Updated Fri, Aug 15, 2014 2:22 pm
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth thousands of "likes" -- at least in Brock Davisson's case.
A video of the Marietta guitarist recently appeared on the "I Discover Stars" Facebook page, which has more than a million followers. Since mid-July, the video has been shared more than 37,000 times on Facebook and viewed nearly 7,000 times on YouTube.
"Brock sent me a message shortly after I Discover Stars had posted his video to their page," said Skylight Media's Andy Holbrook, who shot and produced the clip. "He started the message off with "Dude..." so I knew it meant something amazing just happened! Within a week the video had been shared over 15,000 times."
Holbrook started the ball rolling in June when he came up with the idea to film Davisson as part of a proposed artist series.
"I was going be his first artist, so of course I let him do it. Why not? You feel real comfortable around Andy," said Davisson. "The feedback has been awesome. I never thought it would go like this. I'm thrilled and in awe over it all, still."
Although Davisson has been playing guitar for 22 years, he's just starting to get some attention outside his hometown, thanks to a number of homemade YouTube videos. He's hoping to capitalize on that growing interest with a full-length CD, which is being funded through an indiegogo.com campaign, "Little Man with Big Dreams."
"I have been wanting to do a CD for a while and I'm just at the point where I want to actually get something done. No more sitting around, wishing or waiting," explained Davisson, who plans to record the album at Holbrook's studio in Parkersburg.
"Not only is Andy an excellent friend, he's the one that started this whole thing with the video, plus he's an excellent drummer and guitar player, too. His wife is an excellent singer and dabbles in bass as well..apparently the whole family are musical geniuses," he laughed.
Davisson's unorthodox style of playing, akin to that of a lap steel guitarist or a pianist, is a result of his dwarfism, which makes it difficult to play in a traditional manner. However, playing came natural to him when his father gave him his first guitar at age 14.
photo: Skylight Media
"I just put my hands on there and started noodling," he says in the video. "I'm so used to playing this way that I don't know if I would actually be who I am today if I played like everyone else."
Although Davisson's first inspiration was Nirvana and "shredders" such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai, he was eventually seduced by blues players like B.B. King, Otis Rush and T-Bone Walker, as well as blues-influenced rockers Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour. Today, he feels that blues music is "his calling," although he still enjoys listening to players like Joe Satriani from time to time.
Up to now, Davisson's talent was known mostly in local circles, thanks to winning three guitar competitions at C.A. House of Music in Parkersburg. Holbrook hopes the video will help spread the word beyond Southeast Ohio.
"I just knew if I could give Brock a high quality video and sound recording, people would have no choice but to notice him," he said.
When asked about the attention he's been receiving, Davisson is humble--and quick to point out that none of it would be possible without help from Holbrook and his wife, Courtney. Still, that doesn't mean he isn't appreciate of his new fans.
"All the comments and shares are just great. I'm getting all sorts of friend requests, people talking about me, how inspirational I am and more. It's awesome to go through the comments and see what people say."
Visit Brock Davisson's Facebook page for updates and information.