Davy Knowles is a 27-year-old blues/rock guitarist from the Isle of Man who has the right guitar heroes: Three are mentioned at the beginning of the profile at his site: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Peter Green and Eric Clapton and Cream. There are others: The first song that caught his imagination was “Sultans of Swing” by Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.
He is young, but clearly knows his history. The Isle of Man, an island nation in the Irish Sea, is culturally close to Ireland – though it seems to have a relationship with England akin to that which Puerto Rico has with United States. Knowles said that he was drawn to Irish guitarist Rory Gallahger, who incorporates Celtic traditions into his playing.
Another influence is Peter Fampton, who produced is latest album and appears in Knowles’ version of George Harrison’s “Hear Me Lord,” which is below. Frampton, by the way, looks great. The annoying but informational notes running at the bottom of the video say that Frampton played on Harrison’s version.
The name of Knowles’ first band, Back Door Slam, was taken from a Robert Cray song. The band was formed in 2003/2004. It broke up in 2009 and Knowles began a solo career with a band named Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. (Knowles either really likes the Cray song or isn’t very good at naming bands.) Knowles has released two albums: Roll Away was with Back Door Slam and Coming Up for Air as a solo act.
Above is “River Bend,” performed on “The Bob and Tom Show” in 2009. The program is syndicated out of Indianapolis.
A non-musical but interesting thing I learned while researching this post is that people from the Isle of Man are called Manx.