Apollo Votary is about music, a vision, and a calling. Synergy in music seems to be missing these days. The magic of Apollo Votary’s music is that it’s not just the language of the soul; it’s the language of the collective soul.
Guitarist/songwriter Jay Davis had a vision. It started as a persistent voice inside him. In 2003, he started writing and playing again after a two decade-long absence from the music world. “It was like a calling: “Time to get back on track,” says Davis. In 2008, he ran into his old friend Derek Mason, who had just opened a studio. “He invited me to start recording my songs. Just for the fun of it,” says Davis. Many months later, it was a CD’s worth of material. Now came time to put together a band.
“This sounds obvious, but to perform songs live you have to have a band,” says Davis. “I had the name Apollo Votary in mind. Playing the tunes, though, would take some serious talent, and, as it turned out, it would take fourteen months of auditions to form the band.”
“There was no shortage of musicians responding to the call. Rick Reubart became the first Votary. A monster of a player, Rick is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. Don Lowe, a former jazz/fusion drummer won the post over twenty-one other applicants. He’s played everything from country music to big band jazz. Vocalist Mike Garand won awards as the lead in a chorale performance at Lincoln Center. He puts his own spin to our songs, is always prepared, and is very serious about his music. Keyboard player Michael Doherty is a natural musician. The album title “Jones Rising” comes from the slang “jonesing” — a yearning or craving. It is said that Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the 1960s, and then were confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving them with a unrequited, jonesing quality.
We get asked all the time what our name means. ‘Apollo’ is the god of music and ‘Votary’ is a dedicated follower.