BD: As ever Bluesdoodles, was delighted to have the opportunity to review your latest album Revelation leaving fans in anticipation to hear the songs live on your forthcoming tour across the UK.
BD: Before we come up to date lets go back to the early days. What were your first influences growing up in Royston, Hertfordshire.
DB: I still live in Royston about a mile from my parents’ house. First influences were my parent’s collection, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, Hendrix and lots of Bob Dylan. All on vinyl, I have now inherited the vinyl collection. Though I think now it is back in fashion Mum wouldn’t mind having it back.
I then looked at the music that influenced the people I was listening to, who they were listening to. It is even easier to do that now with so many resources. YouTube and downloading is so very easy. I have to admit I tend to listen via YouTube it is easily accessible, the way we all listen to music has changed in an age of instant gratification. There is definitely more music, consumed differently, if you order from Amazon, for example, you get an audio file to rip so before the Cd arrives you already have it to listen to through your speakers.
BD: Was the guitar always going to be your instrument of choice, with your late father on Bass as the counterpoint to your talent in RedEyeBand.
DB: It was always going to be the guitar. I didn’t consider anything else. Suddenly I wanted a guitar like a lot of kids does at some stage. For me it was the right time, I was quite insular and wanted to practice all the time. I have tried to learn the harmonica, then I hear a guitar being played and think I could learn that and it is back to the guitar trying to get better and better. Dad played finger-picking blues acoustic when I was growing up. I could hear him playing downstairs, and so is a soundtrack of my childhood. Dad took up the bass to help me out. There were not any young bass players around that wanted to be in a blues band. What started out as a temporary fix became a permanent fixture.
BD: When did you decide to use British guitar maker Fret-King as your six-string of choice. What do these guitars add to your playing that other guitar manufacturers would not bring to your sound?
DB: I have worked with Fret-King guitars for a number of years and the guitar suits the sound I want to achieve. The guitar looks like a strat but is different. When you fly and can only take one guitar this covers all bases. With my signature Danny guitar in the range, that is, in my opinion, good value for money. Fret-king guitars have worked well for me for quite a while now.
BD: Revelation is a deeply personal album, out 20th April via Jazzhaus Records. Despite the dark shadowy album cover the album is a Revelation as you let the light shine into the corners of your emotions. Tell our readers why you found writing the album such a challenge?
DB: It was a challenge with the music I wanted to create, it did not come easy. It was not necessarily a thing I wanted to deal with. But Dad’s passing had happened and it was a therapeutic process. Hence lyrically the album is quite dark, with a heavier sound. The horns add a different tone and dimension. Big Band Project was something I always wanted to do. We played three shows and on the live album. Promoters were interested so now will run alongside the band. I kept the sound in the current album as it adds another layer of textures and interest. Logistically touring with a nine-piece is a huge and expensive challenge.
BD: Yo talk about how music has been your personal salvation do you feel the tracks on Revelation speak to everyone who listens who have their own personal dark moments.
DB: Yes, I hope this album connects with people. It was a personal and at times a difficult process exploring difficult parts of my life. We all loose loved ones, go through hard times, feel lost. The other thing in common is we all interpret music and songs differently. For example, Roy Orbison songs speak to me in one way may not be the way Roy intended but that doesn’t matter. Again with my music it doesn’t matter what you get out of the lyrics what is important what you hear and connect with and that it speaks to the listener on some level. It is like art some people look at a painting and analyse looking for meanings whilst others just say looks nice going to hang that on my wall. Neither approach is wrong nor right, it is how you connect with art that is important. When you write a song it is a snap shot of how you feel at that moment; not how you feel all the time. Lyrics have always interested me, love the guitar but the solo is pointless unless within a decent song with a strong melody striking a balance across the number.
BD: Blues is never far from your music, do you have a favourite or special track on the album.
DB: If I have to pick a track it is Isolate I like ballads that are not soft but have power and some balls in them. It is a track that is fun to play live and I am always a sucker for a guitar solo. Revelation the title track is also a favourite, it is different and that keeps everything interesting with changes in texture and tone.
BD: With the new album and touring 2018 is going to be a busy year and your fans will be delighted that you are back on the road in the UK once again.
DB: Yes, back touring in UK is always going to be fun. Logistically & financially it is impossible to tour with the Big Band Project. What is new is we are now a four-piece with keyboardist Stevie Watts joining the band. Having added keys into the Danny Bryant sound there was no going back to being a trio.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
Guitar: BB King
Vocals: Otis Redding
Bass: Willie Dixon
Drums: Willie “Big Eyes” Smith
Keys: Otis Spann