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Davy Knowles Shows that at Least Some of the Kids are Alright

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.

Wikipedia and Davy Knowles website were used to write this post. I found Knowles through a post at Gibson.com. Homepage photo: last.fm [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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