The Jayhawks Back Ray Davies on New Album ‘Americana’
On April 21, Ray Davies, the legendary frontman of the Kinks, will release a solo album called Americana. Backing up Davies on the record are the Jayhawks, and they've released the lead single, "Poetry," which you can stream below.
A press release says that Americana is autobiographical, stemming from his 2013 memoir about his fascination with the U.S., Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story, which includes his takes on the Kinks' four-year ban by the American Federation of Musicians and when Davies was shot in New Orleans. The singer has incorporated spoken-word passages from the book into the album, and he expects to release a second volume later this year.
"Poetry" made its debut on NPR and its lyrics concern a long-running fascination for Davies, the search for beauty in a world bombarded by materialism. As he sings in the first chorus, "I kneel down and say grace for the comforts the world bestows on me / And the great corporations providing our every need / And those big neon signs telling us what to eat / And every shop window goods are designed to please / Oh but I ask / Where is the poetry?"
The Jayhawks contribute their folk-rock sound and trademark harmonies to "Poetry," and the band's Karen Grotberg duets with Davies on "Message From the Road." It was produced by Guy Massey and John Jackson at London's Konk Studios, which was founded by the Kinks in 1973.
Ray Davies, 'Americana' Track Listing
2. "The Deal"
4. "Message From the Road"
5. "A Place in Your Heart"
6. "The Mystery Room"
7. "Silent Movie"
8. "Rock 'N' Roll Cowboys"
9. "Change for Change"
10. "The Man Upstairs"
11. "I’ve Heard That Beat Before"
12. "A Long Drive Home to Tarzana"
13. "The Great Highway"
14. "The Invaders"
15. "Wings of Fantasy"
Listen to Ray Davies' "Poetry"
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