Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

I have been a long time fan of Danny Bryant since his early RedEyeBand releases. He is a consummate guitarist and listening to all of those albums again, his development and maturity have been a revelation. So highly regarded is he by his peers that Danny was honoured (and brave enough) to front Walter Trout’s band while Walter was recovering from all of his well-documented health issues.

His last studio album, Blood Money, was simply superb. His profile had grown so much that he was joined by Trout and Bernie Marsden on that recording. His last release was a bit different. A live album with a full horn section and keyboards brought another level to his performances.
In light of all of that, I was looking forward to his latest release Revelation. I was expecting another rocking blues album along the lines of Blood Money and, at first, was disappointed. This is a slower paced, moodier and deeper album. The horns and keys add a different dimension to nearly every track.

However, after a few listens, you can start to appreciate what Danny is trying to communicate… passion and a deftness in his playing which makes you appreciate him anew. Perhaps the man himself best explains this: “When I began writing this album, I knew that it was going to be one of the toughest challenges of my career. It wasn’t lack of material, it wasn’t a lack of desire, but I realised from the beginning that, if this record was to achieve the things I wanted it to say, I would have to go deep inside of myself with these songs and confront memories and emotions I didn’t really want to face.”

The first, and title song, illustrates this perfectly as, after a piano introduction he screams “Revelation” and it sounds torn from the bottom of his heart. The guitar riff stays subtle as the horns cut in, colouring of the middle section in an unexpected way. The vocal, in addition to his guitar prowess, points to why he was the perfect front for Trout’s band. Towards the end, we get a fluid, laid-back wah, wah solo.

Isolate drenched in emotion and features some beautiful guitar, both in the solo and as he underpins the melody of the verse. A slow-paced piece of genius. Liars Testament with the lyric “I believe in a life of resentment”, gives a hint of the darkness occupying a lot of the songs and gives us more guitar soloing and horn backing. This is drenched in the blues in every way and is one of many spine-tingling moments. Next up, is the acoustic Some Day The Rains Will Fall. This is the only let down for me on the entire album. Yes, the atmosphere Danny generates is palpable but it soon becomes a little repetitive.

Truth Or Dare lifts the pace up again, supplying a ‘traditional’ full-blooded blues shuffle. Here we get the horns and guitar sounding so natural together and then the bonus of a sultry keyboard solo. A nice call/response section leads to the concluding guitar solo. Shouting At The Moon is a slow, burning blues number, with lovely yet understated keys. The voice is straining at the high notes of the chorus but the solo arrives to make you lean back, close your eyes and listen to every carefully thought out, spacious note. Sister Decline has bass, drums and keys backing the verses before guitar and horns fill out the choruses. Another fluid solo, again proving it isn’t how many notes, more how they’re played and how they fit…they fit!

May I have A Talk With You is classic blues. The introduction is very familiar, before the horns, interspersed with illuminating guitar phrases, take the song into a pattern of its own. Yours For A Song wraps up the album. Another slow, classic and crafted blues. The gentle chord picking surrenders to a power chord or three and gives a Bonamassa kind of feel to the structure, but it is still all Danny.

A word has to be said for Alex, Dave and Stevie. The bass is so carefully pitched and played (particularly as it warms the backing of Isolate) and the drums are solid and so supportive of the music. The keys are never intrusive; always providing the right fills, solos and backing.

Revelation is a very, very good blues album by any and every definition. Danny’s voice occasionally doesn’t quite match the song behind it, but that is totally forgivable as the music takes you on a journey of light and shade, and it is a journey really worth making.

As I hinted at the beginning, do not be tempted to form an opinion on the first listen. This cultured album needs to be absorbed to be appreciated. Give it the time and the rewards are simply stunning.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:
1. Revelation
2. Isolate
3. Liars Testament
4. Some Day The Rains Will Fall
5. Truth Or Dare
6. Shouting At The Moon
7. Sister Decline
8. May I Have A Talk With You
9. Yours For A Song

The Band:
Danny Bryant: guitar, vocals
Alex Phillips: bass
Dave Raeburn: drums
Stevie Watts: keyboards
The Big Horns

Produced by Richard Hammerton

RELEASED FRIDAY 20th APRIL 2018 VIA JAZZHAUS RECORDS

AVAILABLE ON CD, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND 180 GRAM VINYL
“SISTER DECLINE” AVAILABLE AS INSTANT GRAT TRACK ON
ITUNESAMAZON AND SPOTIFY

For exclusive bundles and signed merchandise, visit the official
Danny Bryant “Revelation” store

 

Danny is touring U.K. May/Jun 2018  dates & venues can be found here

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Jo Harman and Company – Beaufort Theatre – 12th April 2014

Jo Harman - Beaufort - April 2014 - DSC_0055l

Opening with I Will Not Be Moved a quiet number where Jo’s voice is dominant held the crowd from the first to the last note. When upping the tempo this is a young artist and company full of confidence and style; Jo engaged with the audience from the first note without an introduction and she had everyone enthralled. Introducing Amnesty, she reinforced the rapport with her easy charm and friendly words. This is a beautiful track from her début album Dirt On My Tongue with some wonderful piano playing delivered by Stevie Watts. The set contained a mix of tracks from the album and other re-invented covers and songs from her repertoire. Her tribute to Bobby Bland is a thoughtful rendition of Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City, fast becoming a Jo classic an integral part of the show. Coldheart is another track from her début album which enthralled the appreciative audience both of Jo’s voice and The Company whose instrumentation and timing on every track is faultless whether live or in the studio, yes Jo and her bell clear vocals take centre stage but without her band she would not have the depth and tonal interest that they bring to this pitch perfect party. Stevie Watts keys are as ever the focal point for Jo and there is no wonder why him and drummer Martin Johnson are already as we listen tonight nominated for British Blues Awards 2014.

The second set was just as stylish and delighted the audience with every note played and word sung, everyone was entranced, yes there were lots of tracks of her album showcasing why you want to add it to your collection. Intertwined were different renditions of classics and tonight Jo threw in a curve ball as she introduced Lewis Taylor as a “muso’s Muso” but check him out he has a cult following – Song definitely one to enjoy. The set was full of changes, and tempos with a taste of jazz, freeform music and dollops of soul this may not be classical blues but Jo Harman and Company are a talented outfit delivering high quality live music that delights the ears and leaves you wanting more. Looking forward to her soon to be released Live at The Albert Hall as Jo Harman is a singer who with her talented band are raising the quality at every performance this is a class act. Maybe not for blues traditionalist but for everyone else who loves live music this is an act to catch as she tours UK and Europe. The encore was far too short but certainly showcased a funky side of Jo and the band leaving us energised and wanting more.

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