‘What’s Here, What’s Gone’ - Luke Daniels – songs of essential truths and fearlessness(August 13, 2014)
Anyone familiar with folk music probably recognises the name Luke Daniels – stunning melodeon with De Dannan and Riverdance, albums like ‘The Mighty Box’ or ‘Sleeping Giants’ or with The Cara Dillon Band. Whatever the point of contact, there’s another one in the offing – ‘What’s Here, What’s Gone’ – the latest album from singer-songwriter Luke Daniels. And if there’s an album that makes sense then it’s this one. It makes sense because everything about it reaches out with a touch that will affect everyone with its combination of achingly poignant lyrics, soul stirring guitar and precise meaningful delivery.
The impact happens immediately - keen observations and touches of timeless hope within ‘In Your Hearts’, the sense of resilience and rallying call in ‘Don’t Be Afraid’, while ‘What She Means’ and ‘For Your Love’ offer clear understanding and a pragmatic assessments of the vagaries of life. The essential truths and fearlessness of these songs imparts a cutting edge that fashions their message. It speaks through the myriad of influences and styles absorbed by Luke. To a greater or lesser degree the essences of country, Americana, jazz, classical, rock are all there through these songs - each one combining to carve a way through to express what the artist needs to convey. Listen to the tenderly layered soundscapes of ‘Know You More’, ‘How Will I Know’ or ‘A River Runs’ and you’re right there with all the encounters and experiences that forge his music.
The list of musicians with Luke Daniels (piano, guitar, zither, banjo, samples) on ‘What’s Here, What’s Gone’ is impressive - Matheau Wilson (guitars) C.J. Hillman (pedal steel, lap steel, dobro) Rick Standley (bass) James Macintosh (drums) Signy Jacobsdottir (percussion) Patsy Reid (strings) Ken Blackwood (French horn) Madaleine Pritchard, Chris Judge (backing vocals) Margaret Milton (soprano) Catherine Taylor (alto) Iain McGinley (tenor) and James Duddridge (bass).
‘What’s Here, What’s Gone’ is expressive, involving and fulfilling – and fundamentally it makes perfect sense. And what’s more it comes in a sumptuous book-style cover with lyrics and a set of striking black and white photographs. The album releases on 6 October 2014 - find it here: www.lukedanielsmusic.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll