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DONALD BYRON WHEATLEY —MOONDOGS AND MAD DOGS (Maiden Voyage)

 

www.maidenvoyage.net

Immediately I placed this cd on my player I was energised by Donald Byron Wheatley’s music. Fuelled by a rock solid rhythm section, piano, swirling organ, lead guitar and pedal steel guitar (BJ Cole), there is a buzz throughout. On welding slices of 1970s sounds of The Band, Bob Dylan and the rock he comes up with a tapestry enriched in the above textures and more. Maiden Voyage label boss Danny (Danny And The Champions) has members of his band, Chris Clarke (the album was recorded at his Reservoir Studios), Steve Brookes, Andy Fairclough and harmony vocalist Siobhan Parr (a recording act in her own right) all pitch in. 

 

“Ten Dollar Jenny” has all the trappings of the aforementioned Dylan, his hero, alongside The Band and music of the era. One of Dylan's finest periods I hasten to add, but there is more to the London-born act. Making a late venture into recorded music, he more than simply combines sounds from the past as he also comes through strong with “When The Rain Comes”; a piece of writing and music Nick Lowe might have done! Warmed in Cole’s finest tones it is a most fine effort. “The Lonesome Carol Of Big Don” and “Hand Me Down Leopard Skin Hat” also owe much to Dylan. Propelled, feverishly, as much of his 1970s work was as lyrics came at a rapid pace and the songs seemed endless, and they were good too. As is the case here with Wheatley. 

 

Mellow, with hints of John Lennon and George Harrison “Nothing” is warmed in keyboards and shuffling rhythm to gently wash over the listener. On bringing a little barroom ragtime-esque New Orleans feel to the album, “Swaley Howell” adds some well-timed versatility. “Greenwich Village Blues” likewise offers something different as he takes a trip across the pond to New York on recalling the days of a bygone era. He pulls it off superbly. The folk bards of the 1960s big folk scare would, if still around (some of course are) be duly proud of his sterling effort.  

 

Title-track “Moondogs And Mad Dogs” closes up shop, and with it of a similar heartbeat to Dylan he once again draws from the leader as with much energy rock and folk meet. The swirling organ and pedal steel have a field day without eroding the value of Wheatley’s vocals, and here lies one of the secrets of the recording, the ever tasty production! 

 

                                                 Maurice Hope  

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

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www.euroamericanachart.eu

1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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