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Interview:
Davy Knowles at Callahan's, 3 things to know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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When Davy Knowles was 11 years old and growing up on the U.K.'s Isle of Man, he heard Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" on the radio in his father's car.

"And from that moment on I just needed to know how to do that," he remembers.

That he has. Knowles picked up the guitar soon thereafter, and after leading the band Back Door Slam for the better part of seven years he went off on his own, had his debut solo album (2009's "Coming Up For Air") produced by Peter Frampton and has been hitting it hard on the road, from festivals to support slots for Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and others.

Now living in Chicago with his fiance, Knowles recorded his just-released third solo album, "Three Miles From Avalon," in the Windy City, and he's planning "an enormous amount" of touring to find fans to take the journey with him...

Knowles, 29, went old school in making "Three Miles From Avalon," which he says was a direct reaction to the more polished approach of his last album, 2014's "The Outsider." "The previous record -- which I'm really proud of -- just took so long to make," he explains by phone from his home in the Windy City. "I thought, 'Right, the best thing I could possibly do here is get the band, 'cause we've been playing together such a long time, and get in the studio.' I had this whole bunch of kind of blues and rock tunes I'd been kicking around for awhile, so I thought, 'Let's go band this one out in a few days.' I wanted to go back and do this the old-fashioned way, just a well-rehearsed band and get in and play. And we did the whole thing in about three and half days -- the whole thing to tape, too, which was great.

The "Avalon" track "What You're Made Of" pays homage to the late Rory Gallagher, one of Knowles' biggest influences. "I'm such a huge Rory Gallagher fan," he says. "Because I grew up on the Isle Of Man, I could hear his kind of Celtic inflections and his upbringing that he brought to the table. That was a bit of a revelation for me; I thought, "Wow, I didn't think you could combine those things." Where you're from is such a huge part of what you do. That was a huge lesson to learn. I never got to see him, but from all the footage I've seen he was just a force nature, that man. He has this great kind of work ethic instilled in his music, so I wanted to get that in there as part of mine as well."

Knowles loves living in Chicago, but you won't find him caught up in the Cubs furor sweeping the city during this year's baseball playoffs. "I'm (a fan) only be default," he says. "I can't really get into sport, really. Ever now and then we'll go to Wrigley and get the expensive, terrible hot dogs and expensive, terrible beer. It's always good fun. But I'm not really a big sports guy, no."

Davy Knowles

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.

Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd.

Tickets are $15 and $12.50.

Call 248-858-9508 or visit atcallahans.com.




Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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