Dan Hartland “Great Novels” (Independent, 2018)

It’s always good to come across homegrown talent which is what is firmly on show here with the first full length record from Dan Hartland. Intelligent lyrics, hummable melodies and some rather fancy top notch guitar playing all add up to a very listenable eleven track album. The title track ‘Great Novels’ is, as the title hints, all about writing and inspiration accompanied solely by Hartland’s guitar which on this track in particular is top drawer and indicative of the overall folk acoustic style.
An example of the quality of lyrics on show can be found in ‘Passing St Marys’  – just check out “war is easier to symbolise than peace my love because it is predicated on so many factors” – there is some philosophy going on there for sure.  Other tracks worth specific mention are ‘The Usual Mistake’ which is a clever take on relationships where sticking around waiting for things to get better is as the title suggests, a mistake and 5-7 a thoughtful song that accentuates the hardships of the working life, the loss of jobs but also the pride in giving an honest days work and of producing a quality product.

6/10

Summary

Quality guitar playing supporting intelligent lyrics from home grown talent

Author: Michael Farley

Living in North London allows me access to many great music venues so I can get to see as many Americana and Bluegrass (yes I love Bluegrass!) acts as I can. My other passion is football and I follow the North London team with the Cockerel as it's badge. Thankfully I have a fantastic wife who shares these obsessions or else I would probably be single by now!

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