Title - 'Rippin Up New York City: Live at the City Winery'
Artist - Dave Davies
Kinks legend Dave Davies, after some time off, last year brought us a brand new solo album of all-original material. Rippin’ Up Time, much like this one, released on Red River Entertainment, was produced by Davies and David Nolte and featured 10 original new songs written in the classic Kinks style that fans of all ages have always loved.
Taking that studio mentality, and new album of inspiration on a small tour, Davies performed live at the City Winery in NYC last year. Recorded on November 24th and 25th, just a month after the studio album was released, Rippin' Up New York City: Live at the City Winery is a very solid live effort from one of the music industries true legends.
Having already made great progress in his recovery from a stroke, after a quick 38-second introduction, this new live album opens with the rock title track, 'Rippin' Up Time,' before heading into an early Kinks song, 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else.' Weirdly, as one assumes that this album was another promotional tool for Davies to hock the previous new studio album, we don't hear another new track until halfway through this live set. 'I Need You' (another early Kinks track) is backed by both early Davies solo work, 'Creepin' Jean' and 'Suzannah's Still Alive,' before Davies makes us aware that 'See My Friend' is one of his "favorite Kinks song". After introducing the band, the Ray Davies-penned 'See My Friend' is followed by Davies commenting that the next song, 'Strangers' proves that "None of us are really strangers. We are all connected.” After that track, Davies then asks the audience if there are any requests that they would like played and so after en mass of suggestions come forth, Davies decides on a solo track, 'Flowers In The Rain,' before giving us the new track, 'Front Room.'
On this last track, Davies reflects about his house growing up in Denmark Street, looking out through his front room window, but the song is too overly-packed with references and shout outs to be a cohesive track; especially live. 'King Of Karaoke' is next, and is followed by 'Death Of A Clown,' 'Livin' On A Thin Line,' before both 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone' and then, what has to be obviously called out as being the most anticipated moment of the album, great live versions of both 'All Day And All Of The Night' and, finally, You Really Got Me.'
In truth, I like some, definitely not all, of the new songs, the writing is as solid as ever, but his vocal power isn't quite there yet live. OK, look, I'm not expecting that 17 year-old who can create magic with his guitar to suddenly spring forth, once again, but his ability to still excite me musically - albeit in patches - reminds me (in flashbacks) to what established the Kinks as one of Rock's great power groups.