CD Dan the Banjo Man (CD 1269887), Audio Other
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Dan the Banjo Man

  • 1. Dan the Banjo Man
    2. Bring It on Home
    3. Collection
    4. I Got You Dan (I Got You Babe)
    5. Flying Trapeze
    6. Black Magic
    7. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
    8. Londonderry
    9. Locomotion, The
    10. If You Are Gonna Break Another Heart
    11. Oh, Susannah
    12. Hard Drive
    13. Old Chap, The
    14. Django
    15. Candles
    16. Over the Sea
    17. Dan
    18. Is There Anyone There?
    19. Dan the Banjo Man - (2005 Mix)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 191

  • Credits
    ProducerPhil Cordell
    EngineerPhil Cordell; Ian Shepherd

    Personnel: Graham Putland, Paul Kendrick (guitar).
    Audio Remasterer: Ray Fenwick.
    Liner Note Author: Rich Wilson.
    Recording information: Cordell Studios, Nifield, Sussex, England (??/1974-02/2005); SRT, Cambridge, England (??/1974-02/2005).
    Confusingly, there's no banjo on the Dan the Banjo Man album, and, even stranger, nobody named "Dan" plays on the set. In fact, Dan the Banjo Man was a Phil Cordell solo project, from the multi-instrumentalist who had sprung into the U.K.'s Top Five under the alias Springwater with his "I Will Return" single in 1971. However, Cordell decided that his new wah-wah guitar sounded like a banjo, and thus the Banjo Man was born. The self-recorded and self-produced set was a true bedroom project, recorded on four-track in the cellar of Cordell's Sussex home. With its lush Moog-y sound, an aura enhanced by the deliriously metallic wah-wah guitar, but shot through with both acoustic and electric guitar, Dan boasts all the symphonic glories of the late '60s/early '70s, but with a pop/rock punch that puts it in a category all its own. The set is cover-heavy, jubilantly so, with an extraordinarily eclectic selection of songs done over in Dan's unique style. The popcorn-popping version of "Oh Susanna," with its spectacular slide guitar break, is perfect to pogo to, while his "rock 'til you drop" version of another piece of Americana, "Jimmy Crack Corn" (retitled "Black Magic") is jaw-dropping. "The Locomotion" is delivered up Rolling Stones' style, but with that wah-wah guitar percolating giddily throughout, Sonny & Cher's signature hit, retitled "I Got You Dan" soars "Freebird"-like towards the heavens, Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home" is transformed from R&B masterpiece to a C&W-flavored classic, while the exhilarating title track turns Harry Nilsson's "Games People Play" into a banjo-esque slapping knees up. The Banjo Man juggles styles and moods like an acrobat, refashioning golden oldies with such creativity and innovation that one can't help but stand back in amazement, while the originals are just as mouth-watering. This reissue appends eight more recent recordings to the original set, and while none can beat the exhilarating sense of discovery of their predecessors, neither are any out of place here, and several, notably "The Old Chap" and "Django" are their equals. A welcome return for a spectacular album that doesn't sound dated in the least, growing only more magnificent with age. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

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