Band releases CD featuring modern pop-rock sound
Jon Davidson, 28, guitarist/vocalist for the Portland alternative pop-rock band Crown Point, doesn't mince words.
'Christina Aguilera has a phenomenal voice,' he says. 'But I don't believe anything she says.'
Wait a minute. OK, the platinum pop singer may have screwed up the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, but …
'You can have the most precise and flawless vocal take,' he says, 'but I think that what counts in my book is the emotions behind the performance, not the precision.'
The bass-baritone Davidson says: 'What I'm trying to do with my vocal is to sell the listener on its believability.'
But don't mistake him for some scruffy rocker who's a slave to the underground and who confuses keeping his musical integrity with remaining obscure and unpopular. He unapologetically seeks to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.
'I think a lot of bands are in a hurry to define their sound,' he says, noting his band is trying to diversify its musical styles. 'We want to make music that is current and relevant, but also can appeal to people who aren't indie hipsters wearing moustaches,' he adds with a chuckle.
Crown Point, named for the local landmark where Vista House sits, recently released an eminently listenable six-song CD titled 'Wolves,' which features the drumming of Nickelback's Daniel Adair on the title song. The band is celebrating the release with a show at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland Friday, April 1, as well as the Winery at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale on Sunday, April 3.
Davidson is half of the songwriting team that leads Crown Point, the other being Russell Stafford, a native of Australia who logged his time in the California and Missouri music scenes before moving to Portland in 2004.
Stafford, 29, has been playing guitar since he was 14 and was 'raised on a fairly healthy dose of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.' His parents encouraged him to play piano, trumpet and saxophone but 'after years of begging, I was finally allowed to play guitar.'
Stafford and Davidson were playing in other local bands when they met. They began sharing the stage here and there, eventually deciding their styles meshed well.
'I have much more of a rock voice, and he's more pop,' Davidson says of his musical partner. 'His voice is much higher and mine is much lower, which works out great.'
The band also features Kaycee Kay on drums, as well as an inanimate bass player.
'The bass tracks come out of a laptop,' Stafford says. 'They never mess up, they don't eat much, and they don't require a seat in the van,' he adds with a laugh.
Actually, the band did have a bass player who had to bow out before a tour last year, and Crown Point plans to eventually get another one, Stafford says.
In their short time together, the hardworking band has already done a national tour of 40 states, played with pop singers Tyrone Wells and Andrew Belle and bands like Puddle of Mudd.
The group is planning to record a full-length album next, and Davidson and Stafford say they will collaborate more closely on their songwriting than before.
'We both have very strong opinions about what we do, but we're going into the songwriting process with an open mind,' Stafford says.
And the opinionated Davidson says he knows one thing - his guitar work will complement the band's vocals, not overwhelm it.
'It's not the '80s anymore - screeching guitar solos are not a necessity,' he says with a chuckle.
WHO: Crown Point
WHEN: 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3
WHERE: McMenamins Edgefield Winery, 2126 S.W. Halsey St. Troutdale
COST: Free, 21 and older
INFO: 503-669-8610, mcmenamins.com, crownpointband.com