When you hear a singer say this is the record he’s waited all of his life to make, well, I tell ya, that statement carries a lot of weight ! Davis Raines’ Santa Maria Hotel latest record started in the mind of Producer Milan Miller. Loving Davis’ writing and performing, Miller just never thought Davis’ sound had been fully captured. Good records had been made, but he wanted to make one that sounded like it fit his vision of who Davis Raines is ! Santa Maria Hotel is that record.
If Waylon Jennings were still around he would have lined up to cut “Daylight on the Brazos” and Willie would have thought Davis was reading his mind when he heard “Seven Days” !! Also included is the song all of us songwriters wish we’d wrote, the classically simple and true “Cowboy Till I Die”. And talk about classic country “The Man Who Never Was” will have you running from your tears and straight to your beer !!!
Everybody in Nashville knows that Davis Raines is a master songwriter. When you have poets like Texas artist Walt Wilkins say Davis is his favorite writer then that’s saying something. Those kinds of comments and praise aren’t thrown around lightly.
So when Miller began mapping what became Santa Maria Hotel out in his mind, picking the songs was a tough part. Raines has written so many great songs to be able to whittle it down to a handful is a tough task. Miller spent months thinking of songs and arrangements, and what treatment he wanted for each song. When he began calling on Nashville musicians to play on the record, they turned out in spades. Everyone wanted to be in on this record and nobody would take a dime for their time. Fiddle extraordinaire, Eddie Lange, banjo master, Tim Carter. Chris Scruggs on Steel and former Brian Setzer bass player, Mark W Winchester. Miller is also the scorching guitar player on the project. Harmony singers were picked with extreme care like former BR549 member Gary Bennett, Buddy Melton of the Bluegrass band Balsam Range, and also Nashville favorites Adam and Shannon Wright. So everything from the photography of Alex McCullough to the voice and writing of Davis Raines has been crafted with care.
I guess I’m just trying to say that this a record of love and they hope it makes it to us with that sentiment in tact. Santa Maria Hotel is a true gem brothers and sisters, so scoot on down to itunes and grab you a copy. It’s where music is art and when art traveled down the road and hit the intersection of commerce, it just flipped commerce off and stayed its course !!