The latest album from the Glasgow country singer finds him stepping things up a notch, recording this new album in Nashville with Old Crow Medicine Show’s Morgan Jahnig in the producer’s/engineer’s chair. Jahnig had been impressed with the singer’s debut, As Good as Bad Can Be, and invited him to record in Music City.
That decision has allowed them to call on the talents of players like Chris Scruggs, Joshua Hedley, Aaron Oliva and OCMS’ Cory Younts, Critter Fuqua, Chance McCoy and Jahnig himself. Guest vocalists included Diana Jones and Shelly Colvin. Meade’s longtime guitarist Lloyd Reid also joined the trip and anyone who has seen Reid play live will know why. That the album sounds not unlike some of OCMS’ more recent outings is not surprising, though Meade has his own path to tread and incorporates some old school country and blues into the sound too. In fact he takes his cue from the era when blues and country were just two sides of the same coin.
The first song and current single is Long Gone Wrong which sets the tone for what follows. It is a fairly uptempo and uplifting set of songs that draw on the perennial heartbreaks and edge-of-disaster relationships that were once the staple of both country and blues. The titles, all written by Meade bar two that were co-writes, tell the story as much as anything. With songs like Sometimes a Fool’s the Last to Know, Always Close to Tears, Not My Heart Again and the title songs, things are not coming from a happy camper. However the spirit of the music belies that as there is an energy and engagement that means the music is never maudlin, rather it’s positive.
Daniel Meade is front and centre as a singer and no slouch in the writing stakes. He has enough vocal depth that he can adapt his voice to suit the songs’ different needs and does so with a sense of real life and truth. True, nothing steps outside a specific framework, but within its chosen parameters it gives as good as it gets and is yet another example of originality shining through from home-grown acts willing to explore their own muse rather than simply playing an audience a pleasing set of covers. In the end this is a far more satisfactory outlook that doubtless makes it a harder task for the artist, but it is a far more creatively rewarding, if not always financial rewarding, one.
So go against his advice and rather than keeping right away, my advice is to get closely acquainted with Daniel Meade.