Review: Danny And The Champions Of The World – What Kind Of Love

Posted on: Friday, Jul 17, 2015

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Danny And The Champions Of The World – What Kind Of Love

(Loose: VJCD222)

Here, is without doubt, one of the best albums of 2015, as Danny And The Champions Of The World, build on the Memphis soul-infused tunes which they first honed on the “Stay True” release, with a sparkling 10-song collection, “What Kind Of Love” . . . a big ‘feelgood’ noise delivered in joyous fashion by Danny George Wilson and fellow band members.

The core band feature Danny George Wilson (vocals & acoustic guitar), Chris Clarke (bass, vocals & percussion), Paul Lush (electric guitar), Steve Brookes (drums & percussion), ‘Free Jazz’ Geoff Widdowson (saxophone, organ & vocals) and Henry Senior Jnr (pedal steel guitar & vocals), with guest turns a-plenty, fleshing out the big sound.

All the songs are about love . . . in all its different guises . . . about friends, ex-friends, wives . . . and more! Wilson himself penned most of the songs – some co-written with band members, with just one cover and a further collaboration with roots and blues giant, Ian Siegal. At the heart of it all is Wilson’s stirring, soulful and gritty vocals and top class playing from the band.

The prominence of the horns on most of the tunes gives as previously mentioned a Memphis soul feel, but also married to the more Celtic soul of people such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Van Morrison. The opening “Clear Water” positively jumps out of the speakers with the punch horns and the weeping pedal steel of Henry Senior Jnr, which is prominent throught. The gentler “Precious Cargo” follows in fine style, with its soulful chorus and it is followed by the gorgeous “This Is Not A Love Song”, with the guitar of Paul Lush to the fore, along with more delightful pedal steel.

The one cover is a super take on the soul classic, “Can I Change My Mind”, a big hit for Tyrone Davis, and here Wilson and band give it the full treatment, enhanced by the large ‘choir’ of backing singers – great stuff indeed! The title cut, “What Kind Of Love” is another performance ‘from the heart’ – full of spark and emotion to stir the soul.

Elsewhere “Just Be Yourself” is another stand out; with Lush’s funky guitar intro leading the way to the great groove of “It’ll Be Alright In The End”, with the horns as punchy as ever. This superb release ends in tremendous fashion with the Wilson/Siegal song, “The Sound Of A Train”, which tells the tale of someone coming home to their love . . . . again, it is a joyous affair, as is the whole of “What Kind Of Love”.

A treat from start to finish, and highly recommended to all!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.dannyandthechamps.com

www.loosemusic.com

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(Picture: Tom Sheehan)