Dave Davies

Open Road (red river En­ter­tain­ment)

Guitarist - - Music -

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

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