When COVID-19 struck, Texas singer-songwriter Jon Christopher Davis hunkered down with his family at home in McKinney. Known as the “Bruce Springsteen of Texas,” he’d been chasing the singer-songwriter dream for 15 years in Nashville. 

By all accounts he found it, recording and weaving songs with music legends such as Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell, and Vince Gill. He has also recorded for Warner Brothers, Sony, and MCA Records and shared the stage with the likes of the Roots, Lyle Lovett, Hal Ketchum, and a couple of times with former President George W. Bush. 

“It’s as if Don Henley, Elvis Presley, and the Everly Brothers met late one night at a Texas Roadhouse parking lot and beat the crap out of each other and what came out was Jon Christopher Davis and harmonies,” Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Steve Lynch, the original drummer of Tom Petty & Heartbreakers, once said of Jon’s music. 

But the Lone Star State was calling him home. 

Like other North Texas musicians, Jon was affected by COVID-19 when it shut down the live music industry. He had already booked up the whole year, and wasn’t taking on any more dates. Then the venues started shutting down. To adapt, he wrote and recorded songs and took part in numerous streaming events, and did his best to raise funds for charitable music organizations such as the Texas Heritage Music Foundation. Yet, he struggled with it. He needed to see the audience he was sharing his stories with. 

The answer was simple, and followed the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines: the 2020/21 Backyard Tour. 

“People need music more now than ever,” he says. “There’s got to be a way to do something cool and responsible, [so we] go outside literally and go to backyards and keep sanitizers and require masks. We’re usually a good 20 yards away, and we’re comfortable and press a little joy and little light in a dark, dark year.”

Courtesy of Jon Christopher Davis

He’s willing to bring the little joy and little light to your home, offering a customized indoor or outdoor performance for private parties of any size. It’s in support of his new six-song indie-rock EP “The Ride,” available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.  

“The Ride” segues into why he became a singer-songwriter. “It connects the dots,” he says. “I can trace it back to Tom Petty, and then there was Bruce Springsteen and take a left turn and find the Eagles and Jackson Browne. I basically stand on their shoulders — my teachers — and play my songs and tip my hat to them. It’s the reason that I wanted to do it (the backyard tour). It’s a soulful experience.”

A Dallas native, Jon used to play gigs in the garage and in front and back yards. He comes from a large family who would host shindigs where they would play music and dance. 

In 2004, he released “Lone Star Attitude,” which stayed on the Texas music charts for six months and spawned the LSA brand, which can be found as an apparel store at the DFW airport and as a music burger joint in downtown Denton. 

Four years later, he released “Demos from the Vault (1999-2009), a double album that features “The Boy I Left Behind,” a military tribute song that he’d written and recorded with Texas songwriter Deryl Dodd. 

A year later, the American Cancer Society awarded him with Song of the Year for “Relay for Life.” Two more albums followed in 2014 and 2018: “Last Night’s Dinner Party” and “New Wind Blowing.” He recently formed The Speaker Wars with Stan Lynch and expects to release their first album in May. 

“A virus can’t stop creativity,” he says.

Jon tested his idea for the Backyard Tour over the summer. He floated the idea on Facebook and started appearing in fans’ backyards on Fridays and Saturdays. He saw how much fun they were having and realized that they missed the live music experience as much as he did. And thankfully, no one was getting sick. So he decided to continue the tour into the fall and winter months. 

He recently played a surprise 60th birthday party. The fan is a musician but not a professional, more of a “weekend warrior.”  When the fan walked in, he was presented with a new guitar. Tears were falling. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

“This is what music does,” Jon says. “It connects people and unites us.”

The Backyard Tour

What is the Backyard Tour? A concert in your backyard, or spacious living area, catered to your logistics. Everything is customized to suit your individual needs.

Will we blow the roof off our neighbors? That’s completely up to you. But rest assured, we can accommodate our sound to suit your individual needs. 

What does it cost? The Backyard Tour is scalable (solo, duo, trio or band). Let’s talk about your wants, space and needs- info@jonchristopherdavis.com. 

Are you COVID safe? Yes. We take CDC guidelines seriously. Email us for details.

For information visit jonchristopherdavis.com  

Christian McPhate

Christian McPhate is the managing editor of Local Profile. He has been working as a journalist for more than a decade. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Dallas Morning News,...