British guitar slinger Danny Bryant wanted to return to his roots and an appreciation of his blues influences, by paying homage, as he puts it “to all the different influences and flavors of this wonderful music that I have loved for many years.” With that goal in mind, Danny was quite successful with his latest release, Blood Money. That success includes drafting two guitar legends to guest with him.
With some swirling keyboards, Danny splits time with his long time mentor Walter Trout on vocal and guitar duties on the opening title track of “Blood Money,” and this track lays a clear foundation for what you are going to get for the rest of the album, a perfect combination of blues and rock. This transitions into the harder edged blues of “Master Plan” with its rolling rhythm that carries the song along while Danny dips heavily into the Wah-Wah pedal. “Slow Suicide” gets introspective as we blend some electric and acoustic guitar work on this slow blues and are treated two excellent solos.
Danny pays tribute to a couple of seminal artists with a few tracks on here starting with the soulful blues of “Unchained.” A funky starting riff to “Unchained” is unfortunately wasted when it’s never picked up again in the rest of the song. This transitions into an organ filled instrumental ala Albert Collins. The rock comes to the forefront with the ZZ Top like sound of “Sugar Sweet.” Things start out funky for “Fool’s Game” and power chord rock driven sections battle it out back and forth throughout the song. “Holding All The Cards” is clearly a boogie in the style of Jimmy Reed with percussive piano throughout it.
Things really get interesting though when Danny’s second guest steps up to the amp. “Just Won’t Burn” features Bernie Marsden and is dripping in that classic arena rock sound and just when you think it’s too much, a little piano line breaks it up. It’s just slow enough to teeter on the edge of being a ballad without crossing the line at that point, but it builds and builds as Bernie and Danny lay on the guitars. Speaking of ballads though, the album closes it out with the piano laden “Sara Jane” as he laments a lost love.
Blood Money delivers on Danny’s desire “to make this album ever since I began my musical journey 20 years ago as a 15 year old boy who fell in love with his parent’s record collection.” It is a great way to start out the New Year.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Blood Money
– Slow Suicide
– Fool’s Game
– Just Won’t Burn
The Big Hit
– Just Won’t Burn
Review by Kevin O’Rourke
Buy the album: Amazon