Brothers will perform Friday night at Pickin' in the Panhandle in Hedgesville, W.Va. The group will perform from 9:15 to 10:30 p.m. Friday night at the Main Stage. Pickin' in the Panhandle continues through Sunday, Sept. 9.

Donnie Davisson said when the group started to really focus on the band and work even harder, they landed a deal with a Nashville record company. In 2009 they released their self-titled album that spurred their hit, "Big City Hillbilly."

That song became a favorite at West Virginia University Mountaineer football games. The band soon teamed up with an old friend, Owen Schmitt, who happens to also be a legendary WVU player, to pen 2011's "Here Come The Mountaineers," a song written specifically for those who bleed blue and gold.

It was also another way for the Davisson Brothers Band to show love for their home state.

"You never forget where you come from," he said.

The song, Davisson said, is true to their type of music. The song, he said, is like a chant.

"We wanted to get people on their feet," said Davisson, who said he is a born and bred  Mountaineer fan.

The energy's no different for someone who is attending one of their concerts.

"We have good energy, foot stompin' music," he said.  "... You'll see 5-year-olds in the audience dancing, you'll see 90-year-olds in the audience dancing."

Fans who are wondering why it's taken so long for another album, Davisson said it's because "we're too picky."

Davisson said that he and brother Chris work as a team when it comes to songwriting. Donnie writes the lyrics, while Chris writes the melody.

"Then everybody joins in," he said.

They also write with Nashville songwriter Phil O'Donnell, who Davisson calls "one of the most talented guys we've written with."

But when it comes down to writing music, Davisson said "we try to write something that related to anyone," saying that he likes "to see people smile."

Loving what they do is key, he said.

"We wouldn't trade it for anything," he said. "We have a good time."

If  you go ...

What: Pickin' in the Panhandle

When: Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 9; various times

Where: Lazy A Campground, Back Creek Valley, 317 Kathy's Lane, Hedgesville, W.Va.

Cost: $25, one-day pass; $60, weekend pass; free for ages 12 and younger.

Contact: Go to

Friday, Sept. 7
Main Stage
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Half Bad Bluegrass Band
5 to 5:45 p.m. — The Back Creek Valley Boys
6 to 6:45 p.m. — The Crowe Brothers
7 to 7:45 p.m. — Clay Hess
8 to 8:45 p.m. — Wildfire
8:45 to 9 p.m. — Pickin’ Goes Country with Robert Hale
9:15 to 10:30 p.m. — Davisson Brothers Band

Pickin’ Porch
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Sleepy Creek
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Wildfire
5 to 5:45 p.m. — Clay Hess
6 to 6:45 p.m. — Half Bad Bluegrass Band
7 to 7:45 p.m. — The Back Creek Valley Boys
8 to 8:45 p.m. — The Crowe Brothers
9 to 9:45 p.m. — Sleepy Creek
9:45 to 11:30 p.m. — Open Jam at Sunfire Pit

Saturday, Sept. 8
Main Stage
10 to 10:45 a.m. — Colebrook Road
11 to 11:45 a.m. — The Expedition Show
Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Newfound Road
1 to 1:45 p.m. — Appalachia
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Jett’s Creek
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Circa Blue
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Chris Jones & The Night Drivers
5 to 5:45 p.m. — Lonesome Highways
6 to 6:45 p.m. — Cumberland River
7 to 7: 45 p.m. — Volume Five
7:45 to 8 p.m. — Pickin’ Goes Country with Circa Blue
8:15 to 9:15 p.m. — Shane Thomas
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. — Kentucky Headhunters
10:45 to 11:45 p.m. — Ira Dean

Pickin’ Porch
10 to 10:45 a.m. — Appalachia
11 to 11:45 a.m. — Jett’s Creek
Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Colebrook Road
1 to 1:45 p.m. — Chris Jones & The Night Drivers
2 to 2:45 p.m. — The Expedition Show
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Lonesome Highway
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Newfound Road
5 to 5:45 p.m. — Appalachian Flyer
5:45 to 6:15 p.m. — Band competition and barbecue awards
6:15 to 7 p.m. — Stoney Creek
7:30 to 8:15 p.m. —Cumberland River
8:30 to 9:15 p.m. — Appalachian Flyer
9:15 to 10 p.m. — Volume Five
10 to 11:45 p.m. — Open Jam at Sunfire Pit

Mountaineer Stage
10 to 10:45 a.m. — Speakeasy Boys
11 to 11:45 a.m. — The Back Creek Valley Boys
Noon to 2 p.m. — Band competition
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Highland Grass
3 to 2:45 p.m. — Speakeasy Boys
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Stoney Creek
5 to 5:45 p.m. — Circa Blue
6 to 6:45 p.m. — Square dancing
7 to 7:45 p.m. — Highland Grass
8 to 8:45 p.m. — Joe Taxi

Sunday, Sept. 9
Main Stage
10 to 10:45 a.m. — The Bluegrass Brothers
11 to 11:45 a.m. — Drymill Road
Noon to 12:45 p.m. —James Reams & The Barnstormers
1 to 1:45 p.m. — Westbound Rangers
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Stacy Grubb
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Lonesome River Band
4 to 5:15 p.m. — Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Pickin’ Porch
10 to 10:45 a.m. — Westbound Rangers
11 to 11:45 a.m. — Stacy Grubb
Noon to 12:45 p.m.  —Lonesome River Band
1 to 1:45 p.m. — The Bluegrass Brothers
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Drymill Road
3 to 3:45 p.m. — James Reams & The Barnstormers
3:45 to 4 p.m. — Backyard Barbecue Awards
— Schedule is subject to change

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