Flyinshoes Review

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http://www.danraza.com

  

Singer-songwriter Dan Raza is one of those musicians who’s music might take a little while to bed down, but once it does it is set to stay with the listener for a long time. Born in India and raised in London Raza is of mixed origin and though his music is very much steeped in folk that is not to say he might not someday check out the former.

Raza is joined by a fine set of players. One that stretches from B.J Cole (pedal steel guitar) to Geraint Watkins (organ, piano) by way of Barbara Bartz (violin), Jamie Shaw (drums), Alan Gibson (bass, horns, piano, strings) and Lawrie Wright (piano, guitar, backing vocals) to Maria Rivington (harmony vocals) and others. As the album title suggests, Dan Raza Two isn’t his first venture, for it follows his debut full-length self-titled studio album, Dan Raza plus Live at the Green Note. To date Raza has played support to a host of artists around the country, impressing with his relaxed, meticulous style. Neil Young a few years ago placed his song “Every Little Dog” on his Living The War website set up in the wake of the Iraq War.

If he was in need a lift at the time, Young certainly gave him a huge one. On the opening track “Silent’s The Night Wind” the tone of the music reminded me of Richard Thompson, such the beauty evoked by his vocals and playing. Solid throughout, Raza every now and again comes through with something extra special as in the graceful, whistle (Frank Reed) organ and fiddle escorted “Where The Rivers Divide”. On taking on a restless feel, “Shadowlands” provides the album with another wonderful tale. Only this time, his ramblings are more urgent. As is “Pay Day”, and the contrasting pedal steel guitar laden “Midnight And The Wine” and simple ode “Old Ways”. With people like Raza around the future of the contemporary balladeer is in good hands.  

 

On keeping a fine balance between the thoughtful meandering ballads, and those a little more urgent he keeps the listener engaged. “Drifting” comes right on cue. Since if I was going to be critical he may overplay the slow ballads on occasions. Not that I am looking to hear an album decorated with fiddle driven tunes; but this fiddle, banjo, whistle and accordion driven tune housing a bit of a Celtic hue possesses a near spontaneous feel as the mood is lifted most perfectly. Staying on the subject of a Celtic flavour he closes the album with the peaceful “Galway Lights; albeit not particularly reminiscent of the west of Ireland haunt.

 

                                                           Maurice Hope       

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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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