Over the past decade, South African guitar extraordinaire Dan Patlansky has certainly made his presence known in the blues rock world. Patlansky’s albums have been voted Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of the year twice. His most recent release, Perfection Kills, was voted Blues Rock Review’s #2 album of 2018. Now over four years later, Patlansky is back with Shelter of Bones. Patlansky has been working on this album for three years and in a recent appearance on the Blues Rock Show, Dan stated this is the longest he’s ever spent on an album.
Shelter of Bones kicks off with “Soul Parasite,” a commentary on modern world leaders which gives the album a punchy start. Dan heads in the blues direction with the next track “Snake Oil City” followed by “Selfish Lover,” which documents Patlansky’s relationship with tobacco and trying to kick a habit that’s been a big part of his life.
“Lost” is an album standout and a tribute to Patlansky’s wife where Dan sings about how scary it was at a time in his life when she fell ill.
One of the things that really sticks out about Dan Patlansky’s music is how fresh it sounds. Yes, he plays blues rock which has been around for many years, but he gives it a modern spin that is distinctively Dan. This can be heard on tracks like “Bad Soul” and “Presence.”
The pace slows down with “I’ll Keep Trying,” which is a reflective song about self-improvement and has a beautiful guitar solo. It’s the longest track on the album and is complemented by Dean Barrett’s keys. “Devil’s Dopamine” a groovy rocker about modern society’s addiction to social media. On “Sweet Memories,” Dan sings about getting to spend time with family during lockdown, an opportunity he doesn’t get as often when touring in his full effect.
The album closes out with the single, “Hounds Loose,” which is signature Dan Patlansky and the title track. “Shelter of Bones” is Dan’s message for his kids and a very powerful ending to the album.
It should come as no surprise that Dan has another winner with Shelter of Bones. There are few artists that deliver the entire package like Dan Patlansky. He’s a killer guitar player but more importantly, Patlansky crafts high quality songs and uses the guitar to complement those songs, not overpower them.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– I’ll Keep Trying
– Hounds Loose
– Shelter of Bones
The Big Hit
– Shelter of Bones