John Davy - Flyinshoes Reviews
"Desmelik reminds me of the reasons I got into bed with Americana on the first date. An unpretentious approach to songwriting and performance, gritty and generic without being predictable, his songs show an excellent range."
Dave Desmelik is a singer-songwriter and instrumentalist whose musical focus is on original compositions. What attracts listeners to Desmelik’s tunes, old and new, is the element of authenticity incorporated in them. There is no sugar coating involved. His songs are not wrapped in false smiles, rather they are stark and open and tend to settle on the pulse of everyday life. An unclosed and evolving journal of thoughts set to music and melodies in prose and instrumental performance. Desmelik was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, GA, but has traveled and lived in a multitude of landscapes. He currently resides in Brevard, NC. He was an original member of Onus B. Johnson, a successful band based in Flagstaff, AZ in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This band was on the front wave of jamgrass while maintaining the passion for songwriting. Today, Desmelik continues to pursue an ascending path as a solo artist.
A seasoned veteran of recording and performing, Desmelik states of his career thus far, “I have recorded in state of the art studios and bedroom closets. I have performed on big festival stages for numerous people and in lonely corners in dive bars for three people and the bartender. Either way, what you get is me with my eyes closed getting lost in these songs. I have chosen the life of a songwriter and musician not because I wish to, or have to, but because I want to and need to. It is my therapy and in this regard the door to my sessions are open.”
Desmelik has released 16 albums to date as well as two albums with his former band Onus B. Johnson. Onus B. Johnson was a Band Finalist at the 2001 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition and was voted Flagstaff’s best band three times. He was the winner of the 2002 Flagstaff Awards for Music Excellence (FAME) award for best singer-songwriter. Desmelik’s song “If It’s Good For You” was chosen in the Top 25 Songs of 2010 by Indie-Music.com. His albums have placed consistently on the EuroAmericana Chart, Roots Music Report, Freeform American Roots Chart, and North Carolina Roots Radio Chart. Dave’s albums have also been voted repeatedly in the “Best Releases” by the listeners of WNCW radio as well as being voted in the “Best Of” Mountain Xpress Readers’ Poll. His recordings have been reviewed in a number of reputable publications and online music sources such as Maverick Magazine (UK), Southeast Performer Magazine, americana-uk.com and nodepression.com (Flyinshoes Reviews) to name a few. He has toured extensively in support of his songs including numerous performances in the USA and UK. Some notable artists Desmelik has opened for and/or shared the stage with are Paul Thorn, Drivin' N Cryin', Tony Furtado, Robbie Fulks, Chuck Brodsky, Richard Buckner, The Black Lillies, Cary Hudson, Bow Thayer, Shawn Mullins, Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey among others.
If you listen to Dave Desmelik’s songs, whether lyrical or instrumental, you may become pleasantly fixed in the simplistic realness of them and if you hear Desmelik in a live setting you may realize that there are no tricks, just a genuine venture into the highs and lows of life.
More Real Bio
My name is Dave Desmelik and I am a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist. If you are a friend, fan, music listener, blogger, reviewer, promoter, booking contact, or just someone who happens to be reading this right now, then thank you for taking the time to be here. My intent with this bio is to stray from the standard artist bio and be a bit more real and open.
I consider myself a journeyman musician. In my musical path there have been many twists and turns in the road that have led me to where I am today. I have self-released 15 albums to date of all original material. I am very proud of this and a question I often am asked is “Which album is my favorite?” My reply is always, “I would hang my hat on any of them.” I write songs that are sometimes based on true stories, sometimes made up stories, or sometimes just observations. Whether lyrical or instrumental I assure you my heart is buried in all of them. Many of my albums and songs have been noticed and not noticed. This is ok either way, I have found it much to easier write, record, and perform for myself and the ones I love rather than doing it for other reasons. In my experience, validation from the heart is much truer and satisfying than searching for validation through other people’s opinions. That being said, I do also try to get and keep my music out in the world for anyone to listen. It is a good thing to share one’s passion and be proactive about it. I have played numerous gigs all around the United States as well as a few in the United Kingdom. “In the trenches” is a common expression I use when thinking of the many venues I have played through the years. There have been loads of “out of the trenches” gigs as well. No matter, I am grateful for every opportunity given to me to share my songs. I have been fortunate enough to open for and/or share the stage with various professionals in the music industry… a few famous, some almost famous, some not so famous, but all with the love of music in their heart and soul. I love writing music and lyrics, recording, and performing and do not have any plans to stop anytime soon. It is my therapy and if there is a god, then he or she or whatever it is knows I need this therapy. The power of music grabbed me early in life and I am so glad it has not let go of me.
Currently, I live just outside of small town Brevard, North Carolina USA. I am married. It is a wonder my wife still puts up with me. I am nowhere near a perfect husband, yet she hasn’t gotten rid of me yet. I have written many songs about her, some direct and some not so direct. She has always been the brightest of lights anywhere she goes. I am the father of two boys. They are young and I hope I can be a good dad for them through the years. They help me to see the world through eyes that are not weathered, jaded, bitter or indifferent. They live in the moment and inspire me to try to do the same. My youngest son is a firecracker. He does not tame easy and I love him even more for that. My oldest son is sensitive, smart, funny, and has a certain zest for life…. and he has an inoperable brain tumor. It is a grade 2 fibrillary astrocytoma to be specific. Every moment of everyday it seems I think of this. We have a long road ahead, but will take it one step at a time……
There is much more to my story than this brief bio suggests and if you have read this far then I thank you again for taking time from your day to learn a bit about my musical career and me. Through music we can all connect.