Clinton Davis is an old-time folk musician based in San Diego. A fifth-generation Kentuckian, Davis grew up in Carroll County. He currently performs on guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and piano. He has performed at folk festivals across the country including Wintergrass (WA), Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival (WA), Portland Old Time Gathering (OR), Berkeley Old Time Music Convention (CA), National Jug Band Jubilee (KY), and the Brooklyn Folk Festival (NY).
Davis’ skills across instruments and genres have earned him acclaim at home in Southern California and across the country. Stefan Grossman, renowned authority of American roots guitar, has called him “a master…carrying on the traditional music torch of Mike Seeger.” No Depression calls his work “a joyous and soulful restoration of one of the lost treasures of American musical tradition.” Deering Banjos has called his playing “simply sublime.” In 2022, in recognition of his work as a performer and educator, Davis was named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state of Kentucky.
Davis performs as a soloist, with his own string band, or backing up other kindred spirits devoted to traditional American music such as Brooklyn’s queen of the blues, Mara Kaye, and San Francisco’s powerhouse string band Skillet Licorice.
Davis is an official artist of the Deering Banjo Company. In 2017 Davis and Deering partnered with San Diego’s Center for World Music and the San Diego Music Foundation to launch their “Banjos in the Classroom” program, which brings group clawhammer banjo lessons to San Diego’s public schools.