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Critics' Choice
RAY DAVIES SHARES HIS VISION
OF AMERICA ON SOLO ALBUM
1/23/17

When The Kinks masters from the 1970s moved to Sony Music’s Legacy unit in 2014, there were rumors that a Ray Davies solo record would soon follow. That becomes a reality on 4/21 when Legacy Recordings releases Americana, Davies’ first album of new music in more than nine years.

Americana, a 15-track collection of originals—one of which gave us an acid flashback, “The Long Drive Home to Tarzana”—is based on his 2013 memoir that  chronicled the role America played in Davies’ life from being blacklisted from touring in the 1960s to making homes in New York and New Orleans.

Davies tapped The Jayhawks as his backing band, and recorded the album in London at Konk, the studio founded by The Kinks in 1973. 

The album also features a number of short spoken-word passages from Davies’ memoir. A second volume to Americana will be a released later in 2017. (He did that once before with two volumes of The Kinks’ Preservation.)

While Davies made a live album and film score under his own name, he did not release a solo record until 2006 (Other People’s Lives). He followed that a year later with Working Man’s Café, and in 2010, released a star-filled collection of newly recorded Kinks classics. The song “Poetry” is streaming now via NPR Music.