Self-release [Release date 14.06.19]
It has been eleven years since Danny Vaughn’s last solo outing, although this one was delayed by issues caused by Pledge Music going into administration. Luckily Danny Vaughn has a loyal fan following meaning this album gets the release it deserves.
It is a varied collection of musical styles and themes, as Danny himself comments – “This is the music I make when left to my own devices. When there is no schedule to satisfy and no target audience to audition for.”
He is aided on the songs by including Tyketto bandmate Chris Childs on bass, drummer Rhys Morgan and pianist Nigel Hopkins. They all add their musical talents to the album, which also features fiddle, mandolin and brass.
‘The Shadow Of The King’ kicks proceedings off in fine style with a Celtic folk drive, whilst ‘Man Or Machine’ and the funky ‘Monkeys With Money and Guns’ allows Danny to vent his anger at modern life.
‘The Missouri Kid’ taps into a bit of country, complete with harmony vocals beloved of bands like Poco and the Eagles (the latter not surprising given that Danny was a member of the Ultimate Eagles until recently). This song really shows off his vocals to great effect, a singer who has perhaps seen his vocals get stronger with age similar to say Paul Rodgers.
‘Last Of The Sunset Men’ starts off like an Outlaws song featuring plenty of guitar and strong rhythm, before a spoken word midway through backed by synths. Sounds a little weird when described in print, however it does work well in the context of the song.
Meanwhile on ‘The Good Life’ drummer Rhys Morgan lays down a groove filled jazz beat, with a lovely bit of Hammond playing and a gospel fade out at the end, impressive stuff. ‘Deep Water’ is another one with a sprinkle of jazz/swing in the sound. Great horns and brass arrangements on this song.
The two stand outs for me are the dark menace on ‘Black Crow’ and the life’s journey advice ‘Point The Way’ (nice bit of Bruce Hornsby approved piano on this one), both from the acoustic side of his music.
A musical potpourri then from Danny Vaughn and one that has been well worth the wait. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait quite so long for the next solo outing as he doesn’t seem short of musical ideas or memorable songs. Quite possibly his finest release to date. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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