Comfort Man (Feat. L.A. Davis, Jr.) has modern production but is a throwback to the classic romantic soul of the great era that produced Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Barry White.
This song is both danceable and eminently listenable with its pure, warm, feel-good vibe, its heartfelt lyrics, and its effortlessly sweet melody.
Up-and-coming soul singer L.A. Davis, Jr., personifies the real-life “comfort man,” with his absolute caring and protective devotion to his woman. Says Davis: “This song is for all the ‘comfort men’ of the world — but it’s especially for all the wonderful women who richly deserve our loving comfort.”
Adds songwriter Michael Sion (aka Smiley Mikey): “I have no doubt that Comfort Man will connect strongly with a mass audience craving an earnest and honest expression of absolute devotion to a love partner. Heartwarming love ballads never go out of style. That’s a comforting thought.”
RENO, Nev. — Born in Watts and raised in nearby Compton, vocalist L.A. Davis, Jr., grew up in the fertile South-Central Los Angeles culture that produced legendary singers such as Etta James and Barry White, and, later, hip-hop megastars N.W.A. and Kendrick Lamar. Blessed with an engagingly expressive and versatile tenor voice that instantly connected with listeners, Davis — the oldest of five children — developed his natural singing talents in his church choir and high school glee club. But early responsibilities — he was a husband and father by age 19 — prevented Davis from pursuing a professional music career, and similarly kept him from chasing his dream of joining the U.S. Olympic Team as a sprinter with world-class speed.
Instead, Davis joined the Los Angeles Police Department and worked for 10 years on one of the LAPD’s toughest beats — policing South-Central’s hardened and violent drug gangs. A father of four, Davis also supported his family working security and driving buses in the San Jose, Calif, area. He continued to sing for fun, but it wasn’t until he moved to Reno, where a son had relocated, that a path to professional performing opened for Davis.
A band opportunity
A FAVORITE ON KARAOKE night at a Reno club, The Point, on South Virginia Street, Davis was introduced by a local musician to members of an ultra-tight cover band, the Soul Persuaders, who had a residency at The Point and were looking for a new lead vocalist. The Soul Persuaders were no hacky semi-pros; they were three ultra-seasoned veterans of Detroit’s Motown scene who each, like Davis, had unexpectedly ended up in Reno. Drummer Les Carter had toured with the likes of Rick James and funk band Shotgun. Bassist Fred Williams had played with the Contours and backed studio recordings of the Temptations, Four Tops and Ray Charles. Guitarist Phil Weaver also had played with the Contours and in acts that toured with the Four Tops, the Miracles and the Drifters.
Davis passed his audition, and for the past two years he and his bandmates have wowed casino and club audiences in Nevada and California with their next-level musicianship and Davis’ charismatic front-man powers — performing lengthy, seamless, energetic sets covering the most popular R&B and soul hits from the 1960s to today, spurring young and old alike to get up and boogie. Dressed stylishly and exuding a smooth cool to match their musical chops, the Soul Persuaders have amply showcased Davis’ mellifluous, wide-ranging tenor, magnetic stage presence, polished moves and charming audience banter.
A song opportunity
IN LATE 2017, DAVIS was recruited for another musical venture: to handle the vocals in the studio recording for a soul song freshly written by up-and-coming Reno-based songwriter Michael Sion. Sion, enjoying a trickle of income from previous songs under the name Smiley Mikey, had come up with the highly romantic and melodic ballad Comfort Man — a veritable throwback to the 1960s-’70s golden heyday of Motown and Philly soul. Sion knew he needed an authentic soul singer worthy of turning the recording into something that could fit perfectly into a playlist featuring Marvin Gaye, Al Green and other giants of the genre. Serendipitous networking brought Sion into contact with Davis — and the magic was ready to begin. For — as fate or destiny had it — Davis uncannily personified the character in the lyrics who is singing his heart out to the woman of his dreams. Realizing his lucky break, Sion recruited top-notch musicians to create the backing track for Davis’ silky and soulful vocals and had the song tracked, mixed and mastered to a high professional standard.
The result: Sion realized he had a potential hit on his hands. And the long road of promoting a gem as an unknown writer and artist now awaits Sion and Davis.
“I’m so happy to have been able to express these sentiments in this song,” Davis says. “This song is for all the ‘comfort men’ of the world — but it’s especially for all the wonderful women who richly deserve our loving comfort.”
Adds Sion: “I have no doubt that Comfort Man will connect strongly with a mass audience craving an earnest and honest expression of absolute devotion to a love partner the way L.A. Davis has delivered it. Heartwarming love ballads never go out of style — no matter how cynical our society may seem to get. That’s a comforting thought.”