Craig first became aware of Davy Knowles through live concert recordings he found online. We quickly became fans of the young bluesman's guitar playing and songwriting. We bought some albums and decided that we wanted to see him live. We pick and choose concerts carefully these days. With Craig's MS, crowds can be intimidating. Standing / general admission shows are pretty much a non-starter.
We heard that Davy had played at 9 Wallis in Beverly, one of the best sounding, intimate venues in the area, last year. We thought that we had missed our chance to see him in such a small venue, but we were delighted when they announced that he would be returning over the summer!
The venue has cabaret-style table seating as well as a couple rows of chairs on the side of the stage. We bought two tickets at a table in the center, which was about 7 feet from the stage. We were really looking forward to it.
It turned out that Davy needed to reschedule June 23 show, for family reasons. The venue honored all tickets for the rescheduled date, October 5. In the meanwhile, we listened to more of his music and our anticipation grew.
On October 5, the doors opened at 7 p.m. We enjoyed some drinks, pulled pork sliders, and a caramel brownie. We ran into our old friend Ann, whom we hadn't seen in years.
A guy came in and sat in the chairs alongside the stage. We thought he looked like "someone," he had a musician's style. Seeing him reminded us of the time we had seen Peter Wolf sitting a row behind us in the audience for Tom Waits. I guess we were picking up on the right vibes, as it turned out to be Johnny A, who had come to sit in with Davy for a jam. We were familiar with him by name but not by sight, and it turns out that he was actually Peter Wolf's music director for years.
Davy looked like a 90's grunge kid as he took the stage in his Record Store Day T-shirt under a blue and black plaid flannel shirt. He started by thanking the audience for their patience with the rescheduling of the show. He was genuinely humbled and said that it meant the world to him. The show was sold out, almost 4 months after the originally scheduled date. We were just happy that it was rescheduled to be after we had returned from our recent trip to Australia!
We've seen footage of Davy playing some amazing acoustic guitar (we love his slide work on his 1932 National guitar). This show wasn't about that...it was straight up, blow your face off electric blues. The set was a great mixture of covers and originals. Watching Davy's guitar virtuosity up close and personal was really amazing. The interplay between Davy and Johnny A was really great to witness; they were obviously having a lot of fun playing together.
After the show, he appeared almost immediately at the merch table. We chatted with him for a few minutes and he was quite friendly and gracious. I asked if we could get a photo. He said he was pretty experienced with selfies, and held my phone up to get a lovely shot of the three of us. His smile really lights up a room.
Davy Knowles is a rising star who can hold his own among the blues greats. We are looking forward to seeing him again the next time he plays in the area!
Guitar/Vocals: Davy Knowles
Drums: Jeremy Cunningham
Bass: Tod Bowers
Special Guest: Johnny A
- Catch the Moon
- Every Man for Himself
- Stand Your Ground
- Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
- Ain't Too Late
- Oxford, MS
- Fisherman's Blues
- Fire on the Bayou (with Johnny A)
- Hoochie Coochie Man (with Johnny A)
- Dear Mr. Fantasy (with Johnny A)
- Tear Down the Walls
- Still Got Work to Do
- Almost Cut My Hair