Five years ago, Danny Vaughn (lead vocalist of Tyketto) and Dan Reed (frontman of funk rockers Dan Reed Network) decided to combine their talents in a joint project: a live acoustic touring act called Snake Oil & Harmony.
The project led to two acclaimed tours, where they shared their songs and the stories behind them with audiences throughout Europe, building a rep for their singing, musicianship and spellbinding rapport with their audiences.
The culmination of this collaboration is now their debut album “Hurricane Riders” due for release on 28th February. So what’s the verdict? Well get ready for a wonderful easy listening album .
The album kicks off with “The Lines Are Open” that immediately lets you know how amazing this album is going to be. A mixture of acoustic and electric gives a beautiful sound that perfectly allows the two Dans to begin to show off their velvety vocals. Yes, it is easy listening light rock (as is the whole album), and once you start listening you just can’t turn away. Now you know you can just sit back and crack open that beer after a long day, relax and just float away with Danny Vaughn and Dan Reed.
“Last Man Standing”, their opening single for the album, has stirring lyrics, catchy hooks, and honeyed vocals perfectly complementing each other. It’s a beautiful track.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfM-0ShZarY&w=560&h=315]
“Aberfan” is a slow melancholy track relating the tragedy of the Aberfan spoil tip collapse near Merthyr Tydfil in 1966 that killed 116 school children and 28 adults. The emotional pain is raw in this finely crafted song about the disaster, with the vocals at an almost whisper level.
Then comes “Dance in the Heart of the Sun”, an uplifting song that continues the style of the album. Its sweet and beautiful.
A slow considerate track comes next with “Another Reason”, with, as ever, clearly delivered vocals that entrances you as if listening to a gripping tale. Like all the songs, you are carried along in a story. Superb.
“Damned If You Do” delivers a piece of beautiful Americana with Danny Vaughn taking lead vocals on this once, up tempo and sweeping. Its another piece of brilliantly produced story telling.
“Where the Water Goes” once more affirms the perfect collaboration the two Dans bring to the table of beautiful song creation.
Another sweetly uplifting track is “Cannonball” that will take you sweeping upward. It is a song that can begin to replenish your soul after a tough day. Again it has that gorgeous Americana sound that seems to just immediately relax you.
“Save the Day” is another exemplar of the musical and lyrical genius Danny and Dan are. Its probably the most AOR track with captivating hooks and rhythm that grabs on to you and soothes you at the same time.
“Little Hercules” is the final track on the album, and once more is a solid mesmerising track with both showing how they can bounce off each other vocally. It is just enchanting.
The power duo of Danny and Dan have created an album that showcases their unique chemistry and kinship of two master singers, songwriters and storytellers, not to mention infectious melodies and thought-provoking lyrics.
The whole album has a very much acoustically led sound and is a collection of perfect end of the day songs. A relaxing, intelligent and thought provoking set of tracks that captivates you from start to finish.
For a limited time, you can pre-order the first Snake Oil & Harmony album at Townsend Music. Pre-orders will be taken from now until Feb 3 and all those who purchase in advance will receive their copies by Valentine’s Day!
The album is out on 28 February to coincide with their next tour beginning in March.
Review by Ivor Whitten for MPM
Photography by Mattias Bostrum