Neha Patil

Davenport Family (band)

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Also known as  Second Family Band
Members  Clay Ruby
Genre  Rock
Davenport Family (band)
Genres  Free Country / Broke Folk
Years active  2001–2005 as Davenport Family
Associated acts  Davenport, Second Family Band, Drunjus, Hintergedanken, Burial Hex, Crystal Dragon, Wormsblood, Pan to Scratch, The Mumber Toes, Craig Microcassette System, Jex Thoth
Website Official Site
Origin  Madison, Wisconsin, United States (2001)
Albums  Davenport / James Blackshaw, Free Country, Davenport
Record labels  Not Not Fun Records, Static Caravan Recordings
Similar  Wormsblood, Burial Hex, Smitty, James Blackshaw, Wooden Wand

Davenport (or The Davenport Family) was a musical collective from Madison, Wisconsin. The project was initiated by Clay Ruby in 2002. Their musical style, difficult to categorize, owes more to freeform jazz, psychedelic rock, and experimental avant-garde music than to traditional folk music, and may be loosely attributed to such genres as free folk, psychedelic folk, freak folk or New Weird America. The Davenport Family name existed actively until 2005. Presently, all original members participate in a similar band, which operates under the name Second Family Band.


The recordings and performances typically include varying combinations of drums and other percussion, guitars, vocals, synthesizers, piano, organs, violins, flutes, electronics, sound sculpture, field recordings, more synths, sitar, sticks, rocks, and stones. Their music is almost always improvised, with a rare exception of overdubbing and other studio composed manipulations, especially in the early days of the group. The group is noted for usually shunning the recording studio, preferring field recording in locations such as barns, caves, or pastures. Consequently, environmental sounds such as dogs barking, birds singing, and other ambient noise may be heard on record.


The group was unusually prolific in terms of number of titles released in the first years of their career, but most (though not all) of their records were pressed in small runs of limited availability on CDR's lathe cut records and cassettes. Many of these titles were recordings of live actions or intimate recordings of family rituals. In 2005 "Free Country" CD was released by Last Visible Dog marking their first official studio album.

"Free Country" was soon followed by the self-titled Davenport Family LP on Not Not Fun Records, which featured half studio and half live workings. After gaining some notoriety as a free-wheeling Wisconsin folk collective, and just preceding the release of "Free Country", Clay Ruby made the decision to release a solo recording experiment under the Davenport name. Taking a cue from groups like This Heat, he employed the use of a handheld cassette recorder with a removed erase-head, to compose the entire album. With this technique, Ruby could overdub continuously onto what he had previously recorded though he was unable to monitor anything while actually recording. This resulting cassette, filled with fractured folk songs and environmental psychedelia became the "Rabbits Foot Propellor" CD on Three Lobed Recordings. Their very last jam under the name "Davenport" was performed on Walpurgis 2005, Clay Ruby's birthday, and released by Meudiademorte in October 2006 on a one sided C70 cassette called "At The Foot Of Zodiac Mountain". Between 2005 and 2007 many of the members formed different side projects, including Zodiac Mountain, All Do Gather, Orthodox Blood Orchestra.

Many of the original members have regrouped since 2007 (along with an ever-revolving cast of new members) and the band has been releasing all their music under the name Second Family Band. They still continue to document the improvised musical rituals of their loose-knit community and have released dozens more albums, many of which do not feature Clay Ruby as a member.

Ruby is present on all of the Davenport Family recordings but since reforming under the name Second Family Band, the band is operating regardless of line-up. No single member's presence is required for any Second Family jam session. Over the years, Davenport/Second Family has included Billy Lee (aka Lliam Ian, Crystal Dragon, Wormsblood), T Endless (Pan to Scratch, Drunjus, Craig Microcassette System), Nico Kain (Apaculus, Wormsblood), Clay Ruby (Jex Thoth, Burial Hex, Wormsblood, Hintergedanken), Dan Woodman ([Drunjus]), Theresa Behnen, Tyler Olsen, Jonathan Matthews, Clay Kolbinger (Maths Balance Volumes), Lyx Ish, db Pedersen, DMS (Craig Microcassette System), Nic Stage (Wormsblood), Karen Eliot (The Mumber Toes, Hintergedanken, Dragon Faggot), John Gould, Justin May, Jon Stage, Jerod Annoye, Beau Devereaux (Anvil Dome), Andy Knackert, Jessica Non Popa, Aaron Laurant (Cult of Hypnos), Corey Bushcott, Azrael Zanon-Stage, Jenny Hoffman (Telesmatic Images), David Libert, JoAnne Powers, Sven Bolan, Smith Baker, Ivan Calderon, Daeve Ross, Richard Remington, Cyrus Andreas, Jacob Tibbs, Nick Johnson, Kelly Shippey, Dave 3000, Ivan Mairesse, Max Elliott (Absinthe Minds), Mike Schultz, Johnny Danielson (Jex Thoth), Nathaniel Ritter, Troy Schafer, as well as collaborations with friendly outsiders such as: Peaking Lights, Spiral Joy Band, The Skaters, Tomutonttu, Jooklo Duo, Glenn Donaldson, Lau Nau, Maths Balance Volumes, Hush Arbors, Absinthe Minds, Relentless Corpse, Plastic Boner Band, Islaja, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice, Mumber Toes, Nautical Almanac (band), Anla Courtis, Cult of Hypnos and Takuri Tali.

Davenport / The Davenport Family

(Earliest to most recent)

  • Davenport — self-titled CDR limited to 20 copies (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0122))
  • Springtime on Saturnalia — 3" CDR (Pseudo Arcana 3" CDR #PA046)
  • Live 12.11.03 — self-titled cassette limited to 23 copies (23 Productions)
  • Little Howling Jubilee — 3" CDR (267-Lattajjaa)
  • Loki's War 4.6.04 — CDR limited to 18 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CS600212)
  • Free Country — CDR limited to 93 copies (Foxglove)
  • Sun Your Open Mouth 5.18.04 — CDR limited to 41 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0220)
  • Davenport / Maths Balance Volumes (split) — CDR limited to 50 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0302)
  • Davenport / Son of Earth (split) — CDRΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0305)
  • O, Too High Ditty for My Simple Rhyme — CDR (Time Lag)
  • Owl Movement 8.11.04 — CDR limited to 50 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0304)
  • Davenport / Seen Through (split) — CDR (Haamumaa)
  • The Weakest Link Can Pull the Heavy Load Out of the Blues and Onto the Road — CDR limited to 100 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0309)
  • Camp Bliss (The Davenport Family split between Davenport, Jesus Balls, the Lamb Called Light, and Clay's Festering Lungs) — cassette (Polyamory)
  • Push 'em Back — CDR limited to 100 copiesΨ (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0314)
  • Davenport / Leannan Sith (split) — cassette limited to 50 copies (23 Productions, catalog No. 23CS400317)
  • Davenport / Mumber Toes (split) — cassette limited to 22 copies (23 Productions, catalog No. 3CS600316 / Backbacon Records)
  • Marble Seed — CDR (Jyrk)
  • Tongue of Bear CDR limited to 100 copies — (Nature Tape Limb / 23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0313)
  • Bucolic Pigtics — CDR (Imvated)
  • Starry connection of diminishing returns — CDR (Audiobot)
  • Split w/ James Blackshaw — CDR (Static Records)
  • Maho Hanging Greyface — CDR limited to 50 copies (Paha Porvari)
  • Field Tales (The Davenport Family) — 2 x CDR limited to 123 copies (Haamumaa / 23 Productions, catalog No. 23CD0321)
  • Wulfcult Rising — cassetteΨ edition of 50 (777 was 666)
  • The Davenport Family Boxset — 5 x 3" CDR limited to 101 copies (23 Productions, catalog# 23CD0403)
  • Heavy Weather / Pistol Whipped Blues — 7" lathe limited to 5 copies (Life is Rough)
  • The Hands of Worm Heaven — CDR limited edition of 217 (Time Lag)
  • Rabbit's Foot Propeller — CD (Three Lobed Records)
  • Free Country — CD (Last Visible Dog)
  • self titled — 12" LP (vinyl editions: 323 red, 50 black, 100+ defective pink/orange mix)(Not Not Fun)
  • Davenport Family — At the Foot of Zodiac Mountain one sided c70 cassette limited to 230 copies (Meudiademorte, catalog mddm#22))
  • Ψ = later reissued on cassette


  • "harm in case" on Klang Spectrum 2: A Madison Underground Compilation — CDR (23 Productions)
  • excerpt from "O, too high ditty..." on Pasture Music Festival and Jubilee compilation — 2 x CDR (23 Productions)
  • "Can i fib Ian?" and "Can i fib Ian again?" on Animal Power Magic (Nature Tape Limb)
  • "the long walk towards the gateless gate" on Sounds Surrounds Us Volume 2 — 2 x CDR (musicyourmindwillloveyou)
  • As Second Family Band

  • Jerusalem cs/cdr (Boondock Pissoir)
  • Naked Ladies & Dragons cd/cdr (Boondock Pissoir)
  • Wisconsin Gospel Book Five cdr (Skulls of Heaven)
  • Incidental Music from "Run Up the Voodoo" 3" mini-cdr (Skulls of Heaven)
  • Streetweaver cs (Tree Tapes)
  • Far Out Projection For Survival cdr (Criers dans les Musees)
  • Dream Release cs (Bumtapes)
  • The Eternal Lag Pt.2 cs (Dark Age Kassettes)
  • East to West cs (Earjerk)
  • Whose Wave We Ride cs (Earjerk)
  • Weird Sword /Seers Word cs (Earjerk)
  • Winged Stomp House cs (Cabin Floor Esoterica)
  • The Heathens Return cs (Jerkwave)
  • Vernal Mystery Hour cs (Skulls of Heaven)
  • Nandi cdr (Boondock Pissoir)
  • Good Blood LP (???)
  • Oui (ouRecordings)
  • Our Way Is The Right Way cs (Housecraft)
  • The Eternal Lag cs (Earjerk)
  • When We Are Gone cs (Earjerk)
  • Read The Movie cdr (Backbacon)
  • Unlimited Devotion LP (ouRecordings)
  • Harihara River b/w Bram Stoked Her cs (Funeral Folk)
  • Second Family Band meets Anla Courtis - Gangun Guru cdr (Chocolate Monk)
  • Dirty River b/w Chhinnamasta Cuts Through Mind Jam cs (Sloow Tapes)
  • Wisconsin Gospel (4 CDs, Skulls of Heaven)
  • Phasis cs (Earjerk)
  • Second Family Band with Jooklo Duo, Jason Soliday, Plastic Boner Band, and Peaking Lights cdr (Earjerk)
  • Sad Blues cs (Object Tapes)
  • Songs

    Springtime on SaturnaliaSpringtime on Saturnalia · 2004
    Gather Round the TableBeautiful Sacrifices · 2016
    Shadow or a ShadeBeautiful Sacrifices · 2016


    Davenport Family (band) Wikipedia

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