GG Davies 1

GG Davies – Soul Shine

GG Davies grew up in Sydney and now resides in Far North Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest. Bankrupt and divorced, music kept his soul shining. Just ahead of his performance at Black Mountain Unplugged, we had a chat to the bluesman himself George Davies about his new album “Soul Shine”.

Mitch Sullivan: What’s the meaning behind the album name?

George Davies: “Soul Shine” is an Allman Bros song I always used to finish my night with. When we come to the album we were supposed to finish with (All Along The) Watchtower but it didn’t work out, so I just said to Dal Smart what about if we did Soul Shine just as a finisher and he agreed.

Mitch Sullivan: You used an absolute stellar line up of local musicians on the CD. How did you go about assembling the band?

George Davies: That was all Dal Smarts doing. We had certain musicians picked for the album but when some things fell through the cracks we had backups. We had Dave Breeze on slide, Kirk Steele on piano, Vivien Aisi Lyons on vocals, Enzo Russo on bass as well as Dal and Mitch Steele on drums. It’s the first time I never got stressed while doing an album, it was all fun from the get go.

Mitch Sullivan: What was it like working with Dal Smart and how big of an influence was he in shaping the sound of the album?

George Davies: It was really great, highly recommended. We just let the musicians bring their own piece to the album. I just gave him an outline and then he suggested something, it was all done as a team but you could say mainly that it shaped through Dal’s ideas.

Mitch Sullivan: Track 5 ‘Don’t Go Gentle, Into That Good Night’ has a bit of a Jim Morrison/The Doors like groove about it. Whose ideas where behind that feel in the studio?

George Davies: Thank you for the compliment that’s who we were trying for. It was a dedication song for a dear mate of mine Jim. It’s a very heavy track, I like the outcome. I basically out layed the bones and Dal built on that, he produced that great sound.

Mitch Sullivan: You’ve been playing ‘Motherless Child’ live for quite some time, do you like to try and test your songs before the recording process?

George Davies: There are some songs that really feel right for me and ever since I heard Ritchie Havens I always wanted to put it on an album somewhere. Now I’m not saying my version sounds like Ritchie’s, it’s all about interpretation as you well know. My projects from now on are going to consists of the same formula, some originals and also some classic blues.

Mitch Sullivan: It’s a good formula George!

George Davies: Yes it’s in my comfort zone and so I am very grateful. I try to take you back to the 60s/70s blues to make it new again, with a few originals thrown in.

Mitch Sullivan: How long did the writing process take for this album? Are you always writing songs or did you specifically write for this cd?

George Davies: Specifically for this cd. Songs like “I Wish You Well” and “Flows Like Water” was written just weeks before I went in the studio. Big plaudits to Dal Smart, Mark Myers and Ben Coe on the production side. It’s the first studio album for me and hopefully not the last.

Mitch Sullivan: What was it like working with Kirk Steele on Piano?

George Davies: It was my first time working with him and we clicked straight away, like two old bluesmen! He did a marvelous job on “Into The Mystique”, that was his idea and done in one take.

Mitch Sullivan: Last question and I must ask. Who’s the ‘big legged woman’?

George Davies: (Laughter) I just love that line! I sing it to all those big legged women who want to carry me to my grave!

Mitch Sullivan

gg davies album cover cropped

Soul Shine is available at Travels Beats & The Flying Monkey Café

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