This past Sunday, I was able to see Back Door Slam opening for James McMurtry at 3rd and Lindsley. I really liked the songs I’d heard from Back Door Slam prior to the show, so I was looking forward to it. I wasn’t disappointed.
Guitarist Davy Knowles is a phenomenal guitar player. His obvious influences are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Robert Cray. However, Knowles is not a clone of these artists. He brings his own style to the genre.
During the show, they played a mixture of original songs and covers, with the covers including John Hiatt’s Riding with the King, Robert Cray’s Back Door Slam (from which they took their name), and Hendrix’s Red House. The standout of the night for me was the cover of Red House. The band was really locked in tight during the song, and Knowles really shined.
My friend Taylor commented that the bass player is an unsung hero in a trio like this, and I would agree. Bassist Adam Jones and drummer Ross Doyle both played great during the show and really created a great foundation for Knowles to play over.
Although James McMurtry played a solid set of music, I wish that I could have seen more of Back Door Slam. What I did see was fantastic, and Davy Knowles is certainly one of the best young guitarists I’ve seen in quite a while. If you have the chance to see them live, I’d highly recommend it. I plan on catching them the next time they travel back through Nashville. The video below is of Back Door Slam playing Red House at the South By Southwest Festival in 2007.