What do Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Queen, Depeche Mode and Metallica have in common? David Voss! Perhaps an unlikely country singer, no one was more surprised to discover his singing talent than Voss himself. Now fronting David Voss & Big Country, the singer marvels at his unexpected success as one of the most in-demand country singers in Arizona and pays big props to those who help put him on the path to an incredible musical journey.
The North Carolina transplant discovered country music through a friend after he moved to Arizona in 1995. Voss soon had a steady musical diet of Alan Jackson, George Strait and Garth Brooks, and delved into the stylings of the genre’s founding fathers – Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty.
Although he played cello growing up and loved various musical styles, Voss had no singing experience. In 2014, Voss sang “Creep” by Radiohead and a few other songs as part of a karaoke team building exercise through his job. “I got a big response from the crowd - much better than I thought I ever would,” Voss explains. “I thought, ‘Wow, that feels good!'" He adds, “Embarrassingly, I became one of those karaoke freaks, all my other hobbies went by the wayside, and I was doing karaoke three times a week.”
With a deep and booming voice, he was a natural fit for the country music genre. He found himself getting more crowd response singing country karaoke songs and embraced it to the fullest.
In 2016, he was at Lucky Strike in Downtown Phoenix and heard band The Instant Classics playing at nearby Copper Blues, wandered into the club and discovered they were performing live band karaoke. Voss muses, “I said, ‘I’m never going to see any of these people ever again, so I’m just going to try this.’” He sang “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” and “Neon Moon.” The crowd went absolutely nuts. Every Thursday night, Voss was a regular at live band karaoke.
Original founding member and bass player for The Instant Classics, Todd Middleman took a shine to Voss and routinely brought the singer up on stage for the country songs and taught him the business of music. “I never imagined it would go beyond that,” says Voss. The Instant Classics even took Voss out to other gigs which provided even more experience.
Middleman encouraged Voss to branch out and create his own band. “If Todd says I can do it, I can do it!” Voss says confidently. He then spent six months learning guitar, performing at open mics and started networking with other musicians. He soon met his bandmates. “In my opinion, I have the most talented musicians in all of Phoenix and I’m very grateful for them,” he explains. “I contribute a lot of my success to being surrounded by great musicians.” The Big Country lineup includes Chris Bandusky on guitar, Tristan Davies on drums, and Gary Hake on bass, who recently took over for original bass play Russell Loeffler.
In their first year as a band, David Voss & Big Country performed 184 shows. The band managed to defy the COVID-19 economy and business downturn and packed their roster with gigs through 2020. Voss knows it was a struggle for many local bands and he is humbled and grateful for the work. “We’re pretty blessed to play out at most all of the major country venues in Phoenix,” says Voss. “Then we go north as far as Flagstaff and south to Tucson and Mexico.” Local venues the band plays frequently include Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Gilbert, Tom Ryan’s and Bourbon Jack’s. Additionally, he thanks his wife and family for being his rock-solid support system through all his band experiences.
Adding to the musical fun, Voss is also the consummate showman. He’ll step off stage into the audience and dance with his fans while he’s singing. That’s definitely not something just any singer can do. “I’m an entertainer first and a musician second,” Voss finishes. “When you bring the entertainment, people feel it and it makes a difference.”
For a schedule of shows and more information about David Voss & Big Country, visit davidvossband.com.