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Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam - Coming Up for Air

Blix Street Records

11 tracks/49:05

Britain seems to have a number of young blues rockers “attacking” the shores of the US, and if Davy Knowles is any indication of how good they can be we may need to stand by for a major league defense of our shores! His voice is strong and sure; I did a double take when I heard him because Knowles is just a 22 year old. The vocals are exceptional and intriguingly compelling. Additionally, Davy is quite the guitar whiz. His approach is not overstated; he plays his licks cleanly and with perhaps even some restraint. I really liked his sound. This is his second release, produced by Peter Frampton, and features nine great original tracks and two interesting and powerful covers. The tunes are rocking blues and Knowles demonstrates that he is going to become a force to be reckoned with!

The strings of his guitar sear as he blasts away on tracks like “Tear Down the Walls.” As it turns out, this is also the featured single from the album and it is a scorcher! In actuality, I try to “listen first and read later” when I do reviews (especially for artists who are new); this was by far the most energized and driving of the tunes on the CD. The title track opens the CD and it gets your interest going. Even when he slows up the tempo the guitar burns up the joint as we see a very soulful side of this artist. Tracks like “Mistakes” and (especially) the superb cover of George Harrison’s “Hear Me Lord” are powerful and grab you by the back of the neck and just make you want listen to this talented young musician.

There really are no bad tunes on this CD. Knowles plays guitar and sings like a consummate pro. From the opening title track’s first few bars you know that this is someone whose karma understands blues and rock and their greater ties to music as a whole. His voice reminds me a little of the early Noah Hunt stuff from Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band. I was really impressed with this CD from the first time through it and repeat visits only reemphasized the power of this artist’s music. I am very, very impressed with this young guy; he is the real deal, mixing great, compelling vocals and strong guitar playing with some very nice tunes. I think this kid has a great shot for fame, not only in the blues world but also in mainstream rock- he is that good!

Reviewer Steve Jones is Secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

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