13
Mar
08

Ray Davies back with another fine solo effort

As lead singer/songwriter for the Kinks, Ray Davies is known the world over for his influential 1960s classics, including “You Really Got Me.”  He was honored several years ago as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, cementing his status as one of Britain’s leading musicians of the 20th century.  Of late he has released two solo albums, both critically praised.  Working Man’s Cafe released last month is comparable to 2006’s “Other People’s Lives”, if a bit uneven at points.  At its best, including the opening stomp of “Vietnam Cowboys,” the album feels more urgent and more pointed, while maintaining a refreshing lyrical humor.  It seems being shot in 2004 on the streets of New Orleans has awakened Davies’s creative spirit, and his songs continue to address the changing political and socioeconomic landscape of our times.

Check out “Vietnam Cowboys” – a screed on the globalization of labor that should have opened the Obama-Clinton debate in Cleveland…

Also, worth seeing is his performance of “In a Moment” last month on Letterman.  I would say Paul Shaffer is enjoying himself on keys and backing vocals!  Davies plays the Chicago Theatre on April 1st.

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