Ray Davies Teams With The Jayhawks To Release A New Album

Ray Davies Teams With The Jayhawks To Release A New Album
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Ray Davies Teams With The Jayhawks To Release A New Album
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Image by Paul Carless (CC by 2.0)

Ray Davies announces his first album in nine years with the help of the Jayhawks.

The Kinks’ Ray Davies announced his first new studio album in over nine years. Davies named the album Americana after his 2013 memoir. The album will be released on April 21 via Legacy Records. Ray Davies’ last solo album was 2008’s “Working Man’s Café.”

“Americana” draws inspiration from the memoir’s thoughts on the Kinks’ ban during the 1960s. Furthermore, it will detail his later move to the US and his love/hate relationship with the country. For example, the teaser track, Poetry, criticizes US commercialization. Featuring the Jayhawks’ classic and distinctive sound, Davies sings,

“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?”

NPR first debuted the track. They also posted “Americana’s” 15-track list.

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The album art for Ray Davies’ new album, Americana. Image by NPR

Ray Davies, Americana

1. “Americana”

2. “The Deal”

3. “Poetry”

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”

“Americana” prominently features Minnesota country rock-legends the Jayhawks as the backing band. They joined Ray Davies at his Konk Studio in London last January. In Message From The Road, Davies teams up with the Jayhawks’ keyboardist Karen Grotberg. The album lists John Jackson, a utility player for the group, as a co-producer alongside Beatles reissue specialist Guy Massey. Previously, the Jayhawks backed Dave Davies, Ray’s brother, in his 2013 solo album, “I Will Be Me.”

Although not a solo album, in 2010, Davies put out a collaborative album, “See My Friends,” which featured Metallica. More recently, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Davies. Davies joined Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison and Rod Stewart. Davies told the BBC,

Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write.

In 2003, David Bowie turned down the offer. He stated,

“I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”