Ray Davies has been going through his musical “Picture Book” during the past year.
In November, the Kinks frontman released “The Kinks Choral Collection,” a set of the band’s songs arranged for and performed with a choir. He was planning to spend part of this year touring Europe with his 2008 theatrical production, “Come Dancing,” but it was canceled due to logistical reasons. And now he’s in the midst of working with other artists — including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, the Killers, Lucinda Williams and Metallica — on a Kinks covers album.
“I’m not lacking for things to do, nope,” says Davies, 65. “Some of these things I’ve been planning for 10 years, and the way it happens is everything comes at once. That’s the way it goes.
“The good thing is these are ways to show people there’s more to the (Kinks) music than ‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day and All of the Night’ — which I love, but there’s other stuff I want them to know about, too.”
And, Davies adds, there may be more Kinks music in the future — with the Kinks themselves. Though his brother, guitarist Dave Davies, is still recovering from a 2004 stroke, Ray Davies has been in the studio with original drummer Mick Avory and some latter-day Kinks members, which may possibly bring a long-awaited follow-up to 1993’s “Phobia.”
“We’ve got four, five new songs,” Davies says, “and I’m just sort of getting them motivated and seeing what they’re playing like, because I haven’t played with the Kinks for eight or nine years. I’ve discovered there is definitely an interplay between the way Mick plays drums and my vocals ... so it’ll be interesting.
“We’ll have to see how (Dave Davies) reacts to it. “If he’s physically able to do it is another matter, because he was quite seriously ill. But we’re in communication, and we’re not disregarding it yet.”
Ray Davies and the 88 perform at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (March 11) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. Tickets are $35-99.50. Call 734-668-8463 or visit michtheater.org.
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