Clinton Davis is an old-time folk musician based in San Diego. A fifth-generation Kentuckian, Davis grew up in Carroll County with faint residues of old-time music lingering in the air and in his family’s past. He currently performs on guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and piano. He has performed at folk festivals across the country including Wintergrass (WA), Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival (WA), National Jug Band Jubilee (KY), Brooklyn Folk Festival (NY), the Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Competition (CA), and the Santa Barbara Fiddler’s Convention (CA).
Davis’ skills across instruments and genres have earned him acclaim at home in Southern California and across the country. In 2015 renowned Americana publication No Depression called his work “a joyous and soulful restoration of one of the lost treasures of American musical tradition.” That same year, his album with the G Burns Jug Band was awarded “Best Local Recording” at the San Diego Music Awards. At the Santa Barbara Old Time Fiddler’s Convention, Davis has been awarded first prize on banjo in 2018 and first prize on fiddle in 2019.
Davis performs as a soloist, with his own string band, or backing up other kindred spirits devoted to traditional American music such as Brooklyn’s queen of the blues, Mara Kaye, and San Francisco’s powerhouse string band Skillet Licorice.
Davis is an official artist of the Deering Banjo Company. In 2017 Davis and Deering partnered with San Diego’s Center for World Music and the San Diego Music Foundation to launch their “Banjos in the Classroom” program, which brings group clawhammer banjo lessons to San Diego’s public schools.
Davis curates the Southern Pacific Sessions, a concert and video series which aims to help cultivate the next generation of audiences for traditional music in San Diego and Southern California. They have hosted some of the nation’s finest performers representing a broad diversity of American traditions: national award-winning banjo and fiddle players, grammy-nominated cajun musicians, and southwestern hispanic musicians that have performed at the Kennedy Center.