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Album Review : Danny Bryant – Rise

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Review by Richard Henry for MPM

It’s amazing looking back at this man’s discography, we are album number 13 if I am not mistaken, if you don’t know who Danny is, he is one of the U. K’s leading blues artists, under the wing of the great Walter Trout, he is the kind of artist that if you love your Gallagher, Clapton, Moore and Walter then you’re going to love his brand of blues rock, let’s get into this album and see what is up!

Track 1 – Rise

Well, that’s a way to kick off the album, down and dirty swampy blues, nice swing to this one, if you’re listening with headphones, I love the way you have a riff on one side and then I little cleanish guitar figure popping up on the other side, nice horn parts as well sliding in along the riff, as usual you have Dannys gritty emotive vocals down the center, lovely Hammond solo coming in, which if you’re a guitar player and it’s your album shows a hell of a lot of restraint not to want to take the first solo, although the ride out solo has just got a nasty guitar tone, I love it, carrying on under Dannys vocal as the song fades out

Track 2 – Animal in Me

I almost get like a western vibe from that clean guitar part at the start of it and the jungle style drum part that plays under the verse, then it opens into the chorus, the production is crisp for sure, everything is clear, again really smart arranging with the clean guitar being constant on one side and the more distorted guitars on the other, the interplay in the solos between the piano and the guitar is a really cool unexpected touch, it’s a great chorus as well and it builds into it but there is so much to listen to, little guitar parts, piano in the background, the horns in some of the bits, really well done and we get a fade out solo

Track 3 – Louise

Straight away I thought Guntown from 2014’s Temperature Rising album, that acoustic strummed verse and a fantastic vocal, gritty and emotive, now if that chorus isn’t just brilliantly simple but it will stick in your head and a singalong at a gig for sure, nice little guitar break before verse 2, just before we hit chorus two, listen to how the piano adds just before it hits, subtle but really adds to the track, he sure can play a solo, fluid and tasty something Danny has always did with ease, then into that chorus again, outstanding track!

Track 4 – Hard Way to Go

So straight away I am thinking early era Whitesnake or ZZ top, just the dirty southern blues rock grind kicks this one off, its un-mistakenly Danny with that vocal, love the shift into the chorus, it so does remind me of like Crying in the Rain, love that Hammond as well in the song, really adds that vibe to it, love the chorus, that’s a dirty solo there, full of grit and attitude, a good few nice licks in there with a bit of Wah thrown on top as well, love it!

Track 5 – Scarlett Street

Now I would love to know exactly what that setting are for the start of that, a slow tremolo guitar part opens the song, then we slide into an acoustic and piano style ballad of a track, tortured vocal from Danny, you literally can tell him within a few sung words, when you hit the chorus it adds a bit of heft with heavier guitars in the background but subtle enough not to overpower the track, little tasty solo comes in, very Mark Knopfler sounding, the second solo has a lovely tone, sliding octave parts before we get into a slow emotive solo, lots of feel and bends, then chorus three there is backing vocals come in to lift it up and change it, really well done and very subtle in the mix just adding to it, then a real soaring short solo on the way out of the song

Track 6 – Into the Slipstream

Almost like a soul meets AOR rock vibe in the start of this one, I mean I literally had Toto in my head for some reason as this kicked off, with that vocal and the backing its unique, little guitar figures peppering the chorus refrain, I was not expecting a track like this, but I absolutely love it, a great solo on this, really smooth tone and nice phrasing and tone, also nice to hear Danny let loose a bit more on this one, tasty solo, it’s actually a relatively heavy track in parts, nice outro solo as well, great track!!

Track 7 – Julienne

Acoustic and soft electric guitar to start this with a bit of organ and Dannys vocal front and center, nice little volume swells in there as well just before the chorus, lovely almost soul vocal going along with the chorus gives it a really cool soul vibe, verse two builds ever so slightly with the side stick drum part, but that vocal is just fantastic, the piano coming in just before chorus two again just adds to it and then in the chorus there is additional parts come in to build the track up again, just a really beautiful, restrained solo, full of taste, much like this song, it’s so well done, both in arrangement and the way it ebbs and flows, beautiful!

Track 8 – Silver and Gold

Shuffle town, it’s a stripped down almost Rolling Stones vibe to this one, just guitar, vocals and drums the comes in the organ to lay down a warm blanket over the top of it all, I love the honky tonk piano solo on this as well, it’s so cool and it totally suits the vibe of the song, when you think about it, it’s a proper raw sounding track, gritty solo comes in and we get the first extended solo on the album, it’s still pretty restrained but nice to see Danny stretching the fingers out a bit on this one!

Track 9 – I Want You

Another acoustic starter on this one with an atmospheric keys part following along with it, I said raw about the last song and this one feels like that only in a different way, maybe even venerable sounding if that makes sense, this is different for sure, but it just feels right at home on this album, now if ever there was a tortured vocal it’s on the chorus when Danny sings out I Want You, when you get to the middle and the song envelopes you and gets really big sounding with nothing more than the atmosphere because it’s still keys, guitar and vocal, I love the fact the solo is on a steel string, huge choir of vocals come in as well, and it’s a really uplifting end to the song, I absolutely loved this track, fantastic!

Track 10 – Drown (Jam)

Well as it says on the tin, this is an odd time shuffle of a track, great way to close the album letting Danny play a bit and the whole band is springing along, it sounds like they were having a blast on this short one to close out the album!

10 out of 10

And I will tell you why, was this the album I was expecting, no, are there guitar solos all over the place, no!

The songs are amazing, the production is gritty and raw. The performances and the level of depth in the songs are a step above and the way Danny clearly bears his soul through his vocals must be heard, I absolutely loved this album in a completely different way to some of his other albums, would I have liked longer solos, of course I would I am a guitarist, but they are the right length for the song, nothing outstays its welcome, in parts this is a beautiful soulful album and the other parts are raw and gritty, it’s out Friday 29th September, go to Dannys website and grab yourself a signed copy, highly recommended!





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Photo by Felix Groteloh

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