added: 1 Aug 2014
// release date: 1 Sep 2014 // label: Jazzhaus
reviewer: Andy Snipper
Something has happened. Danny Bryant has been steadily building his career, rocking hard and making his rep, largely in Germany & Holland, but just hasn’t managed to get that ‘killer’ release that will take him into the higher echelons of the Blues/Rock world.
He has been mentored for many years by the great Walter Trout and recently started playing with Walter’s band while the man recovers from his liver transplant and he is beginning to make strides in the US where you would think his playing and his passion would be a natural fit and suddenly he has released an album that seems to put all the different strands together into one package that is just stunning.
The album is all about Danny Bryant – his rhythm section of Trevor Barr & Alex Phillips are definitely powerful and flexible enough to allow Bryant to express himself but the album is all about that voice, hoarse and desperate, and his guitar playing, screaming riffs and explosive chords. Producer Richard Hammerton supplies some fine organ and keys and the production is remarkably spare and unobtrusive but he leaves the stage to Bryant and that is all it needs. "Richard Hammerton and I met up three or four times in the lead-up to the recording,"says Bryant. "We did some pre-production and cut some demos together. We looked at the arrangements etc and pushed ideas back and forth. I love working with Richard, the moment he hears even a snippet of a raw demo, it’s almost as if he can see the whole song there and then in completed fashion. He has such great vision! He allows me to be myself, and to create the kind of album that I want.”
On a number like ‘Razor Sharp’ Bryant pulls all the emotions into line, wringing an exquisitely painful riff out of his FretKing and pouring out the vocals – classic Blues with wicked power. On ‘Mystery’ the band sound as though they are jacking about in the studio but the result is a cracking little rocker.
All the songs are good ones, all written by Bryant on his 2013 tour and running through Blues, rock and some darkly emotive Blues ballads. Personal favourites are the Tom Petty like ‘Temperature Rising’, ‘Take Me Higher’ which shows his mentors chops but hammers you with power and some stunning axe playing and ‘Gun Town’, a sublime ballad with a crying guitar line that you never want to end – Bryant says "‘Gun Town’ was the first song I wrote for this album, it was a way in so to speak and it’s my favourite,".
The stars seem to be aligning for Danny Bryant; the right label, great songs and just the right amount of exposure.
Download free MP3 of the new song "Nothing At All"
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