Danny Bryant releases his highly anticipated new studio album 'Revelation' through Jazzhaus Records on Friday 20th April. This is his fourth studio album to be produced by Richard Hammerton, following in the footsteps of 2015's 'Blood Money' and 2014's 'Temperature Rising', and the new album is one of Danny's most personal and emotional albums of his career. Indeed in a recent interview, Bryant opened up on how it's been a difficult year, losing his father and dealing with anxiety and depression. In fact the first time we saw Danny was on the big man's birthday at a very wet Ramblin' Man Fair in 2015 - Bryant immediately endearing himself to the crowded Blues tent by saying that he either had all of a sudden become very popular or it was the fact that that everyone wanted to get out of the rain! Well it was definitely a case of the former given Danny’s afforementioned album ‘Temperature Rising’ had been nominated in the British Blues Awards and it was one of those songs - ‘Guntown’ that stood out in an impressive set. Personally - one of my top three sets of that day, although the last time we caught Danny was guesting with Bernie Marsden this January at London's 100 Club. What a night that was!
Opening with the album's title track, Hammerton's delicate piano intro is immediately stopped in its tracks by a rasping Bryant vocal - its lyrical revelation all about "the end of times" way of thinking that we hear so much about nowadays. Richly complemented by both Hammerton's keys and David Maddison's trumpet - Bryant's delightful fret work gathers pace before signing off in typical style with a barnstorming solo. One to definitely watch out for on tour. There's no refrain from 'Revelation's intensity with the guitar ballad 'Isolate' - as one would expect - all about feeling disconnected from the ones you love and the world around you. One could perhaps accuse Bryant of being a little bit self-indulgent, but the spontaneous vibe of the whole track emphasises the quality of Danny's solo and vocal, which apparently were done in one take. Bryant admits to listening to a lot of Rock music whilst making 'Revelation' and this fact firmly smacks you in the chops with the Deep Purple influenced 'Liars Testament' with its pounding drums courtesy of Dave Raeburn and keys of Hammerton, as Danny duly carries his heavy guitar riff through the verses. Another to watch out for live. Another Rock song, and the first of two covers, takes things down a notch, with Bryant on a rare acoustic outing on John Mellencamp's 'Someday The Rains Will Fall' with the trusty Hammerton's keys adding the 2007 'Freedom's Road' track's depth.
In 2017 Danny toured Europe with a specially assembled nine-piece Big Band featuring keys and a four-piece brass section no less. 'Truth Or Dare' - a real rocking Blues number - is the one track that features his full touring Big Band line-up which truly captures the energy of those live performances with a great keys solo from Stevie Watts. With it's distinctive 'Wall of Spector Sound' intro, 'Shouting At The Moon' is a ballad that Danny wrote for his Dad about the last night they spent together before he passed away. Add Richard Hammerton's production and writing, and Bryant really delivers both lyrically and musically, a window to the soul in the style that his father loved, with both a falsetto vocal chorus - smacking of Bowie - plus a guitar solo - in the spirit of Gilmour. Hammerton's keys carry the verse on 'Sister Decline' before Bryant's hypnotic guitar riff and his brass section kick in - a song all about temptation and addiction. A track where an old Blues shuffle and contemporary Rock deliciously collide - the energy of which will provide yet another live favourite.
And talking of delicious, how about the second and final cover on the album, none other Howlin' Wolf's old classic 'May I Have A Talk With You' - a long-time favourite of Danny's that duly gets the justice it deserves with a great Blues vocal and awesome guitar from the big man - again with great support from Hammerton, bass guitarist Alex Phillips (who we also saw in that Ramblin' Man tent three years ago) and his brass section. The last track on the album - 'Yours For A Song' - is where we finally mention the 'B' word. Indeed the opening salvo to this power ballad is very much Bonamassa territory - with its perfect fusion of guitar and keys, driven splendidly by Raeburn on drums, which builds into a killer track that climaxes with Bryant's Skynyrd/Freebird like guitar outro. A fitting way to end 'Revelation', although, given Bryant's well publicised demons, this album isn't a 'downbeat' durge. As expected, it's packed with passion and energy - and is an impressive display of Danny's Blues/Rock prowess as both a singer and guitarist. Dedicated to his father, 'Revelation' is something which, no doubt, his Dad Ken would have been proud of. You can catch Danny on his UK tour next month featuring special guest Steve Hill from Monday 7th May until Sunday 17th June which also includes a few Big Band shows.