Tone Deaf Records

New - Knowles, Davy - What Happens Next - LP

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Since he was a teen, guitarist and singer-songwriter, Davy Knowles, has shown fierce dedication and devotion to the blues. As a solo artist and a member of Back Door Slam, he conjured the rock-tinged majesty of 1960s Brit-blues; the dazzling virtuosity of 1960s Chicago electric blues; and the hypnotic, one-chord thump of North Mississippi Hill country blues. For his oeuvre and his fiery performances, legendary guitarists and respected musical instrument and accessory companies have heaped on accolades and awarded him brand partnerships.

On his Provogue Records' debut, aptly titled 'What Happens Next', Knowles bravely takes the step beyond resting on his laurels, his hard-fought credibility, and his widely recognized instrumental prowess. He puts it all on the line with timeless and cohesive songwriting, sleek and nuanced production, and a lyrical, play-for-the-song guitar approach informed from soul, folk, and blues. Here, the Isle of Man-born, Chicago, Illinois-based artist's poetic songwriting, and his soulfully emotive singing steal the show. What Happens Next was produced by award-winning producer, songwriter, and engineer, Eric Corne (John Mayall, Joe Walsh, Joe Bonamassa). 'What Happens Next' is something of a departure from these releases, and Knowles's fired-up and reverent take on blues and Americana. "I'm not a purist, and the way for roots music to stay relevant is to adapt and progress," he shares. "The field hollers Alan Lomax recorded are worlds apart from Muddy Waters' music, but they come from the same place." In this spirit, 'What Happens Next' is just as influenced by The Black Keys, Fantastic Negrito, Gary Clark Jr., as it is Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, and R.L. Burnside. It is a cohesive body of work, rather than a collection of disparate songs. It offers forth a peaks-and-valleys album experience winding through brawny riffs, jazzy blues balladry, and vintage soul. "This album taught me about restraint in terms of guitar playing," says Knowles. "I had to reign it in to let the songs breathe, but I am looking forward to reimagining them and stretching out when we play live."