Ray Davies charms without Kinks

Ray Davies, a singer-songwriter who along with brother Dave founded the seminal '60s rock group The Kinks, has been performing his music and spoken word cabaret act, "The Storyteller," for several years now. Sunday night Davies and accompanying guitarist Pete Mathison performed at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Mo.

The central conceit of the performance centered on Davies' lecturing from his autobiography, "X-Ray." Interspersed in the telling of the tale of his childhood aspirations, family life and the formation of The Kinks up to and including the recording of their breakout hit "You Really Got Me" was the music.

Delving into his musical past, Davies played well-known favorites and obscure gems that might only be familiar to dyed-in-the-wool aficionados. The lanky singer, in his mid-50s and in fine voice, opened the show with one of the last Kinks' hits, "Come Dancing."

Davies performed "Victoria," followed by a raucous version of "Twentieth Century Man" and a song original to the "Storyteller" show, "London Song."

Discussing how his family's life centered in the front room of their home and the important role of music played, especially in the romantic escapades of his older sisters, Davies sang Billy Eckstine's "That Old Black Magic," a song banned from the parlor by his parents.

"Tired of Waiting," "Set Me Free" and "See My Friends" preceded "Autumn Almanac," "X-Ray" and "Stop Your Sobbing."

Davies finished his set with "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion," "The Ballad Of Julie Finkle" and "You Really Got Me." Earlier, alluding to the often testy relationship with younger sibling Dave, Davies joked that he's "only a minor character in this piece." The tale of "You Really Got Me" gave lie to that jibe.


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