The Daintees – Haunted Highway
The leaders of Alt. Folk go Country
Most album reviews take two or three listens before I get a ‘feel’ for them but by the time I heard track #4 Hobo Trains I had to stop the car to scribble down some notes and 20 minutes later the same happened with the cool Shadows meets Duane Eddy instrumental Johnny Red. I can’t remember the last time an album excited me so much on first listening.
The jaunty love song Stansted Ground which opens the album is as good a song as Martin wrote in his youth and by the time you get to the gentle laid back tune Ride, which closes the album I defy any right thinking music fan not to have a big grin on their face and to be tapping their toes.
Whatever category you try to put the Daintees into they will squirm into a different one; the lovely Black Eyed Rose and the title track Haunted Highway are the pure Country love songs in the style of Hank and Buck; but then Let Your True Love Show has a Reggae lilt to it; and God’s Plan is Daintees of old – Folk Rock at its very best; and nothing sounds out of place in any way.
Martin’s voice hasn’t sounded better than this, but credit must also go to long time cohort Jon Steele who provides assorted guitars, piano and bass and the ever wonderful Kate Stephenson showing the boys what a real drummer sounds like.
Quite often in recent years Martin’s solo albums have been aimed at his existing fan base; but so many songs here are perfect for National Radio for him to remain a secret for much longer.
PS the first 300 copies come with an excellent 20 track free Sampler from Barbaraville Records.