Joe Satriani refers to Davy Knowles as “My favorite modern bluesman.” Legendary rocker Peter Frampton calls him “…the gunslinger guitarist of the 21st century.”
Saturday at The Lariat, 206 E Main Street, Davy Knowles brings his three-piece group back to town, offering what he calls “an unpretentious, old-fashioned rock show with a bit of blues thrown in.”
From appearances on television such as Jimmy Kimmel and “Austin City Limits” to festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo to touring with Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, The Who and Kid Rock, Davy Knowles has left footprints in the heart of music.
Knowles career started by listening to his father’s album collection as a child, growing up on the Isle of Man. “From a young age, I heard John Mayall, Clapton and all of the British blues boom acts. That sound has been close to my heart ever since.”
Knowles mastered the guitar while making the rounds at local clubs on the Isle of Man. His music has since circled the globe, touring the United Kingdom, Europe, Indonesia, Japan and Australia. His sounds have even made it to the stars when he was one of only a handful of artists invited to play live for astronauts on the International Space Station, from mission control in Houston.
His attraction to the blues is complicated. “It’s a combination of things,” Knowles said. “The way I heard it played originally was super aggressive electric guitar, open to interpretation. I loved the freedom of that basic framework.”
While styles of music come and go, blues seems eternal, and according to Knowles, the future looks bright for the genre.
“Blues seems pretty alive and well. Most towns in the U.S. have a blues festival. Surely, that is a perfect sign of the health of things.”
Knowles believes the key to a strong future for blues is progress, paying respect to influences while putting an individual stamp on the sound.
“I’d never dream of playing like B.B. King. He’s already done that. It’s important to put your imprint on it, to do your own thing.”
For his part, Knowles draws on a lifetime of experiences to create his sound. “I can’t relate to depression because I’ve been very fortunate. But blues doesn’t have to be sad music. There is a joyful side to it, and that’s what I try to focus on.”
Now living in Chicago, Knowles picked up a guitar at the age of 11, inspired by the sounds of Dire Straits, particularly their hit single, “Sultans of Swing.” “Something about that song made me a massive fan.” From there, Knowles’ musical journey went backward, revisiting old blues artists and drawing on their music.
Today, Davy Knowles has charted in the top five on Billboard with three of his blues albums. He is currently working on a new collection and will play many new songs during his Buena Vista show.
Colorado blues artists AJ Fullerton opens the show at 7 p.m. Davy Knowles takes the stage at 10 p.m.