Danny & The Champions Of The World “Brilliant Light” (Loose Music, 2017)

For his new Champions album Danny Wilson wanted something different, a collaborative effort that encouraged all the band members to contribute to the song writing process. So, over a period of months and a number of sessions, a collection of songs was accumulated and the end result is a mammoth 18 track, double album. 78 minutes of soulful country rock that gives the chance for all band members, plus a few more guests besides, to showcase their talents for the collective good.

Thus, the opener, Waiting for The Right Time, is the only track solely composed by Danny and, with its memorable hook, harmony vocals and guitar solos, provides a great indicator of what is to follow. Although the songs come together to form one coherent album the different collaborations allow distinctive and subtle variations in style and feel to shine through. Bring Me to My Knees, a classic early Eagles sounding piece of country, is one of two co-writes with James Yorkston. Contrast this with the next track It Hit Me. Written with John Wheatley of The Suburban Dirts this is a lovely, soulful number with gorgeous vocals interwoven with brass and organ accompaniment that elevates the song into the ‘highlights of the album’ status.

This soulful side of the album recurs on a number of tracks but is perhaps best demonstrated on Hey Don’t Lose Your Nerve, a song that could have come from a Motown collection such is the distinctive sound and style of the harmony vocals. Indeed, these vocals, provided by the likes of Robin and Joe Bennett from The Dreaming Spires, Siobhan Parr, Danni Nicholls and Treetop Flyer Reid Morrison are a constant throughout these songs and lie at the heart of all that is good about Brilliant Light.

The diversity of sounds within this soulful collection can be highlighted again by the 6.44 minutes of Gotta Get Things Right in My Life which features a great Paul Lush guitar riff and a run out that gives him free rein to bring the energy of the Champions live performances to the studio. Sit this alongside the slower numbers such as You’ll Remember Me and Don’t Walk Away and you have the makings of a finely balanced body of work that is a credit to Danny, producer Chris Clarke and all the many who have contributed to this terrific example of collaborative working at its best.

Author: Peter Churchill

Lover of intelligent singer-songwriters; a little bit country; a little bit folk; a little bit Americana.
Perfect Day – early morning round of golf, afternoon at Dean Court watching AFC Bournemouth, evening gig at a cosy smallish venue with a pint and a packet of scratchings.

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