Time Off Review

If you are one of those people who wonders, ‘Whatever happened to Grand Drive?’, you will instantly remember the familiar vocal tones of Danny Wilson. His voice is unmistakable; so unique, so raspy, so genuine. He could be singing about what he had for breakfast and it would probably sound meaningful.

Fortunately, there is no need for concern over the content here, Danny’s writing is nothing but eloquent and poignant in his new outfit, Danny And The Champions Of The World. The seven-piece London-based band, fronted by the Australian-born Wilson, execute nine lovely tracks on their second album Streets Of Our Time. Full of banjo, violin, pedal steel and dobro, it is clear that Wilson has not moved too far away from his alt-country and Americana leanings, but hey, he’s pretty darn good it so why change? There are some elements of gospel here too; ‘Parakeets’ conjures up a holy singalong from the band and is just lovely. Actually, there is quite a bit of the group singing throughout the long-player, the camaraderie obvious and infectious. You want to be a part of it; move to London, learn the mandolin with the hopes of one day joining Danny And The Champs.

Some particular highlights here are ‘Henry The Van’ – a story of letting your favourite old car finally go to automobile heaven – the sanguine ‘Lose These Rags’ and the elevating ‘Your People’. ‘Follow The River’ steps away from the barn house momentarily with a more slick and electrified sound, you can hear the Bruce Springsteen influence here, but it still fits nicely. Back into the barn for knee-slapper ‘Wandle Swan’ and the strolling sweetness of title track ‘Streets Of Our Time’.

The album winds down slow and steady, leaving you with your cockles warmed and the ultimate desire to listen to it all over again.

4/5

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