Modest but mighty
Folk singer Dave Potts performs at ALUUC on Saturday
Dave Potts, the Prairie Grapevine Folklore Society’s first act of the fall season, fits the bill as a quiet, unassuming, thoughtful folk singer who likes to let his songs do the talking.
Asked to describe his music, he says, “I call it folk, with a little country and Americana — kind of like David Wilcox or James Taylor.” That’s it — no hyphenated hyperboles or incredible inventions, convoluted confusions or terrific titles. It’s pretty much a guy and his guitar, singing songs he wrote, wherever and whenever he gets called to play.
Potts has placed as a finalist in many major folk-music songwriting contests, including the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition. Key folk-music magazines, such as Dirty Linen and Performing Songwriter, sing his praises in glowing terms. His featured review on the CD Baby Web site, one of the best locations for independent musicians to sell their music online, is beyond glowing.
Saturday, Sept. 30, marks Potts’ first visit to Springfield, though he’s logged tens of thousands of miles and performed at hundreds of venues in 42 states since beginning touring in 1998. This show is the start of a 10-day tour — he’ll set out from his adopted home of Auburn, Ala., and travel through Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota — to promote his latest CD, $12.99. Released in July of 2006, the disk is Potts’ eighth collection of original music and the third with producer Rob Seals.
“Poker Face,” a song on $12.99, hints at how a deadpan stage mien and quiet demeanor can cover a creative and purposeful soul. Part of Potts’ humble nature is likely innate, but some comes from his strong Christian beliefs. He separates the secular shows from the faith-based performances but mixes them within a tour while selling CDs of both Christian and secular songs.
Ever since Potts ran into the songwriting muse as a high-school freshman, composing and performing has been his life’s work.
“It’s pretty much all I’ve ever done and all I know how to do,” he says. “I work hard at crafting the songs, but the writing itself isn’t hard. I’ve always been able to do it.”
How does the modest man see his future, maybe full of unbridled success and unrivaled glory?
“I see it as pretty much of the same — don’t plan on having a record label calling anytime soon,” he says. “I’m building my audiences a little at a time.”
The Prairie Grapevine Folklore Society presents Dave Potts at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 745 Woodside Rd., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
Contact Tom Irwin at email@example.com.