Jordan Davis Pulled From His Real Life For ‘Buy Dirt’ Songs

The more personal, the more universal.

Jordan Davis Pulled From His Real Life For ‘Buy Dirt’ Songs
Jordan Davis; Photo credit: Robert Morley

Multi-Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jordan Davis is looking forward to this summer and fall as he has released his new EP, Buy Dirt and announced the 17-city Buy Dirt Tour which he will headline. Special guests on the tour are Seaforth and Mackenzie Porter. The tour debuts in Minneapolis on September 9 and closes in Boston on December 21.

The initial single is the title track on the album and features Luke Bryan. The two met at an awards show and later became friends after seeing each other at several golf tournaments.

“We sat around the fire after a golf tournament one day, smoking cigars and talking about everything but music,” Davis tells Sounds Like Nashville of their ongoing friendship. “That conversation always stuck with me. Luke isn’t just a great entertainer; he’s a great Dad, a great husband, and a great friend, too. That’s what ‘Buy Dirt’ embodies. When I wrote ‘Buy Dirt,’ I knew he could relate to the song’s message.”  

Jordan Davis; Photo credit: Eric Ryan Anderson

“I felt we had became close friends enough for me to feel comfortable in sending him the song,” Davis says. “I left him a text message with the song attached and told him how much it meant to me. He got right back to me within a couple minutes and said he loved it. He wanted to live with it, make sure he would be right for the song. He called me a week later and said yes. He’s one of busiest guys out there and for him to be part of it speaks for the song.”

The two worked out their schedules so they could both be in the studio at the same time. “That was a very cool thing, being in the studio with one of the best ever in country music. That was a really cool moment; I had to pinch myself but it was a special day.”

Davis wrote the tune with his brother, Jacob Davis, along with Josh Jenkins and Matt Jenkins. “We actually wrote that on a writer’s retreat. They are three of my closest friends in town. Josh and Matt are also brothers and we’ve written a lot of songs together. The idea came from talking about the pandemic and realizing here we are in the pandemic and the whole world is slipped upside down.

“The one constant is faith and family and friends. It is a pledge to us when the world opens back up, let’s always remember that, cherish and take care of things here no matter what happens. It’s about the piece of ground you have, the home you built, the memories you make; that’s what is important. That’s where the conversation started and luckily we turned it into a song. I know I’ll write a lot more songs if the good Lord’s willing but it’s going to be tough to top this one.”

Davis wrote all the songs on the new EP except one, a tune written by John Prine, “Blow Up Your TV.” He says from the first moment his dad played him a John Prine record, he never stopped listening.

“He was one of the biggest influences on me to start writing,” Davis says of the late singer/songwriter. “That is one of my favorites of his. That was the catalyst … after losing John, this is a tribute — my very small way of saying thank you John for everything you have done in my career and in music.”

Two songs, “Drink Had Me” and “Trying” were written by the same writers, Jordan Davis, Ashley Gorley, Emily Weisband, Paul DiGiovanni, and as Davis points out they are polar opposites.

“Producer Paul DiGiovanni had the idea for ‘Drink Had Me.’ We had scheduled one of the last writing sessions of last year, and we were just starting to get back to writing in person, so we were probably 10 feet away from each other, and it was great. Paul came in, we started talking about how with this pandemic the alcohol consumption had kind of increased and happy hour got earlier every day. Paul said he had this idea for a song and we didn’t need an explanation. We were like, ‘We’re writing that, we don’t know what we’ll say or how but we’re gonna do it.’ It was a fun one to write.”

“Trying” is a little more personal for Davis. They wrote it the day after “Drink Had Me.”

“I had a big fight with my wife the day after Christmas and that was on my mind. I kept replaying the argument. Luckily I was writing with people I was comfortable with to express that, and people shared their personal experiences and we wrote it. I felt I needed to write an apology to my wife. I wanted to write it for me, I never had plans for it to be on the CD, but after recording and listening to it, it was special. It is the most personal song on the record.”

As for his wife’s reaction, Davis said he gave Kristen a couple days to let the waters calm before he played it for her. “She was pretty mad, but when I played the album for her and that one ended, she said, ‘When did you write that?’ I said ‘When do you think I wrote it?’ It didn’t get me completely out of the dog house, maybe just one foot out.”

Davis says he and his brother have been writing together since college and it is a very natural thing for the two of them to do. “We write so well together because we knew each other from day one, lived together in college and we can draw from past experiences and relate them to someone else. He is someone who knows me better than anyone else, so it’s a positive. It’s one of the coolest things. He’ll start something and call me and say, ‘I’m sending you this song.’ He knows how I work, what I want to say. We know each other so well it’s easy to write together.”

The two brothers aren’t the only songwriters in the Davis family. Their uncle, Stan Paul Davis wrote Tracy Lawrence’s “Better Man, Better Off” and “Today’s Lonely Fool” and “Rub-a-Dubbin’” for Ken Mellons

“He paved the way for me and my brother,” Davis admits. “If Uncle Stan hadn’t moved to Nashville … making the decision to move here and write songs is not easy, but it was easier because he was here. Also at a young age I remember hearing Uncle Stan’s songs. I heard ‘Better Man, Better Off’ before Tracy recorded it. When I started writing I always compared what I wrote to his songs. We say all the time, would Uncle Stan have done that? Made it a lot easier.”

Davis says his uncle loves having them in Nashville and he loves to get together so they can catch up. “We talk about songs and it’s very special thing to have three Davis’ up here, especially now, because he has had a number one and me and my brother have too. We’ve written together too. I guess it’s the songwriter curse, we’ll be talking and someone will say, ‘Hey we should write that,’ so we start mapping out a chorus or the idea. The songwriting never stops between us.” 

Davis thinks of himself as an artist who takes risks and says he admires artists who are that way. He says he thinks his biggest risks are the way he writes songs.

“My first three or four years in Nashville weren’t super smooth. I didn’t try to change the way I crafted songs or worded stuff. Maybe there was a time I thought I’m not writing songs people want to hear, but I didn’t change my writing to what I really didn’t want to do. I was hard headed about it and stuck with the way I wanted to do it. It took a little longer than I would have hoped but I’m writing the way I write and singing the way I sing. I’m glad I stuck with that.”

The Davis family will become four in September and the singer says his daughter, Eloise will be right at two when her brother arrives. “We got her a couple books about brothers and sisters, and are trying to explain there is baby in mama’s belly. I don’t think she quite gets it yet … but she will in September.”

Davis says being a father definitely affects him as a songwriter. “Maybe just because you get the best songs when you write about situations you are going through. For me there’s never been a bigger change in my life than having a daughter and watching her grow up, and watching my wife change into a mother was one of the coolest things to see. It kind of goes back to putting everything into perspective. For the longest time music was my number one and that’s not the case anymore.”

Davis’ hometown is Shreveport, Louisiana, home of the Louisiana Hayride, an historic venue for country music. The singer is proud of his hometown.

“I think people may not know the rich musical history in Shreveport,” he admits. “Having a dad who is a history buff, he would take us around town showing us where they would sneak Elvis in and out of buildings and talk about the Hayride having one of the biggest figures in music getting a start there. Then my dad playing and my mom playing, I couldn’t get away from music. Being in Shreveport gave me a love for music a little bit deeper.”

In addition to his headlining tour, Davis is opening on the Kane Brown Blessed and Free Tour this fall. “We haven’t really talked about the tour yet,” he says. “We’ve talked about trying to get together, because he has a daughter about our age, daughter’s age and we have been trying to get them together for hang time. He’s such a good dude. It’s going to be a great show.”

This will be Davis’ first headline tour and he admits it will be a little different for him. “When I’m an opening act it’s my job to get the crowd ready for whoever is headliner, but when you’re the headliner you have a bit more freedom as far as the songs you do, and you know the fans are there for your music. It’s still crazy for me to think I can go to Seattle to play shows, have a song that means a lot to me and look out and see people singing along.”