A legend hits the stage in Northwest Indiana this weekend. The Kinks' co-founding member Dave Davies will rock Hobart's Art Theatre, 230 Main St. in downtown Hobart April 19 for 7 p.m. performance.
The show will likely include a cavalcade of songs from the iconic British Invasion guitarist's five decades of making music both as a Kink and a solo artist.
Davies' newest release is a compilation of older, some might say "lost" songs written and recorded many years ago. The collection, "Dave Davies: Decade," features previously unreleased tunes recorded between 1971-1979. They've been newly resurrected and re-mastered with the help of his sons, Simon and Martin Davies. Along with brothers Daniel and Russ Davies, the siblings have each followed various paths into the family business of entertainment.
The lead single, "Cradle To The Grave," has received several thousand hits since being uploaded last October, helping generate sales while also serving to put Davies back on the public radar. A handful of songs from "Decade" are featured in the current live set.
While his brother Ray Davies may have written a lion's share of the Kinks' hits, Dave was a frequent collaborator in sculpting the band's sound. To underscore that, Dave single-handedly came up with the signature distorted power chord of the Kinks' first hit, "You Really Got Me," kick-starting the "garage rock" sound of the mid-to-late 1960s.
That famous sound was created when Davies took a razor blade to the speaker cone on his amplifier, making "You Really Got Me" the first mainstream hit anchored by guitar distortion, thus inspiring a generation of heavy metal and punk rock guitarists who followed in his wake.
Davies solo career began during the Kinks' heyday, with his 1967 solo singles, "Death Of A Clown," "Susannah's Still Alive," and a few others but it did not begin in earnest until the release of his full length 1980 debut LP, "Dave Davies (AFL1-3603)." Ever since, Davies has continued to release new music that both reflects his Kinks'-era sound, and takes him to far-reaching new musical frontiers.
The Times spoke to Davies just after the release of his most recent studio album, 2017's "Open Road," a collection that featured co-writes, performances and production by his son, Russ Davies. That album's lead off song, "Path Is Long," became a music video utilizing old family film footage of Davies as a child along with current footage and even some historic Kinks clips.
"Russ and I have a great time collaborating together. Yes, the album is a little different from my more recent stuff," Davies said, while referring to his 2014 solo album "Rippin' Up Time" and 2013's "I Will Be Me." Both LPs featured a more guitar-driven direction and embraced more of a Kinks-esque sound. Over the years, Davies has proven to be anything but predictable.
The two previously collaborated on 2010's "Two Worlds," which took the senior Davies into much different musical territory. Very experimental in its approach, that collection had much more in common with such Euro-Rock progressive-electronic groups as Gong or Tangerine Dream than anything previously found in the Davies catalog.
"It did take things to a different place, but it wasn't the first time going there," he said. "It was a continuation really of an earlier album Russ and I did together called 'Purusha and the Spiritual Planet. 'Two Worlds' just took things a bit further, in that it was more of a science-fiction, outer space story. We had a lot of fun writing and making those albums, but the 'Open Road' album is a bit more guitar-based and has more rock songs."
While "Open Road" may mark a more mainstream return in the overall sound, the younger Davies' influence and sonic fingerprints are clearly felt on many songs, including the title track, which has ambient leanings. "Yes," agreed Davies. "I think this album is a happy meld between our two different styles of playing and that Russ' production style is quite impressive and (balances) that sound."
After recovering from various health issues over the years, including a 2004 stroke, Davies has maintained a level of excellence with latter day projects that remain on par with the best of his past works.
"I don't know where things will go next," Davies said. "I'm just very happy to still be going down the path and finding that people are willing to go down it with me."