Daniel Smith & friends deliver the Keys to The Highway
Want a break from hot guitar lead breaks, vocals that dominate – then the answer is here Daniel Smith & friends deliver the Keys to The Highway – the instrumentation is lush with a gentle tone. This is Daniel’s tenth release and features two of Daniel’s keyboardists amongst the many friends shaping and forming the album. The friends include Peter Miles, Roger Cotton, Matt Empson, Alan Glen and Janelee Small. Daniel and his friends have created a wall-scape of sounds similar to an oil painting the more you study/listen the more you see and hear. The music takes a shape creating a narrative that communicates by the precise integration of the instruments being used on each track. Daniel’s piano playing is as ever full of intricate pathways of the ivories, from deepest blue to boogie moves and then with a jazz laid back intuitive feel.
Opening with the signature high-speed boogie, Three’s Company which has an energy level with boogie piano – tambourine with the drums kicking in and the tempo hardens. With a deft change of beat and sound the piano curls around the instruments on Forgotten Hero, then the horns beef up the sound on the title track with piano that hits the tone of the tune. Hey John changes the feel of the album with a blues beat and feel and the vocals act as a foil for the melody they are an injection of another textural tone keeping the interest and ringing in the changes. We have the only male vocals on Forbidden Fruit with piano playing that has a hidden mysticism there is a devilish beat to this tune that gets the feet tapping. The second half of the album once again is a pick n mix of styles Some Sunny Day has a moody intensity from the brushes on the drum skin through to the deep piano notes and the whole energy is slower and dampened as the sun drains the raw energy. The saxophone picks up the notes and it is sitting laid-back with the sun on your face mood. Then we have the teasing electric organ and soulful vocals as we play the game with Yo Yo; this is a fun number despite the lyrics that are more about the downs than the ups. Closing with Boogie Tequila you just want to party with Daniel and his friends you know it will be fun.
The three tracks with vocals that add that extra dimension, keeping the textures and tempo changing this is an album where the instruments rule and definitely never bore! The keys may be king on this highway but every other instrument from his friends comes a very close second on Keys to The Highway. Daniel Smith & friends deliver the Keys to The Highway, the music is complete and in addition proceeds from the album go to the MS Society.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Three’s Company Instrumental
2. Forgotten Hero
3. Keys To the Highway
4. Hey John Vocals
5. Forbidden Fruit
6. Some Sunny Day
7. Yo Yo
8. Go With The Flow
9. Boogie Tequila