Video Premiere: Davy Knowles “The Only Son”

Photo credit: Michael Coakes

The latest single from Davy Knowles is a beautifully performed confessional.  Immediately, the tone of Knowles’ resonator guitar is striking and we are quickly captivated by the tension and resolution in its warm melody.  Equally impressive is Knowles’ vocal performance, his effortless changes in volume and pitch displaying his range and soulful style.  The approach is simple and direct and all the more emotive and compelling for it.  Knowles says of this approach: “I have owned the instrument I used to write and record this album (a 1932 National Triolian resonator) for 15 years, and have played it onstage all over the world, always in the Delta-Blues style this guitar is synonymous with.  However, as soon as this music emerged from it, I felt like I finally had discovered what this instrument was truly for.”  ‘The Only Son’ addresses a range of themes that are at once personal and universal as Knowles explained to AUK: “‘The Only Son’ was the first song that I wrote for this album, although I should say it’s the song that started the whole idea of an album in this style.  Lyrically it addresses some things I have been struggling with privately for a long time.  The fear of expectations – should I be further along than I am? Should I be doing better? Also, having moved away from my family on the Isle of Man to the US, there comes a guilt. Have I abandoned those closest to me? It also deals with what I call ‘the changing of the guard’, the loss of one generation and my transition into becoming the new responsible party. The removal of an emotional safety net.”  This is a conflict we are all subject to: the known, comfortable and familiar versus our potential futures and new horizons. That tension is exploited perfectly by Knowles throughout this well-crafted song.

Knowles and his previous band Back Door Slam have a sustained track record of critical acclaim, having featured on the television shows ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and ‘Good Morning America’, alongside appearances with the likes of The Who, Jeff Beck, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Bonamassa and Joe Satriani.  The band’s records hit the Billboard blues charts top five on multiple occasions.  In a historic moment, Knowles was actually the first musician to play live to the International Space Station from Mission Control in Houston.  ‘The Only Son’ is taken from Knowles’ upcoming acoustic album ‘If I Should Wander’, due to come out on 25th August 2023.  Known for his blues sound, the new album is a complete departure for Knowles. He says: “This was such a far cry from the music I make my living playing.  Why would anyone following my work in that arena want this? It took a very long time to understand a vital truth. It wasn’t written for them. This is a purely selfish endeavor. Meant only for me and those I hold close.  I couldn’t have been more honest or more open to my own thoughts and feelings at when I wrote these songs.  There was no hiding, no skirting around the subjects.”  Unusually, the songs flowed from Knowles rapidly and they actually appear on the album in the order they emerged.  These intimate, stripped back songs were recorded at home in his music room, just one man, one microphone, one guitar and a lot of heartache.  It’s absorbing stuff and comes highly recommended.

About Andrew Frolish 1440 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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Zoe Watterson

Excellent, intimate knowledge well shared

Bruce Lingelbach

Davy Knowles’ brilliance as a player, singer and songwriter has never been more on display than it is on this great new song “The Only Son”. This level of mastery comes as no surprise to those of us who have been following his music since he was a teenager. Well Done Davy!!!! Congrats!!

Shari

Absolutely amazing!