Posted On 22 Oct 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Black Door Slam, Celtic, CHICAGO, Davy Knowles, Dire Straits, Gov't Mule, Inside The Outsider, International Space Station, Island Bound, Isle Of Man, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Satriani, Keep Blues Alive, Nicole Stott, Peter Frampton, RIchard Thompson, Ron Garan, Rory Gallagher, Steve Chrisanthou, Sultans Of Swing, The Outsider, The Soiled Dove Underground, Warren Haynes
“The Outsider” is the name of the blues/rock/roots musician, Davy Knowles latest and third studio album. After 500+ shows, 2 ‘Billboard’ charting studio albums, 2 dvd’s and 2 live albums, this Chicago based performer is no Outsider when it comes to songwriting, recording and playing live!
Learn more about this very talented artist in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time today! How’s your summer been going?
It’s really been fantastic so far, great to be back on the road.
How’s your September tour been going? Any favorite venues and/or crowds yet? What do you think ultimately makes the perfect show?
It’s been wonderful. It’s a real treat to play these new songs live – I’ve always felt they really grow into themselves the more you tour them. It gives you chance to stretch out, the spontaneity of a live performance has always been my big thrill. The Soiled Dove Underground in Denver is a firm favourite. A great sounding room and friendly, competent staff are totally key. Good food never hurts either!
Can you talk about being invited by Joe Bonamassa to play on the upcoming “Keep Blues Alive” Cruise? Do you have any expectations for that? When does this cruise begin and end?
It’s lovely to get the invite. We’ll be away February 15th -19th, as well as dotting a few other shows around it on dry land. I’m looking forward to playing, obviously, but also tremendously excited about checking out the other acts on-board.
Growing up, can you recall the moment when you decided you wanted to pursue music full-time?
I was 11. My dad played me ‘Sultans Of Swing’ by Dire Straits. That was it for me. I became totally engrossed in music, the history of it, the people behind the stories and songs. Everything else went out the window.
Can you talk about “Inside The Outsider”? What are these episodes all about? Why did you decide to release these?
The recording process for this album was a little more involved, more layered guitar parts, different things here and there. I figured it might be nice to show people how the songs came about, and a little of what went into them to get them sounding like they do on the album. Also, being a bit of a guitar gear geek, it was fun to talk about which equipment was used to get the noises I was after. I released it purely cause I enjoy looking and listening to ‘behind the scenes’ stuff, and thought other people might get a kick out of it.
How do you think the music on your third studio album, “The Outsider” is different then your previously released collections?
It was recorded over quite a long period of time, and I think that granted me a little freedom and chance to experiment. Steve Chrisanthou, who produced it, really pushed me vocally, and we explored using more harmonies, which I adore. There are still those raw ‘band in a room’ moments, but I do feel there are more subtleties on this album.
Certainly. I was born and raised on the Isle Of Man, which is a Celtic nation. It’s everywhere, and the older I get, the more I enjoy and relate to it. The song ‘Island Bound’ from the new album is heavily influenced by Celtic music. I love the acoustic textures, even using electric guitar on top of them. I’m a huge fan of mandolin, and try to play it as often as I can. It’s a beautiful sound.
You’ve gotten to work with plenty of amazing musicians. What collaboration has really stood out to you the most? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
I’ve been ever so lucky. Warren Haynes really pushed me, it was a great education being on the road with Gov’t Mule. Joe Satriani has been ever so kind and supportive. Recording the previous album with Peter Frampton was just mind blowing. Wonderful human being, and such an inspiration.
It would be fantastic to work with Richard Thompson. I’m a huge fan.
What artists have consistently inspired you and your music through the years?
Rory Gallagher remains a very heavy influence. His no-nonsense, honest music (and character) is very inspiring. He ruled the stage when he played, full of fire. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the music he loved.
I mentioned him earlier, but Richard Thompson is another inspiration for me. I interviewed him recently for the Island Bound documentary, and he is an absolute mine of knowledge and information. One of the very greatest songwriters and guitarists Britain has produced.
Oh gosh. I think maybe having my albums go up to the International Space Station with both Astronaut Nicole Stott, and Astronaut Ron Garan. That is a very surreal thing.
Perhaps though, it’s just the fact I’m still doing it. I’ve always dreamed of being a professional musician, and to be actually doing it, and for a good while now, is such a huge thrill. I have a lot of ‘pinch me’ moments about that.
You’ve had experience being solo and a lot of experience being a part of a group with Back Door Slam and others. Do you think that you have a preference when it comes to the recording process?
It certainly helps to have other creative ears on what you’re doing. I’m not sure anyone can really do it entirely on their own. A positive environment is a must though. I’ve been in situations where things get a little tense, and it’s just not conducive to making something worthwhile.
What do you hope is the message of your music?
I think it depends song to song. I love stories, so I hope people see that come through in a few tunes. More than anything incredibly profound, I just hope it is enjoyed.