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Coming Up For Air

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Album Review

Perfectly acknowledging the whirlwind that inevitably happens when you're heir apparent to a litany of great bluesmen at the not-so-tender-anymore age of 22, Davy Knowles chooses an album title that sums up what it's like to follow the frenzy with another great gust of compelling songs and exciting studio activity. It's hard to tell the Isle of Man singer/guitarist's story without dropping some classic rock names, since he and his band, Back Door Slam, have played concerts with everyone from the Who to Buddy Guy and George Thorogood and toured with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Gov't Mule. While many wanted to share stages with this powerful vocalist and brilliant axeman, one legend went a step further. Harking back to his blues-rock roots in Humble Pie, Peter Frampton makes Coming Up for Air his first foray into producing another artist's entire project. The set gets off to a welcome start, simmering then explosive, with the Clapton meets Skynyrd-flavored midtempo title track and the poignant story-song "Riverbed," which are both potential old-school anthem jam-rockers. While Knowles wrote these and a batch of other originals himself, his collaborations are noteworthy. He wrote the sparse, raw ballad "Saving Myself," a low-key ode to lending a helping hand, with Nashville songwriter/guitarist Gary Nicholson, and runs the gamut from sensual and slow-burning to feisty and rocking on his two cuts penned with Frampton, the moody, emotionally searing "You Can't Take This Back" and punchier, blistering guitar-driven "Keep on Searching" (which features Frampton on rhythm and lead guitars and backing vocals). Duetting brilliantly with Jonatha Brooke on her wistful, harmony-driven "Taste of Danger," Knowles also shows a penchant for the jazzier side of the blues, inviting Christian McBride (upright bass) and Joe Sample (Hammond B-3) along for the ride. Perfectly tying past and present together and bridging the generations between Frampton and his contemporary equivalent in Knowles is a sizzling cover of George Harrison's "Hear Me Lord," a choir-infused prayer-anthem whose choir punctuates the message as everything builds to a scorching guitar battle — as Frampton comes alive and passes the torch to the new generation. Anecdotally, Frampton also played on the original Harrison track from All Things Must Pass. Blues-rock fans of all generations will love this brilliant second studio outing from Knowles and his slammin' Back Door Slam.

Customer Reviews

Smokey Goodness

The man is ~ soulful bluesrock. I saw him live with the rhythm devils. As we know, all good things flow from the dead... Knowels took me somewhere viscerally joyous ~ a massively fruitful musical life ahead of him. I'm glad I have tapped in.

Davy Knowles is the future of Blues Guitar

I saw Davy over a year ago when he opened for Chickenfoot at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. No one knew who he was. That lasted about 3 riffs into his set. Everyone was impressed by this "kid". He looks like he is 15 years old, but sounds, plays, and writes way beyond his years. I have subsiquently downloaded all of his albums, 2 studio and one live album, and eagerly await his next offering.

Coming Up For Air, Riverbed, and Tear Down the Walls are all solid rock pieces but you need to also and listen Saving Myself which is an awesome blues throwback. Do yourself a favor and listen to Amber's Song. You'll be humming along with that tune forever. It get's in side your head and never leaves.

Let's hope this kid keeps head screwed on straight an produces music like this for years to come.

Inspiring Blues/Rock!

"Coming up for Air", is not only a GREAT tune, it is the killer opening shot of an OUTSTANDING release that every Clapton, Buddy Guy, Lang, Moore, etc..
fan should have in their collection. Peter Frampton does an admirable job producing. Davy Knowles is that guitarist you'll be wanting to tell your friends about...

Coming Up For Air, Davy Knowles
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Customer Ratings