Danny Bryant

Blood Money

(Jazzhaus Records)

Even though Bryant’s songwriting skills develop and his musical prowess in a crowded field become honed over time, the power and passion he brings to his songs and moreover performances are undiminished. He shows no sign of becoming slick or a generic presenter of blues-rock material and I sometimes worry how he contains the almost violent outpouring of soul that he releases on his audiences, between shows. Just as well for us he has music as a valve..and didn’t go into boxing (or worse) as a career.

Key to appreciating Danny Bryant’s music is understanding how in his hands, the guitar plays /is played in Good Guy – Bad Guy mode. Like contrasting detectives in a dark-hued crime film, the sweet, pleading and emotional tenderness coming through the strings one moment can alternate with a brutal, slashing pugnacity that throws you against the wall and leaves you short of breath. The obscure American guitarist Glenn Phillips can do this – one of his cuts sounds like Jeff Beck auditioning for Kraftwerk and leaving through a hole in the wall! – and at times Danny can sound positively psychotic. Of course, there are many points in between and Bryant’s style takes in easy-rolling shuffles, downhome moments and brisk rocking tunes. These elements made his Ramblin’ Man spot one for the memory box last year. I think it was his birthday, metaphorically he smashed up the aural cake and threw it round the room, backed by a muscular rhythm section who held the whole show together.

So to this new album. Title cut Blood Money features good friend of the Bryants, Walter Trout, grooving over a flanged drumbeat and a vocal delivery with a phrasing reminiscent of our good friend Jon Amor. Excellent keys from producer Richard Hammerton, too. These two guitar aces put this tale of betrayal with maximum soul and no histrionics plus a bridge that recalls Little Milton. The inspired guitar runs are a credit to both axemen.

Master Plan is a rolling delight, with fan-pleasing guitar fills as Bryant flings out the allegories; Slow Suicide turns out NOT to be about the Liberal Democrats, but a sombrely-paced item with some effective acoustic parts here and there, Danny’s voice sounds sandpapered and heartfelt. The deepest moment here. Unchained goes for a funky Staxy stroll, fuzz guitar chords and midnight Hammond. Songwise this one grabs the bacon on this collection. Own up, Danny – you were hoping Beth Hart would drop by to duet on this one?

On The Rocks nods to the great Albert Collins and his clipped, spitting phrasing on the guitar. Bryant can do this really well. Sugar Sweet has a Stonesy swagger about it and is maybe a set-opener. That’s a suggestion, amigo. I can imagine Planet Rock playing this, before a Pat Travers cut…Fool’s Game ups the warmth for a welcome lighter moment, Danny going for playful riffs and clusters, almost Buddy Guy style. Holding All The Cards finds the band in boogie mode with well-recorded piano and is pleasant but not particularly memorable. Just Won’t Burn brings in the genial Bernie Marsden and has a mood of its own, reverb used to maximum effect in the production. Bernie cannot help but soak his guitar playing with melody and masterful use of space, Bryant singing his heart out. A standout song and apparently Marsden used his 1959 ‘Beast’ Les Paul. A great song that you’ll want to pay again. The album’s most tender moment comes on Sara Jayne, as close to Rod Stewart in handling a tune as our man will come.

At this point in his career, Bryant has little to prove. On this showing his audiences this year can look forward to some quality material that the band can be proud of.

Pete Sargeant



In addition, Danny Bryant will be embarking on a UK Tour in February 2016 with special guests Red Butler at the following venues:

The Robin 2, Bilston
Wednesday 10th February 2016

Tickets: £14.00/£16.00 / Box Office: 01902 401211
Doors: 7:30pm Stage: 8:00pm
20-28 Mount Pleasant, Bilston, Wolverhampton, WV14 7LJ

Kirkgate Theatre, Cockermouth
Thursday 11th February 2016

Tickets: £14 / Box Office: 01900 826 448

Book Online: www.toptablepromotions.co.uk/tickets

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9PJ


The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Friday 12th February 2016

Tickets: £14.00/£16.00 / Box Office: 084444 77 1000
Doors: 7:15pm / Stage: 8:00pm
19a West Register Street, Edinburgh, Lothians, EH2 2AA

The Meeting Room, Elland
Saturday 13th February 2016

Tickets: £13.00/£15.00 / Box Office: 01422 370 333
Doors: 7:15pm / Stage: 8:00pm

Venue: www.themeetingroomelland.co.uk
Tickets: http://bit.ly/2079GYv
Marshall Hall Mills, Elland Lane, Westbury St, Elland, HX5 9DU

The Engine Shed, Lincoln
Sunday 14th February 2016

Tickets: £11.00/£13.00 / Box Office: 01472 349222
Doors: 7:00pm / Stage: 7:45pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/1PPIkl2
University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS

The Leopard, Doncaster
Thursday 18th February 2016

Tickets: £11.00/£13.00 / Box Office: 01472 349 222
Doors: 7:00pm / Stage: 7:45pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/1R8QqUs
2 West Street, Doncaster, DN1 3AA

The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Thursday 19th February 2016

Tickets: £13.00/£15.00 / Box Office: 0845 413 4444
Doors: 7:00pm / Stage: 7:30pm
25 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham NG1 5LB

Raven Hall, Corby
Friday 20th February 2016

Tickets: £13.00/£15.00 / Box Office: 01536 202313
Doors: 7:00pm / Stage: 7:45pm
63 Rockingham Rd, Corby NN17 1AG

Tithe Barn, Bishop’s Cleeve
Sunday 21st February 2016

Tickets: £14.00/£16.00 / Box Office: 0333 666 3366
Doors: 7:45pm / Stage: 8pm
Cheltenham Road, Bishops Cleeve, GL52 8LU

Public Halls, Harpenden
Thursday 25th February 2016

Tickets: £13.00/£15.00 / Box Office: 01472 349222
Doors: 7:45pm / Stage: 8pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/1WdwZR9
Southdown Rd, Harpenden AL5 1PD, United Kingdom

Old Clee Club, Grimsby
Friday 26th February 2016

Tickets: £11.00/£13.00 / Box Office: 01472 349222
Doors: 7:45pm / Stage: 8pm

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1WdKCu3
Clee Crescent, Grimsby, South Humberside, DN32 8LS

The Waterfront, Norwich
Saturday 27th February 2016

Tickets: £12.00/£14.00 / Box Office: 01603 508050
Doors: 7:30pm Stage: 8:00pm
139-141 King St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1QH

Leo’s, Gravesend
Sunday 28th February 2016

Tickets: £12.00/£14.00 / Box Office: 01474 566127
Doors: 7:00pm Stage: 8:00pm

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1NvRbGc
Crete Hall Rd, Gravesend DA11 9AA, United Kingdom

The Old Fire Station, Carlisle
Thursday 22nd September 2016

Tickets: £14.00/£16.00 / Box Office: 0844 844 2920
Doors: 7:30pm Stage: 8:00pm
The Old Fire Station, Warwick Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8QW

Danny Bryant’s new album ‘Blood Money’ featuring special guests Walter Trout and Bernie Marsden will be released on Friday 29th January 2016 on Jazzhaus Records. The album is available to pre-order on Amazon now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Money-Danny-Bryant/dp/B0178Z7NBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446160571&sr=8-1&keywords=danny+bryant+blood+money

For more information visit: www.dannybryant.com

(Feature Image and album cover credited to TX63 Music Photography. Thanks to Peter Noble at Noble PR for help with this review)