Danny and the Champions of the World – Stay True (2013)

danny stay true

Danny and the Champions of the World

Stay True

Loose Music

Americana doesn’t get any Countrier than this      

To the casual listener STAY TRUE sounds as if it was made in Stax Studios by a collective of Nashville’s finest Country musicians, instead of the back-streets of London on a budget that meant it had to be recorded in five long days.

Opening track (Never stop building) That Old Space Rocket,written about a day Wilson hitch-hiked to a Fabulous Thunderbirds gig with his father, becomes a tale about ‘never giving up on your dreams’. It combines everything I love about Americana music with a good story, a pedal-steel and horn section competing for my attention, and sets the bar for a very special album indeed.

As with all great Country music the songwriter bares his soul on each and every one of the eleven songs. Other Dayssounds like Danny George Wilson has tears running down his cheeks and Stop Thief! is possibly the best song about a lost love I’ve heard in years. Wilson’s sweet voice soars up to infinity and beyond on a real Country heartbreaker.

The infamous Champions of the World banjo is brought out of it’s gilded cage for Breaking Out and makes a well-written unrequited love song into a real heartstring tugger – one for connoisseurs of the craft.

Best song on the album? Hmmmm… that really is difficult, but Been There Before will appeal to music lovers of a ‘certain age’ as they nod sagely at the references from a man being stood up on a hot and steamy night. But, his salvation is “Spanish Stroll on the stereo.”

I think it would be fair to say Danny George Wilson has finally grown into his voice, which has always veered towards the ‘world weary’. On STAY TRUE he can finally be compared to his peers: Graham Parker, Nick Lowe and even ALMOST BLUE era Elvis Costello.

This is Danny and the Champions’ fourth album and unquestionably their finest in a long lineage that dates back to Grand Drive’s debut in 1997. As their fans will testify, they have never made a poor record in all that time.

Release date UK – 9th September 2013
Loose Music www.loosemusic.com

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