HANSON — Mark Davis has a new following as he continues his decades-long talent as a piano man.
A Hanson resident of more than 20 years, he plays a concert “brought to you live” on Saturday nights.
Just six months ago if you told Davis he would be “streaming from his basement” you would have been speaking a foreign language.
This week he had more than 12,000 views — a first — since he began his home concerts on his music channel Mark Davis Piano Music on Facebook. The live music starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday nights, the sounds brightening the evening for so many.
As is the case with many Americans, the coronavirus has affected his work.
“I wanted to help bring a smile to others… what’s going on TV (news) is all doom and gloom,” he says.
Retired from his 9-5 job at age 65, he continued to grow and pursue his music career. His regular music gigs vanished along with a steady income.
He admits he had very little experience with technology but set out on a mission with a baby grand, a finished basement, transparent tape, and his phone — which he admits fell off the cement pillar a couple times while he tried to create a studio set and learn how to live stream.
He enlisted the aid of his adult son Scott, who also has a musical background and his girlfriend Tatiana Alverez The pair now run the behind the scenes technology from the kitchen on Saturday night.
The Beatles, Sinatra, and his well-liked repertoire of American Song Book with 1950-1980 music sheets are his most popular requests.
Davis’ musical background began as he grew up in Quincy with a multi- generational home with his family and his grandparents under one roof.
The piano he plays now at his Hanson home was the original piano he learned on in his grandparent’s house. It was restored and refurbished more than in eight months by a local company and later gifted to him by his two brothers Glenn and Richard, who financed the project.
His brother came across the original piano sales receipt, which — Davis has now framed – the Marshall and Wendell instrument was purchased in Sept. 29, 1925 in Boston for $869.99.
The sitting room in the old Quincy dwelling was considered a proper room with oriental rugs and protected furniture, which were for guest visits making the room slightly less accessible for foot traffic on the average day.
Davis admits he loved playing and reviewed his lessons during the week with help from his grandparents making the sentimental black and white keys priceless.
He laughed as he recounted his grandfather’s operatic form of singing and although he knew he came from a strong set of musical genes on each side of his family he just couldn’t stand opera music.
Little did he realize it was not that he disliked the music rather his grandfather’s talent elicited a teary reaction to the beautiful sound. His sensitivities and discovery of his love of music developed from the age of 8, as he learned to play by ear as well as read music.
However reading music especially classical pieces were not his niche’ he wanted to play the tunes that were of the era. A music teacher who knew he had talent taught him to read chords similar to the guitar and he evolved from there. It also aided in molding his likeability as a teen at the talent show in junior high school where he admits he did not fit in as an athlete.
He was the last one picked for the team and stuck in the outfield with a fellow music lover.
“They would never see the ball fly right by them as they talked about favorite albums,” he said. “We didn’t care about the sports our music was much cooler.”
His wife Pat, who is a fan, recently pointed out that his talents, and musical gifts had been there all along.
Davis has seen that as a motivation that his life is going in the right direction. As things progress into a “new normal,” he foresees returning to play live at cocktail parties, weddings and other events reconnecting with local businesses. For now he will watch for a thumbs up and fill music requests on his site. He asks the music requests be available a few days prior to the concert so he can prepare his music roster. Visit markdavispianomusic.com.