Open Road (red river Entertainment)
The Kinks guitarist weaves a rich tapestry Dave Davies earned his place in the annals of the popular music hall of fame with one simple act. The story goes that after an argument with his girlfriend, he directed his frustration at his Elpico amplifier, slashing its speaker with a razor blade. Up until that point, the sound he was hearing from said amp was squeaky clean, but now it was harsh and distorted, similar to the tone he had heard on imported American blues and rock ’n’ roll records. In this way, the genre-bending sound of his band, The Kinks, was born – in particular that of You Really Got Me and All Of The Day And All Of The Night.
50 years later, it’s a far mellower side that we meet on this solo release. In actual fact, Open Road is a collaborative effort between Dave and his son, Russ, father and son meeting at a musical point that falls between their own adopted styles – Dave in rock, Russ in dance and electronica. Speaking about the album, Dave says, “Working with my son was a delight and he made me realise a lot about myself. I feel an almost strange magnetic loving energy pervading through the whole work”.
It’s true to say that it wasn’t the album we were expecting, especially after his more recent rock-orientated work. Open Road is a wide open landscape, with simple guitar, bass and drum arrangements, giving space for each song to breathe. It’s an introspective work, the repetitive theme being a childhood left behind, the loss of innocence and the regrets about broken relationships. The result is an endearing wistfulness, especially on songs such as Slow Down and the album’s closer, Chemtrails.
Frequently overshadowed by the prodigious talents of brother Ray, here is an album that shows Dave Davies’ songwriting in a brand-new light. [DM] Standout track: Slow Down For fans of: The Kinks, Ray Davies