“I just came to this serious point in my life where I realized that if I want to make music and perform, then it’s now or never—I’ve got to make something of it,” remembers 29-year-old musician Barrett Davis of the time leading up to his debut album The Ballad of Aesop Fin. Luckily, for us listeners, Davis’ dedication to his dream paid off in spades. Released last week, The Ballad of Aesop Fin delivers a vibrant tapestry of songs, ranging from modern Americana to classic country, indie-folk to the “high, lonesome sound” of bluegrass—the last of which comes with a little help from Woody Platt, longtime lead singer for Davis’ hometown, Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit, Steep Canyon Rangers. The record itself is a kitchen sink of tones—as heard on “Quiver,” “Lazarus,” and “Carolina Still”—one which ideally showcases the wide-range and unknown depths of Davis, his musical pursuits, and exploits. (Barrett Davis, 2022)
Fans can hear The Ballad of Aesop Fin in its entirety and check out some intimate, in-studio videos of “Carolina Still,” “Lazarus,” and “Quiver feat. Woody Platt.”
The Ballad of Aesop Fin In The News: Fretboard Journal premiered Aesop Fin’s first single, “Quiver,” writing, “We love this track from Davis and we especially love seeing Woody Platt, formerly of Steep Canyon Rangers, helping out on backing vocals.” JamBase premiered the album’s penultimate track, “Lazarus,” a song about “friendship and renewal.” The Bluegrass Situation premiered the video for “Carolina Still,” an ode to Davis’ ancestry, his family’s deep roots in North Carolina, and his great-grandfather Gus.
John Apice reviewed the album for Americana Highways, commenting, “North Carolina’s Barrett Davis has style, ear-caressing sincerity in his music & an arresting voice in many of these well-crafted songs.”
The Ballad of Aesop Fin track list:
- Highway 64
- Carolina Still
- Oh Sleeper
- Bama Shores
- Your Worth
- Aesop Fin
“Aesop Fin is a mythical character, raised in the woods. His dad is a moonshine runner, his mother nowhere to be found,” Davis says. “Aesop finds a lover and ends up getting killed in a gambling incident, then she ends up tumbling into a waterfall—it’s symbolic of the vicious cycle of tragedies in these mountains of Appalachia.”
Growing up in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, a rural outpost community in the mountainous ridges of Transylvania County, Davis was surrounded by music from an early age—exposed to the blues licks of his guitar-playing father, the swirling classical sounds of his mother’s piano playing or the inner echoes of his sister, now a professional opera singer. Davis himself went on hiatus for several years, getting married and raising a young family, all while starting his own construction business to put food on the table for his wife and two kids.