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Athens music scene stalwart, The Jesters member Davis Causey dies

By Joe Johnson

The 60-year-career of prolific Athens musician Davis Cauley came to an end Sunday when he died unexpectedly.

Davis Causey's death was confirmed by posts on his Facebook page.

Davis Causey plays with the band Sea Level in 1978

Widely known in Athens as a member of The Jesters, a group of high school buddies, that churned out rhythm & blues music across the Southeast for half a century, Causey did much more during his career, which he explained in the bio on his website:

What humbly began as the amateur strums of a 10-year-old on the ukulele, catapulted into an expansive 60-year long career that has taken Athens stalwart, Davis Causey, everywhere from playing with Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson to writing music for Bonnie Raitt and the Carny movie soundtrack.

Davis Causey with The Jesters

Davis was a member of Gregg Allman’s second solo band before he joined Chuck Leavell’s Allman Brothers off-shoot band, Sea Level, alongside Randall Bramblett. Davis and Randall’s history spans much further than Sea Level though. The pair are long-time songwriting partners who co-wrote the song “God Was In The Water” which was later recorded by multiple-Grammy-Award-winning artist Bonnie Raitt. Davis also played on all but one of Randall’s solo albums and has played live with him for over 50 years.

Throughout his career Davis has worked with a wide array of other artists including Chuck Leavell, Kris Kristofferson, Eddie Floyd, Waylon Jennings, and Derek Trucks – ensuring that Davis’ influence can be felt throughout the industry.

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One of Athens Finest. Blessed to have seen and heard him play with both the Jesters and Sea Level.

Melodies are flowing in the heavens.


Feb 20, 2023

Such a wonderful guitarist! Rest in peace Davis, and give Kay and Susan my love. All of you are well remembered...always.

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