03 May Live Guide
Folk music seems to be du jour at the moment thanks to the likes of Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Angus & Julia Stone capturing listeners’ hearts and minds with their gorgeous tunes. Danny George Wilson, former singer-guitarist of country rockers Grand Drive, produces music from the same genre as the aforementioned with his fabulously-titled group, Danny and the Champions of the World. However, their music seems to centre on nostalgic folk songs, which sound like they are taken from lost tapes of yesteryear recorded in middle America.
Streets of Our Time is the group’s second record. Their influences (at least according to their MySpace page) include a diverse group including The Small Faces’ Ronnie Lane, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Cooke and Hank Williams, with an emphasis on the latter artist immediately apparent in their sound. But added to this list should be a few others most notably Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
At just 38 minutes the listener is whisked away on a journey through the past from the longing Dylanesque folk (‘Henry The Van’) through to a sweet tome about being down-and-out with Neil Young’s ‘Comes A Time’ as a major source of inspiration and then there’s square dancing around the haystacks in ‘Wandle Swan’. The story behind much of the music seems to be like a community gathering for an honest heart-to-heart around a bonfire. Some participants appear to be sharing wistful tales; others rekindle their aspirations, and the rest are forthright in their honest fragility.
In all, Streets of Our Time is brimming with old school charm and timeless nostalgia in part thanks to a loving assortment of pedal steel, banjo and acoustic guitars. At its core it is pure and simple and yet oh so effective, allowing the listener to revel in the warmth and wonder that is three chords and the truth.