Australian born Brit Americana singer Danny George Wilson’ s Another Place is a wonderfully weird concoction of folk and rock music that continuously stops time like a good Neil Young or Bob Dylan song.
And for once, it also proves that I was right and some other guy was wrong. (More about that later!)
Odd – ‘Lost Future’ is a densely mixed tune that throbs with a really nice ramshackle rumble, yet is graced with a deep folk melody. There’s an aggressive halo that hovers over the tune, with an (almost) “Idiot Wind” that courses through the song. Yeah, there’s a nice Dylan rough undercurrent vibe.
Then, ‘Sincerely Hoping’ skates on a welcome Wurlitzer organ ice. Again, DGW’s vocal recalls Bob Dylan’s phrasing, but the song is simply a nice melodic ride that delivers dramatic folk rock to burn.
Then, ‘I Wanna Tell You’, submerges into deeper psych waters and asks, “Tell me where your dream went?” And yeah (again!) the vocals do conjure Neil Young at his most vulnerable, but the song has a sublime melody that (sort of) stops emotive time.
Now, about that time when I was right. Years ago, I bought on a whim, Grand Drive’s album, True Love and High Adventure. Of course, Danny George Wilson was a main mover in that band. And what a really nice poker hand of a whim it was! What with its country-tinged turn-of-the century soulful sound, it conjured the sound of (the great!) McGuinness Flint, and even, (and I say this cautious respect) the ephemeral autumnal beauty of The Band. And, by the way, ‘Nobody’s Song In Particular’, has one heck of a wah-wah guitar solo. Boy! I got that whim of a record purchase right.
That said, there’s more Bob Dylan and Neil Young voiced vocals that are set against urgent folk-rock music that never ceases to be weirdly wonderful. ‘Heaven For Hiding’ is an infectious tune with a mind (and a few electronics) of its own. ‘Can You Feel Me’ simply rings with truth, and there’s yet another aggressive halo that hovers over this tune, too. Then, ‘Right Place’ doesn’t bother to pretend any magical hat trick. The tune simply plays its very best quasi-Neil Young hand—with lovely and (sort of) jarring strings that punctuate a great guitar solo that burns with 70’s electric folk fever.
Now, about the time when some other guy was wrong. Honest! I was just waiting for my take-out Whopper order at my local Burger King. I struck up a conversation with the guy next in Whopper line, who by the way, was wearing a Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon tee shirt. I complemented the guy on his tee shirt taste. He then said about modern music that wasn’t very nice. Let’s just say (with my own metaphorically enhanced-paraphrase) that he thought the fountain of youth waters of rock ‘n’ roll had pretty much, well, run dry. Although, to be honest (for a second time!), he did think that Greta Van Fleet “was a pretty good band”.
Well, there’s not much to say – other than Another Place, while glancing at the past, is certainly a melodic, clever, and very vital modern folk-rock record, that by the way, sounds nothing like Led Zeppelin.
Then there are four more songs. ‘Giving Away Too Much’ returns to that initial ramshackle rumbled rock sound—with some lovely petal steel guitar. And ‘We’ve Got A Lot To Learn’ is piano-pulsed (and very poppy) cover of the Randy California and Ed Cassidy tune from Spirit’s Potatoland album. By the way, Wilco guy Jeff Tweedy adds a twisted guitar solo into the final groove.
Yikes! Suddenly, the vibe shifts into the slow dance ballad of ‘I Would Be In Love (Anyway)’. Oh my – it’s a Frank Sinatra song. And DGW sings in a duet with Emma Swift. Trust me: It’s a tough sale, but somehow it works into the fabric of the weird tapestry of this record.
The final song, ‘In Between The Love’, exits with a lonesome passion. It bleeds a quiet and very final melody – a “helpless” melody that all great modern folk music, somehow, understands the need to visit that “town in north Ontario”. And that makes the old music great, and because old souls always touch young souls, new music like Danny George Wilson’s Another Place, thankfully, gets to be pretty great, too.
Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/dannyandthechamps/
‘We’ve Got A Lot To Learn’ – official video: