Indian Joe Creator Elizabeth A. Davis Reflects on the Five Albums That Rocked Her World
January 22nd, 2016
by Elizabeth A. Davis
Elizabeth A. Davis has done wonders with other people's music in Once, Allegro, and Zorba!, and now she's ready to show New York her own music. The Tony Award nominee draws from country, progressive folk and industrial pop to create Indian Joe, a true story about overcoming prejudice and finding your true voice. Davis is performing selections from the show at her Feinstein's/54 Below show Wild & Free on January 27 & 28.
My songs that will be heard at 54 Below are a synthesis between the country I grew up on, and the folk and musical theatre influences that shape me now. Music Soup, y'all.
Read on as Davis shares with BroadwayBox the important five albums that completely rocked her world.
Deana Carter —Did I Shave My Legs for This?
Why I chose It: I was a girl in the middle of a tiny town in Texas and country music defined the landscape. I had a jerk boyfriend who broke my heart and Deana seemed like a woman who understood me; she knew pain; she knew the simplicity of the country. Mostly she seemed like a fighter who was on the other side of growing up and there was hope in that.
Year I Discovered It: Late 90’s. I think it was on a bus trip from a junior high track and field competition. Our coach always played country music from the bus stereo. Without a doubt, country artists like Deana have heavily influenced how INDIAN JOE, The Musical came to be for me.
Favorite Track: "Strawberry Wine"
Alanis Morissette—Jagged Little Pill
Why I Chose It: This was the first CD I owned and I felt so hard core. My family listened to Classical and CCM (which I love), but Alanis was the anthem to match my rebel heart. Again, living in a small town, in an agrarian way of life, her voice and perspective was like an alien sending a message from a different planet. It was so foreign, but simultaneously I knew her.
Year I Discovered It: 1996
Favorite Track: "Head Over Feet"
Switchfoot—Learning to Breathe
Why I Chose It: I was a WRECK over that silly movie A Walk To Remember, and I really discovered the band through their song “I Dare You To Move”. But I fell in love with every album they have, most recently Vice Verses. They understand living like heaven's on earth, and I think we could use a lot more of that right now. I also discovered Sufjan Stevens through them so that's def a win/win.
Year I Discovered It: 2002
Favorite Track: “I Dare You To Move”, obvs
Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens—Ragtime OCR
Why I Chose It: I would do 1/2 cross country drives from Ohio to Texas a couple times a year for the duration of my MFA training. It was not a musical theater program, but a classical actor training program. Musical theatre had just never been on my radar, but on those drives I started falling in love with shows and the form via OCR like Ragtime, Chess, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Aida, Songs For A New World, & Rent, among others. Besides the shocking beauty of JRB's “Stars and the Moon”, Ragtime made the biggest impression on me. I become obsessed with the story behind Evelyn Nesbit randomly.
Year I Discovered It: 2007
Favorite Track: “Your Daddy's Son”
Why I Chose It: My husband is the best kind of music snob. When we were dating, he started making me CDs (yes CD's, ya kids) with all his favorite music and I was blown away. Bedsides training for 18 years on the violin, my formal music-of-the-world education started with those CD's. Thankfully he knew the gravitas of me working with Glen Hansard before I did. Now, the Damien Rice station I have on Spotify is worn out.
Year I Discovered It: 2008
Favorite Track: impossible tie between “Delicate”, “Cold Water”, “Volcano”
See Elizabeth A. Davis in Wild & Free at Feinstein's/54 Below on January 27 & 28. Hear more INDIAN JOE The Musical songs here.