Charity Album Review: Danny Stoakes and Friends – The Isolation Sessions

You may not have heard of Danny Stoakes before. He’s known more for his work in the music media than for his musical output, but that’s not to say he’s not able to dip his toes into the water on both sides of the artistic line. Making use of his various connections, Danny has gathered a collection of guest musicians to help him “re-imagine” (cover!) a bunch of tracks, and has collated them on this album which has been released to raise money for the National Emergencies Trust Covid appeal.

Not all the tracks are rock and metal – country rears it cousin-lovin’ head as well – but this makes for a more rounded collection, and one which should have a couple of new songs on it for anyone who may be interested. There are a couple of obvious classics – Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, Priest’s “Diamonds and Rust”, AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” and The Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.

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Not one of these tracks is hugely close in style to the original, which makes (in this reviewer’s view) for a good covers album. “Wish You Were Here” is piano-backed, for instance, and “Diamonds and Rust” pays homage to both the Judas Priest version and the original by Joan Baez. Interesting.

To save me typing in all the guests, I’ve lifted the next two paragraphs from the album’s blurb:

The Isolation Sessions sees Danny collaborating with a whole host of artists including Romeo’s Daughter guitarist Craig Joiner, Voodoo Six axeman Matt Pearce and Tygers of Pan Tang drummer Craig Ellis. It has been mastered by Benedict Harris Hayes of Oceanica and Massive Dynamic, who also features on the opening track, the aforementioned “Wish You Were Here”.

Sicilian guitarist Antonello Giliberto and Tygers drummer Craig Ellis feature on “Diamonds and Rust”. The album also features Kyle Lamley of THEIA, Hoss Thompson of Thirteen Stars, The Big Dirty Axeman, C. Diddy, Liberty Lies drummer Adam Stevens, Burnt Out Wreck’s Gary Moat, Ian Sanderson and Michael Armstrong.

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I did enjoy giving this one a listen and for a fiver, going to charity, it’s worth the cash. The “isolation” aspect means that everything was recorded in various locations, so the recording quality varies from artist to artist. This is most noticeable with the vocals which are a little echoey. However, close your eyes and imagine you’re at an intimate live gig rather than listening to a recorded album and it actually sound even better.

The Lockdown Sessions is available right now on bandcamp (we just missed Bandcamp Friday – sorry!).

Danny Stoakes: official | twitter | instagram | youtube

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