On his first tour of the US, Knowles purchased a 1932 National Triolian Guitar from Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville. It has been his most inspiring instrument since. “This guitar,” he offered, “had nearly 80 years of life, and love, before it came into my hands. I just wasn’t going to be the guy to retire it.”
With the release of 1932, he performs, sans band, the Delta blues sounds with which he fell in love. “The Delta blues was the start of it all,” Knowles said. “The first protest songs, the first virtuoso guitar players, the origins of everything that followed. It’s simultaneously dark, and mysterious, yet frank, honest, and up-front. ‘First Words of a Changing Man,’ was recorded on the first night we set up. It’s an exciting, kind of bouncy tune.”
Ever the busy artist, Knowles began an official bootleg series of recordings in January. Each month, he adds six live tracks, recorded during his concert appearances, for sale on his website. He is also in the midst of his current tour. May sees him in Europe for eight shows in three countries, including two performances in his Isle of Man homeland. He returns to Europe in July for a solo performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.