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Meg Davis is an American singer of traditional music. She is also a songwriter, best known for her classic ballad "Captain Jack and the Mermaid" (recorded by many world folk groups such as De Dannan). She is known primarily as a folk musician and folklorist specializing in historical ballads as well as a composer of stories and music in the same genre as Donovan and Fairport Convention. Her solo performances throughout the festivals, concert halls (including the Town Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.) and cathedrals throughout the USA, Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland and Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome have gained her a reputation as a first rate musician and vocalist. Meg has won the respect of her fellow Irish/American musicians for her sensitive and powerful renderings of traditional Celtic songs, and sea ballads, and for her beautiful guitar accompaniment of Scottish, Irish and Breton dance tunes. She has put these talents to use as a long-standing member of the Joe Burke Trio whose leader is the legendary Galway button accordionist. In addition to her regular appearances with Joe Burke, Meg also performed and appeared on stage with such diverse musicians as Bill Monroe, Alan Stivell, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, Ewan MacColl and Peter Yarrow to name just a few.
Meg Davis was winner of the Best Young North American Songwriter Award in 1978, chosen and awarded the honor by Peter Yarrow, and has 5 albums of original music and 4 albums containing traditional ballads of land and sea to her credit. In 1990 Meg collected and arranged a collection of Scottish, Irish and original songs, entitled The Claddagh Walk produced by Donald Shaw of Capercaillie and recorded in Scotland. Of her album Captain Jack and the Mermaid, Richard Harrington, writing for the Washington Post remarked that it was "one of the most refreshing and brave new albums I've come across in a long time". In July 1991 the Washington Post said of Meg's performance of "Such a Parcel of Rogues" in the National Cathedral that "she gave a crystal clear reading in a sparkling vibrato that illuminated the whole of that sacred place".
Her music can be heard throughout the world thanks to fans of her ballads who have shared their copies of her CDs with radio stations from Lapland to Argentina, Lithuania to Japan. Some of her compositions have been used in film and documentaries, several songs are in use as theme songs for television shows in the Netherlands, there have been choral renditions created by choir masters in the US and UK for children's choirs and her music has even been heard floating across the ice of Antarctica from the broadcasting station at the McMurdo Scientific Installation.
In 1993 Meg Davis was forced to stop touring and performing before live audiences due to multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and arthritis. She continues to compose musical works and strives to return to the studio in the future to provide us all with more enchanting songs and to share her unique voice which, according to one 9 year old fan, sounds like "the chiming of bells". Although many a music critic has felt that Meg must be a classically trained composer, singer and guitarist she is self-taught, learning to play the guitar at the age of 12. She began songwriting at the age of 14 and taught herself to sing listening to old recordings of Mario Lanza and Frank Sinatra on her grandmother's record player. Meg's primary musical instruments are acoustic and electric guitars : 1960s-vintage Martin guitars 6 and 12 string, 1984 Taylor guitars made by Robert Taylor and a 1995 Fender Telecaster. Her greatest musical influences have been Donovan, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Benny Goodman and Jethro Tull.
- Captain Jack and the Mermaid (1979)
- Dream Of Light Horses
- Swing The Cat
- The Music of Wonderland (1987)
- The Claddagh Walk (Lismore Records, Scotland 1990)
- By the Sword (1991) (All original music, lyrics and arrangements by Meg Davis based on By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey)
- Live at Dennos (1992)
- Captain Jack and the Mermaid Special Edition (2000)
- The Burning West Indies (2004)