Artist Profile: Singer-Songwriter Dianne Davidson

Dianne Davidson - by Butch Worrell
Dianne Davidson – Photo by Butch Worrell

Dianne Davidson and her musical journey, spanning almost 50 years, that has gone down many a road.

From her teens to her mid-20s, she was unstoppable in various genres – rock, folk, and country.  But it came to a halt when she fell in love with a woman. The Nashville music industry quietly shut the doors on this fantastic talent – leaving her to say goodbye to the only way of life she knew, which was music. And this year she came back.

But let’s step back and look at Dianne’s start and rise as a young woman songwriter from West Tennessee moving to the big lights of Music City, USA.

Dianne’s voice was mature for a young adult, and her songs were rich with texture and perspective, so Nashville embraced Dianne back in the early 70s.

Her style echoed the Laurel Canyon, CA sound with a twist of blues making her sound versatile to radio and press.

She recorded three albums (Baby, Backwoods Woman, and Mountain Mama) for the Janus Label and went on tour with icons like Linda Ronstadt and The Moody Blues. Dianne went back into the studio to record 1974, an album that never saw the light of day back then was released this past year to her adoring fans.

That very year, things started to unravel for the young talented artist who had come out of the closet. The powers that be didn’t know what to do but to tell her to keep it quiet as many artists back then, Elton John and Freddie Mercury, in fear of backlash.

In 1978, she struck gold with blues singer Tracy Nelson with her reading of “Sounds Of The City,” a song that Dianne wrote in Baltimore, MD. She was seeking out the truth and comfort of friends and family. By 1988, Dianne had toured solo from coast to coast, playing music festivals to distinguished concert halls and studio session work.

Her album, Breaking All The Rules, came out during that year, and sadly it got overlooked by most. Dianne looked like she had it all – from songs to major industry management, she even had a quote from the New York Times in her back pocket saying she had a “big rolling voice and welcoming exuberance.”

By 1995, she had enough of playing the game, so she moved to upstate New York, took on a full-time job, adopted a son, and settled into married life.

Hoping and knowing one day, she’d be back.

So about five years ago, doors started to open back up for Dianne to the idea of moving back to Tennessee. She went through heartbreak with the ending of her marriage and a custody battle over her son. These weighed heavily for the seasoned artist, and with her musical chops still strong, the music forgave her and let Dianne back in. She gathered herself some songs, called her friend Larry Chaney and they began to put music on tape in 2018.

Her album Perigon: Full Circle came out in August 2020 and received some outstanding accolades from the industry and fans.

Popmatters gave it a glowing review: “The bluesy country-rock artist with a powerful, expressive voice sounds just as potent as she did back in the early 1970s.”