When the Nashville City Winery announced its opening in the fall of 2014, one of its featured initial shows was a November 30, 2014 Dave Davies show that never came to pass. Some two and a half years later, the legendary Kinks guitarist finally made it to the Winery stage in Music City.
Playing in a trio format with two Americans, drummer Dennis Diken (The Smithereens) and bass player David Nolte (The Last), this second of two consecutive nights at the venue marked the closing show of their brief US tour.
The musically-magnificent 90-minute performance featured a set list that would satisfy any Kinksologist. The remarkable 20-song selection featured only three not from the 1960s. Two were from Dave’s latest solo effort, Open Road and the other was 1984’s “Living on a Thin Line” from the Kinks’ MTV-revitalized second career. The others were a mixture of expected Kinks classics and songs that featured Dave on lead vocals. The former also included Dave crossing over to sing on some that his older brother sang on record, and the latter included rare singles and B-sides.
Watching Dave perform, it’s hard to not think of how much he looks like his brother Ray. And while Dave may not have all of Sir Ray’s vocal skills, there is certainly a genetic resemblance that resonates. His guitar playing didn’t disappoint either and included his classic “licks heard around the world” from “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.” Having suffered a serious stroke in 2004, the only sign of this set back seemed to be Dave’s reliance on sheet music on a music stand which he stood behind most of the time.
A lady introduced only as “Rebecca” joined the band for backing vocals on two songs. One of these was Dave’s signature “Death of a Clown” where see nicely layered in the “la, la, la’s.” I meant to check, but I have a feeling Rebecca might have also been selling Dave’s merch! (Feedback later revealed that she was in fact Dave’s girlfriend.)
Many, including myself, list The Kinks as the #4 band of the 60’s British Invasion behind The Beatles, Stones and Who. They are a band with a remarkably deep catalog that includes many hidden treasures. Dave Davies recent shows opened that treasure chest and made for a well-received and entertaining evening. At age 70, he’s really still got it.
- Open Road (2017 Dave Davies from Open Road)
- I Need You (1965 The Kinks single B-side) #
- She’s Got Everything (1968 The Kinks single B-side) #
- Creeping Jean (1969 Dave Davies single B-side and later The Kinks bonus track to Village Green Preservation Society)
- Tired of Waiting for You (1965 The Kinks single from Kinda Kinks) #
- Susannah’s Still Alive (1967 Dave Davies single)
- Love Me till the Sun Shines (1967 Dave Davies single B-side and The Kinks from Something Else by the Kinks)
- See My Friends (1965 The Kinks single) #
- Path is Long (2017 Dave Davies from Open Road)
- Strangers (1970 The Kinks from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One)
- Too Much on My Mind (1966 The Kinks from Face to Face) #
- Young and Innocent Days (1969 The Kinks from Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)) #
- I Am Free (1965 The Kinks from The Kink Kontroversy)
- Death of a Clown (1967 Dave Davies single and The Kinks from Something Else by the Kinks)
- Dead End Street (1966 The Kinks single) #
- Living on a Thin Line (1984 The Kinks from Word of Mouth)
- Where Have All the Good Times Gone (1965 The Kinks from The Kink Kontroversy)
- All Day and All of the Night (1964 The Kinks single and from Kinks-Size) #
- I’m Not Like Everybody Else (1966 The Kinks single B-side)
- You Really Got Me (1964 The Kinks single and from Kinks) #
# original Kinks vocals by Ray Davies
Dave Davies—lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
Rebecca Wilson— backing vocals