The opening and title track of this four-song EP starts out like a Delta Blues standard, but with the incorporation of what sounds like a pedal steel guitar it has a slight Country tinge through it. But then again, the muted trumpet and shuffling, brushed drums create the feel of a schmaltzy, old ragtime band from the Forties or whenever. Anyone familiar with the work of the magnificent Leon Redbone will appreciate this one, though Dan’s vocals are certainly a lot softer and melodic than Leon’s highly individual delivery.
‘Song For Syd’ is a ‘tribute’ to one of Dan’s musical heroes, Syd Barrett. It has a light, airy, Sixties psychedelic feel to it with a bouncy little beat and the muted trumpet again adds to the general atmosphere.
‘Like A Dove’ packs a little surprise. It opens quietly in sort of standard singer-songwriter style, with quite ‘pained’ and melancholic vocals accompanied by a lightly strummed acoustic guitar and added hushed strings. However the chorus changes direction completely and adopts the rumble, stomp and dark guitar twang of The Cramps! (Well that may be stretching it a little, but it is a great change-up, showing that Dan could probably rock-on good style if he put his mind to it.)
Final track, ‘Lost Love Shanty’ is possibly missing a hyphen. I suspect it should be inserted between the first two words, but from a personal perspective, it would be more conveniently placed between the latter two. In that case I could quite glibly say something like: ‘perhaps it would have been better had this little shanty remained ‘lost’ as it’s a rather morose and depressing manner in which to round off an otherwise chipper little EP.’
(Released through Harrison Music on 25th October 2010)