Cape Town based singer-songwriter David Knowles has built a strong local following for his bluesy-folk acoustic tunes and dynamic stage presence. Bringing to the table something rarely used in the South African music scene today, his music is largely characterised by his percussive finger-style guitar work. With the use of that, his wide-ranged voice and a loop pedal, Dave Knowles’s creates multi-layered music and captures the audience with his incredible musical abilities and dry, patriotic wit.

I first met Dave Knowles several years ago, as a rather musically-uneducated child with no idea of what he did or how he did it. Years later I stumbled across him again, playing a gig at Plettenberg Bay’s local hangout spot and live music nest, Surf Cafe. One of the most important aspects of being a musician is stage presence. Anyone can whip out a guitar and play incredibly, but you have to build a relationship with the audience to be fully appreciated – and Dave Knowles did.

Poetic song-writing is coupled roaring vocal harmonies and incredible guitar work looped in, layer upon layer. To watch a musician become completely involved with his music is a treat is the live music world. Passionately individualistic – I once heard him say that he would rather die than be a jukebox – Dave Knowles plays primarily his own music, interspersed rarely with a little-known cover.

Currently living in Cape Town, he plays frequent gigs in the city and surrounds so it won’t be hard to catch one of his powerful live performance. Keep an eye out for his upcoming debut album “In Waking Skin”, and if you’re looking to broaden your musical horizons and support an extremely talented solo musician, go catch a Dave Knowles gig.

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