Richard Davies | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Richard Davies




Not many musicians can take the time machine back to the psychedelic 60s and return with their own vision intact, but with his second solo album, Telegraph (Flydaddy), Richard Davies pulls it off, freeing his unabashedly lovely melodies and daydreamy vocals from the heavy burden of nostalgia. Davies, who also played in the Moles and Cardinal, understands how to give pretty pop an edge--or maybe it's that he knows how to make the edge pretty. Mixing crisply strummed guitar, loose rhythms, occasional ornamentation (simple horns, succinct solos, quiet keyboards), and sweet multitracked harmonies, he makes economy, not whimsy, his strong suit. His most hallucinatory lyrics, like "You're a saturated / strand of motorcaded / tenement to lean on," go down easily with his regal melodies; yet he never comes off too sugary or sentimental. Califone opens the first bill; Archer Prewitt headlines the second. Friday, 5:30 PM, Reckless Records, 3157 N. Broadway; 773-404-5080. Saturday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Charles Peterson.

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