The family that plays together… legend Dave Davies collaborates with his son

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Dave Davies has a history of keeping it all in the family.

The guitarist made his name as a member of the legendary band The Kinks with his brother Ray Davies.

And now, Dave released a new album March 31 that he recorded with his son Russ Davies called “Open Road.”.

Although Dave is the better known musician of the pair because of his standing in rock and roll history (his guitar sound on “You Really Got Me” is credited with giving birth to heavy metal, for instance), Russ is no Johnny-Come-Lately to music. He’s been working the electronic dance music scene and has released 15 albums.

The new collaboration, said Dave in a phone call from New Jersey, was initiated about a year ago. The father-and-son had already made a few albums, things that were more experimental, and more about creating sonic landscapes.

But this time, said Dave, he and Russ wanted to record a more pop and rock album, with songs they could sing.

“Our voices are very complementary,” said Dave, who will be performing in Hartord on Thursday, April 16.

When the process began for “Open Road,” Dave said he and Russ would share an idea here or an idea there. Sometimes Russ would begin the process with some music, and then Dave would embellish that. Then the creative process would be a back and forth discussion between Russ and himself. The songs grew organically out of that process. “It’s a true collaboration of ideas.”

“It’s a very exciting project,” said Dave.

Although they are related, Dave said the process was not tied to blood.

“Once we got that father-son thing out of the way, it was two writers working together,” said Dave.

However, the two did have a “psychic connection when it came to ideas and we found it really helpful.”

Dave did find his son was a bit of a task master when it came to recording the album.

“It was very demanding (working with my son),” said Dave. “Russ is very determined.”

“It was hard work but it was worth it in the end,” said Dave.

Although Russ has pursued a different kind of music for his career, Dave said it wasn’t hard for the duo to mesh. “He’s had access to my music (all his life).”

Some artists who have been around as long as Dave has, who has a long and fruitful career with The Kinks, would be willing to sit back and rest on the accomplishments of his younger days. But, Dave continues to record new material, as evidenced by “Open Road.”

“I like the stimulation of coming up with new ideas. That excites me. You’re creating something. That feeling is really stimulating, trying things out.”

When Dave comes to the Infinity Hall in Hartford, he will be traveling solo with his band and Russ will be off doing his own thing. But, said Dave, he expects two or three new songs from the album will be in the set list.

For the show, Dave said he will be performing some of his favorite songs from The Kinks. He also will be performing selections from his solo career.

“There’s quite a bit music,” said Dave.

Speaking of the Kinks, which has been on a long hiatus, Dave said there had been some discussion with Ray about doing something with the band. However, efforts have been sidetracked while Dave promotes his album and Ray is working on a solo project as well.

Once Dave gets back from the road, he said he expects and his brother will be speaking once again about the future of The Kinks.

Dave Davies comes to the Infinity Hall, 32 Front St., Hartford on Sunday April 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $79.

For more information, go to www.infinityhall.com or davedavies.com

Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.

Dave Davies, best known for his work with the Kinks, comes to Hartford Sunday.