The title fits well with his debut on Provogue Records, What Happens Next, where roots musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist Davy Knowles takes a bold step forward with timeless and complex songs with a licked modern soundscape and a descriptive, song-adapted guitar playing that takes in soul, folk, rock and blues. The album’s 12 songs are as inspired by The Black Keys, Fantastic Negrito, Gary Clark Jr as Muddy Waters, Junior Kinbrough and R.L: Burnside. It is a coherent work rather than a collection of songs.
“When we were recording the record, it was all about carrying the songs instead of ‘how fast can I get to the guitar solo,'” says the Isle of Man-born but Chicago-based artist and laughs. “I’m not a puritan and the way for roots music to remain relevant is to adapt and develop.” Whatt Happens Next was produced by Eric Corne (John Mayall, Joe Walsh, Joe Bonamassa) and is a step away from Knowles’ uplifted and reverent shooting of blues and americana with poetic songs and heartfelt touching vocals. The 12-song strong collection offers both highs and lows with strong riffs, jazzy ballads and ancient soul before it culminates in one of Knowle’s most personal songs to date. Throughout the album, his fine guitar playing runs like a common thread and his accompaniment is skilful and dynamic. The album opens with Light of the Moon which is a rocking riffing rock song with vibes from the 60’s with organ, infectious choruses in minor and passionate soul-soaked singing. Here his solo drips of sustain, vibrato and sublimely bluesy melodies.
Knowles made a name for himself at the age of 20 with his then band Back Door Slam which received rave reviews and appeared on American TV (Jimmy Kimmel Live, Good Morning America), got lots of A-radio shows and two top 5 placements on Billboards blues list. Since then, he is a solo artist and has independently released two more albums, The Outsider (2014) and Three Miles From Avalon (2016) which also entered the top 5 on Billboard’s blues album list. He received his approval and was embraced by D’Addario guitar strings, PRS guitars, Bludotone amplifiers and Celestion speakers. He also became the first musician to play live directly to the International Space Station (ISS) from the control room in Houston. He has also shared the stage with heavyweights such as The Who, Jeff Beck, Gov’t Mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Joe Bonamassa, Sonny Landreth, Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani and Sammy Hagar among many others. Although the songs on What Happens Next contain more concise guitar solos, his fans’ love of his flywheel style need not worry that his craze for blues rock has disappeared. Knowles says: “This record has taught me to hold back a little on my guitar playing. I had to tame it a bit so that the songs could breathe, but I look forward to changing them and stretching out as we play live. ”
‘What Happens Next’ by Davy Knowles
1. Light of the Moon
2. Heartbreak Or Nothing
3. Roll Me
4. Get Lucky
5. Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
6. One & the Same
7. Solid Ground
9. Side Show
10. Hell to Pay
11. Wake Me Up When The Nightmare Is Over
13. If I Ever Meet My Maker