Rising star Megan Davis is fulfilling her dream of becoming a professional musician, and she will bring her soulful sound to Dunlap's Valley Fest Saturday, April 16 at 12:45 p.m. CDT.
With her haunting, bluesy voice and songs written from the sorrowful side of the heart, the Signal Mountain teenager said people often ask if she plays any happy songs.
"I'm not a Taylor Swift or a Carrie Underwood - I'm a tortured soul," said Megan, 17. "I've been through a lot in life, and I don't write about fairy tales, because that doesn't exist in my world - it's reality, and my reality is dark."
Megan said it was difficult growing up poor in a single-wide trailer on Signal Mountain, surrounded by people who had so much. She said she was labeled "Goth" because she wore mostly black, which she did to make it harder to tell she wasn't wearing name-brand clothing.
"All my life growing up in school, I had people tell me I wasn't going to make it and I wasn't going to amount to anything," said Megan. "I would tell myself, 'I'll get through this,' and their anger and their hatred made me a star, so I sort of want to thank them."
She left school to sing professionally, which she has done locally and throughout the Southeast for the past three years, first playing for free at local clubs and bars such as Mudpie.
"I started taking lessons for two years, then learned to play on my own, and I guess it came to me naturally," said Megan.
She started out on a six-string guitar, until Jill Taylor of Music Makers in Dunlap introduced her to the 12-string. Scott McNabb accompanies Megan on lead guitar when she performs, which she said gives her music a fuller sound.
She said her style ranges from folk rock and country to bluegrass and gospel.
"When I play a show that lasts two or three hours, I try to do a lot of songs that hit everyone," said Megan. "A lot of my originals tell a story that has meaning and has a point, but usually touches the heart in a sadder way."
She has been featured on numerous TV shows in Nashville, and has played in venues such as the Nashville Palace stage and Cadillac Ranch. Megan has been accompanied by the likes of Cody McCarver of Confederate Railroad and Rich Fagan.
Book Megan Davis for an event by calling 385-4401 or 385-5272. Visit here to listen to her songs.
"It feels like my dream is coming true," she said. "I strive to be mentally and emotionally stronger when I'm on stage with these people."
Megan recorded her first album, "I'm Strong," in 2009, with limited copies available at Xpresso Mart.
She said she plans to audition for Fox's "American Idol" in Nashville July 16.