This is an album I would usually pass off to another member of the Crew for review simply due to it being a bit on the lighter, more bluesy side of things. I tend to go more for your classic metal, thrash, death and so on. But I had it sat there and popped it on for a quick listen and thought “Woah”.
I’ve not heard of Danny Bryant before, but this is far from his first outing being his third album produced Richard Hammerton, but his first working with a couple of legends I have heard of – Walter Trout and Bernie Marsden. Trout passed through the UK recently on tour (all more more heartening as he survived a recent liver transplant with horrible complications) and Bryant describes working with him as “truly stunning”.
It’s actually the opening and title track, “Blood Money” which features Trout’s guitars and it sums up the album. Slow, soulful and simple. This isn’t blues-tinged rock, it’s a wonderful fusion of both styles which reminds us that without one there wouldn’t be the other. You can listen to this track below.
This song just seems to flow into the far grittier “Master Plan”, as stereotypical a blues song as you’ll ever here and all the more superb for it. A simple, chugging riff and throaty vocals make this an instant classic. Just when you think things can’t get any better, Bryant slides off into the softer side of things with “Slow Suicide”, a complete counterpoint to the previous song. His vocal style changes as much as the music and these two tracks alone demonstrate the range of his skills.
He also knows when to leave things alone as far as singing is concerned, letting a wonderfully 60s sounding electric organ fill the the role during “On The Rocks” before the much rockier “Sugar Sweet” jumps in.
Ex-Whitesnake guitarist Marsden makes his appearance on ballad “Just Won’t Burn” which was apparently recorded in a single afternoon. This is, frankly, an incredible track with one of the most heart-wrenching solos I’ve heard in a long time. Simply beautiful.
“Sara Jayne”, another ballad which would fit on any 80’s rock band’s top ten album, rounds things off.
It’s nice to step out of your comfort zone once in a while and listening to Blood Money proved that for me. Not something I’d pick up on spec, but I’m damn glad I gave it a listen. Keep an eye out for Bryant next year as he tours the UK in February in support of this excellent album.
Blood Money is released on January 29th 2016 through Jazzhaus Records
All photos courtesy of TX63 Music Photography