Album review: DANNI NICHOLLS – Mockingbird Lane

DANNI NICHOLLS - Mockingbird Lane

Danni Nicholls Music [Release date 23.10.15]

You’d never guess Danni Nicholls was from Bedford.  Mockingbird Lane, her second album, is an album that has the hallmarks of classic American folk, county and splashes of rock ‘n’ roll.

Re-uniting with producer Chris Donohue (The Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant) and featuring some of Nashville’s finest musicians, the album has all the hallmarks of some of the best work of the likes of crossover artists like Shawn Colvin and Allison Moorer.

The set opens with ‘Long Road Home’ that has a vaguely Matthews Southern Comfort west coast vibe – a quality number with a great hook and some lovely chiming guitar work, ‘Leaving Tennessee’ is beautiful in its simplicity with echoes of Simon & Garfunkel, there’s Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt notes in the bluesy ‘Look Up At The Moon’, ‘Where The Blue Train Goes’, and ‘Back to Memphis’, and ‘Between Forever And Goodbye’ adds some soft rock grit to mill.

Of course, great songs played by great musicians doesn’t mean anything without a vocal performance to match and Nicholls warm honeyed vocals fit the bill to perfection.  Pledge recorded, Mockingbird Lane is the perfect Americana release with elements of blues, jazz, soul, gospel and country.

It’s just hard to believe she’s a homegrown talent.  File next to Mim Grey.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

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