Davy Knowles

The official website for Blues/Rock/Roots musician, Davy Knowles. 

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Spotify Playlist #1 - From The Ground Up. My Influences.

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO NOW, KNOWLES?! Well. I'll tell you. Stop shouting.  

Once a month I'm going to be making a short playlist of songs on Spotify that I feel have changed me, shaped me, and influenced me and my music. I have then chosen corresponding songs from my own catalogue that I feel really show those particular influences.  Hopefully, it's a little interesting, and you can spot the impact that these great artists have had on my writing, singing, and songwriting. HOPEFULLY.   Please note - for full versions of the songs you will need a Spotify account.  

Just click that big old button above to head to the playlist! 

As always - open to suggestions and comments - leave them below! 

Here we go! Episode 1!  

1. Dire Straits - Telegraph Road / DK - What Doesn't Kill You

2. Million Miles Away - Rory Gallagher / DK - Million Miles Away. (duh!)

3. Into White - Cat Stevens / DK - Amber's Song

4. Son House -Death Letter Blues / DK - First Words Of A Changing Man

5. Free - Heartbreaker / DK - Work A Little Harder

Off Again!

Man this has been a busy few months! 

But after a short break at home in Chicago, it's time to load up the van again and head out on the road.  

We've got some very exciting gigs in the books,  Alexandria VA at the Birchmere with the marvelous Samantha Fish,  multiple shows with total guitar hero Johnny A,  and some return shows to familiar venues, with familiar faces.  It's lovely to become friends with folks you see coming out over and over again to our shows.  I feel very privileged. 

On top of all this,  the release campaign for the new record 'Three Miles From Avalon' is really gathering pace, we have a tremendous publicist,  Steve Karas, on board,  the album is now mastered for VINYL, and the test pressings sound like everything I wanted this album to sound like.  You can pre-order your copy HERE - and get two tracks immediately, and access to whole bunch of other things.  You should totally do it ;) 

So, head on over to our TOUR DATES,  and I hope to see you at a show soon! 

Davy 

 

 

Back On The Road

This is only a short run,  a few nights around NY,  but god it feels great to be out and about. 

This is what it's all about.  Straight from the airport to a TV show,  in bed in the wee small hours. A belly full of laughs,  the bittersweet, strangely reassuring feeling of being transient.  A gig to look forward to tonight,  one day at a time,  any more than that is tough to deal with.   

No distractions (although maybe this is the distraction?),  just music, music, music. 

I like this. 

 

 

 

 

 

Update From The Studio #3

The last day. 

Man,  that went fast.  8 tunes, 3 days.  Very happy.  Great studio,  great engineer and great band.  I'm a lucky guy. 

For the most part,  I only ever played one guitar and one amplifier,  the no longer rented (now bought) Fender Telecaster and my Bludotone Bludodrive, 'Mabel. Only pedal I used was a tuner and my Pete Cornish boost for one solo. My trusty old 1934 National guitar made it on a track too. Only other effect was the Fulltone Tube Tape echo our engineer, Anthony used on my solo tone.  This was definitely done in the true spirit of what we set out to do.  Minimal fuss,  just simple, raw, great sounds.  Trying to capture performances.

Michael Coakes,  a friend of mine and a fantastic photographer,  took some cracking photos,  again in the spirit of our 'vintage vibe' recording.  Check out these polaroids.

Cheers,  and can't wait to share the new stuff with you!

D

Update From The Studio # 2

I think I'm going to call this next release 'Three Miles From Avalon'.  I wrote a song recently by the same name, we put down the rhythm track to it yesterday.

It was really about being on the cusp of achieving what you set out to do,  having it in your sight, but somehow never quite reaching it.  The last couple of years have been a bit tough, and it's only now I feel i'm starting to get back on track.  It felt like a good time to vent a little about it in a (hopefully) musical way.  

I do realise that you are always on the cusp though, and that perspective is subjective to time.  

I used to hate the studio.  It was like a poor imitation of the kick I got playing live.  I was told we needed to record so we could go gig other places. Get more gigs. Agent needed material to entice promoters with, then we can play more. Money? Nah. I've always been a bit shit about that.  Makes me squirm. Playing more was my incentive.  That's never changed.  It's just that now,  I don't really mind playing for a room full of microphones anymore.  I'm actually really enjoying it this time around.

So here are some pictures of us playing for a room full of microphones,  taken by my good friend Michael Coakes. 



 

Update From The Studio #1. 'The Old Fashioned Way'

We're back in the studio.  

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It hasn't been long since I was recording last,  but this is different.  Very different. 

Firstly,  I've been sitting on a lot of songs. They needed taking beyond the home demo's and sketches that I had scattered around.  It was time. 

Secondly,  this is a band.  

For a while recording, to me,  has been about assembly.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mean generic production line, get it on the conveyer belt and here's a record that sounds done. But rather,  let's assemble some great players,  people who we know will do a great job,  and let's record these tunes,  bit by bit, by bit.  Make a mistake? It's OK,  we can go back and fix that.  There's always been a bit of a safety net,  and I've definitely needed it sometimes. I'm not ashamed of it, there's nothing wrong with this approach, and it's kind of the norm these days,  stop and start, stop and start. But it has left me finding it difficult to gather the adrenalin, the excitement, and the energy the same way I do when I play live.  

Not this time. 

This feels a little meaner, a little more dangerous,  a little more exciting.  For the first time in a long time I feel I am part of a band of musicians who are just going to play. Live, together, and to two-inch tape.   It feels a more honest representation of actually what I sound like and what I do.  Actually, more importantly, what we do. It's invigorating. 

We have 3 days in the studio,  2 days left.  8 tracks to cut.  2 down.   I purposefully hardly brought any gear to the studio,  and so far for both the tracks we've recorded I have used the same guitar (a rented Telecaster) and the same amplifier (my trusty Bludotone Bludodrive).  No pedals, except for tuning up. I wanted this album to sound stripped down, raw, energetic, aggressive, a performance record. All about the vibe,  the feel. Less about 'perfection'.  Production is minimal, and taken care of by myself, the band, and our engineer, Anthony Gravino,  as we go along. 

I also can't believe that this is my first time recording analogue, to tape. It's extremely satisfying,  and that sound... There is nothing like it,  no plugin, no emulation, that can get that beautiful warm, glue on your sound.  It sounds like a record immediately.  There's also a beautiful lack of freedom.  Something about the limitations in recording this way that really spurs you on to capture something magical. 

It's sad that this is kind of a novelty now.  Recording a band playing live to tape. But sometimes it's the old fashioned way of doing things which are still the best.