Independent – (Pledge Record)
Davy Knowles, the name will ring bells yes this is the solo album of the precocious young guitarist from Isle Of Man who was formerly part of the blues-rock band Back Door Slam. Davy is now working as a solo artist and is based in U.S.A gaining a deserved reputation as Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam. Outsider is 14 tracks of a perfect blending of guitar and vocals as he delivers the self-penned numbers with vigour and passion. The words tell a story that are at times introspective, probably autobiographical but they resonate with the listener as they are about striving and life experiences and disappointment we can all relate to.
The open track Ain’t No Grave, has a haunting desolate intro delivered by resonator and Hammond and then you hear Davy’s gravelly distinct voice for the first time, but this is no maudlin track as the beat picks up and a positive vibe takes over with a foot tapping drumming beat and some great lyrics. Work A Little Harder, perhaps will be many people’s anthem for 2015 this track has a feel of a rock anthem you can imagine this delivered in an arena with the audience screaming back the chorus it has real energy. The tempo changes again with Island Bound, a solo style track vocals and guitar and a storyline that makes you want to sit back and listen. What Doesn’t Kill You; has a different riff and feel and certainly could form part of a motivational track listing as he creates a vocal picture that certainly engages. The title track Outsider has some dirty guitar, melodic Hammond and his vocals have a different tone there is an urgency in this song and despair of being on the outside looking in whether that is physical or a mental state you find yourself in. His song/story skills are at the top of the game as he really captures that fear we all have when we feel outside how when we speak the words catch in our throats. The words fall away and then there is the reflective instrumental closing of the track that real works so well who needs words when you are on the outside.
This is an album full of little gems, salient works, delightful riffs and licks and a group of musicians who just want to play and deliver quality music and this is an album like a box of chocolates full of little bits of musical temptation that you just want to listen to.
The album is a showcase for the talent as a singer and song writer and blends his influences from Dire Straits to Woody Guthrie and Pastures Of Plenty is his tribute to the great man himself as a bonus track.
This is an album that makes 2015 feel like a good place to be as it is full of luscious vibrant sound delivered by Davy and the array of talented musicians that he has gathered around him to create Outsider; this is an album that is right at home in anyone’s collection.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Ain’t No Grave
3. Self Entitled Man
5. Work A Little Harder
6. Island Bound
7. Catch The Moon
8. What Doesn’t Kill You
9. The Outsider
10. A Million Miles Away
11. In A Little While
12. Davy Talks
13. Pastures of Plenty
14. I Knew She Was A Liar (But I Never Would Have Called Her A Thief)
Davy Knowles: Guitars, Mandolin, Ukulele & Vocals
Chris Bussey: Drums
Chris Hargreaves: Bass
Paul Siddall: Hammond Organ, Keys & Vocals
Greg Grainger: Drums & Vocals (track 2)
Gary Grainger: Bass & Vocals (track 2)
Mia Simone: Vocals (track 2)
Christine Collister: Backing Vocals (tracks 5 & 8)
Natalie Driver: Backing Vocals (tracks 5)
Paul McKendrick: Backing Vocals (tracks 5, 6 & 10)
Cherie Gears: Backing Vocals (tracks 6 & 10)