Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Dilly Dilly (Erin Davidson) is back in town after a sojourn in California and a couple of months in Europe. Davidson spent six years as a member of the band Cerberus Shoal before wading into solo artist waters. The welcome back show is Saturday at Port City Music Hall, and Dilly/Davidson is thrilled.

Where are you originally from?

I was born in New Hampshire. To make a long story short, I was there for about five years, then was in Maine for four years, then Florida for seven years, and then back to Portland.

When did you start playing music?

When I was 14, a freshman in high school. It was guitar for the first year, and then I joined a band which eventually became Red Light City, an indie rock/math rock band, and I played bass. I was in that band all through high school and then in 2000 we broke up. A few weeks later I saw Tom Rogers, the drummer for Cerberus Shoal, hanging out at a show, and I really loved him as a drummer. I asked him if he wanted to jam with me at some point, and he said yes. Cerberus was in a transitional period at this time, so they were looking for people to play with. A few days later, Chriss Sutherland asked if I wanted to hang out and asked me to bring my bass, so I did and that was that. We practiced that one day, we all loved it, and it started off my career in Cerberus Shoal.

What was the first instrument you picked up after joining Cerberus Shoal?

The musical saw was the first thing that I learned, and then trumpet, and I played drums at one point. I also played banjo, guitar, toy keyboard, timpani.

Cerberus lasted until late 2006 or early 2007. The band went on their last tour, and are on an indefinite hiatus. I bought a ukulele on the last Cerberus tour, and that got me started on my solo career. The EP “Akidleadivy” was released in 2007, and it’s just uke and voice. I have one full-length CD online (, “Of Art and Intention,” from 2009.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?

One of my friends put it the best way I could ever describe it, which is my standard answer to that question: “Part folk, part electronic and entirely other.”

Who are your influences?

King Crimson is my favorite band. A lot of my influences are people who I know who I’ve seen locally, like Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Sontiago and Samuel James. I also like to go to open hip-hop nights. I’m less inspired by bands than people I actually know.

Where did the name Dilly Dilly come from?

It comes from an old traditional folk song called “Lavender’s Blue (Dilly Dilly).” I’m not sure who originally did it, but I remember it from when I was really young, in preschool. A teacher brought in a couple of albums, and one of was “Lavender’s Blue (Dilly Dilly).” I think it may have been Burl Ives singing it.

What do you have in store for your homecoming show?

This show will be the first time I’ve ever played with a live band. It will be Jason Ingall from Sunset Hearts playing drums, Sean Morin on keys and guitar, Miles Anderson plays bass (upright and electric), and Sara Hallie Richardson and Megan Jo Wilson are my sirens (back-up singers). I’ll be playing ukulele, electric guitar and banjo. It’s really awesome, because I’ve always done the solo shows unplugged and acoustic, but all my recordings are multi-track so its gonna be really interesting to see how it comes across live. I’ll be playing a lot of stuff from the full-length CD and then a few newer songs.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: [email protected]