Mikaela Davis performs at The Current

Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
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Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 22:43
  • Mikaela Davis - Delivery (Live at The Current) 04:09
  • Mikaela Davis - Pure Divine Love (Live at The Current) 07:00
  • Mikaela Davis - Little Bird (Live at The Current) 03:02

Two years ago, when Mikaela Davis was touring with Sara Watkins as an opening act, Davis got to visit The Current studio where Watkins recorded a session. "I just came along and sat in the corner and just watched," Davis recalls. "I remember thinking to myself, Man, I can't wait until I can play here."

Fast-forward to Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, and that dream came true for Davis as she and her band visited The Current studio for a session hosted by Bill DeVille. Davis is currently on tour supporting her album, Delivery, with a show scheduled at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on Tuesday night.

Her first full-length release on a major label (Rounder Records), Delivery benefitted from the passage of time. Davis says she and her band — Cian McCarthy on guitar, Shane McCarthy on bass, and Alex Coté on drums — recorded an album in Nashville, but that album (save one song, "Other Lover") was scrapped. "Rounder wanted to work with me, but they wanted me to keep writing," Davis explains. "I'm actually really happy with how this record turned out. I like my writing better now than it was before."

Davis, who began playing harp and piano as a third-grader growing up in Rochester, N.Y., welcomes comparisons to Joanna Newsom, acknowledging the use of a harp by singer-songwriters is somewhat rare. Asked if it's difficult to sing and to play harp at the same time, Davis puts it in relative terms. "I don't know how guitarists can sing and play at the same time," she says. "It's just all I know, I guess. It's just my instrument. It's like learning to sing and play any instrument, really."

The only challenge to being a harpist and a pianist is negotiating those instruments onto certain stages while on tour. "There are some tricky situations we have to deal with sometimes stage-wise, but we always figure it out," Davis says. "It's like Tetris — we're pretty good at it now."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete in-studio session.

Songs Performed


"Delivery"
"Pure Divine Love"
"Little Bird"
All songs from Mikaela Davis's 2018 album, Delivery, available on Rounder Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Jesse Wiza and Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Emmet Kowler
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Mikaela Davis - official site

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  • Sara Watkins performs in the studio Touring in support of her new album, 'Young In All The Wrong Ways,' Sara Watkins visited our studio for a session heard on Radio Heartland and on The Current's 'United States of Americana.'

7 Photos

  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Guitarist Cian McCarthy performs with Mikaela Davis in The Current studio (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Guitarist Cian McCarthy and bassist Shane McCarthy perform with Mikaela Davis in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Mikaela Davis performs in The Current studio (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Portrait of Mikaela Davis and her band at The Current; (left to right) drummer Alex Cote; guitarist Cian McCarthy; Davis; bassist Shane McCarthy. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Mikaela Davis performs at The Current
    Mikaela Davis portrait at The Current. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)

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