Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Daniel Martin Moore - "In The Cool Of The Day"

Obviously Daniel Martin Moore is not concerned with the age-old sophomore slump, as he has decided to release a collection of re-worked traditional hymns alongside a few new songs he has written that serve the same purpose. And he shouldn’t be because his new album, In The Cool Of The Day out now on Sub Pop Records (probably the label’s first Christian-leaning, spiritual release ever) makes for an easy, uplifting listen and really showcases Daniel’s crafty songwriting and arrangement skills. The singer/songwriter enlisted his friend and fellow Kentuckian Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket to play banjo on several tracks as well as enlisting his Dear Companion cohort Ben Sollee to play cello as well.

The album opens with the short, bluegrass-y DMM-penned “All Ye Tenderhearted”, followed by the upbeat, “Dark Road” which kicks up the dust with a back-porch jam, complete with fiddle, slide guitar, banjo, and accordion. “O My Soul”, another original is more bluesy and tender with a bellowing vintage organ and Ben’s aching cello; that could become a traditional itself over time. Daniel jazzes up the hymn “In The Garden” with a walking upright bass chasing the piano line along with a finger-snapping rhythm for a standout moment. In the hands of DMM, the traditional hymn “Closer Walk With Thee” now swings with an equally buoyant bass line and rounded out by vibraphone. “Up Above My Head” retains its traditional instrumental vibe with a violin that echoes the vocals and duels with the acoustic guitar, like a musical history lesson in old time Mountain music. The more subdued “Softly & Tenderly” features gorgeous vocal harmonies from Haley Bonar and more beautiful cello from Ben on this interpretation of the classic invitational hymn. Daniel sticks to just a piano and his voice and again shows his pride for his home state with a cover of “In The Cool Of The Day” which was written by “The Proud Kentuckian” Jean Ritchie and inspired the naming of the album. Another standout is the faithful (in more ways than one) take on the uplifting hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”, which features only Daniel’s smooth voice and guitar. The album closes with an instrumental, “Lay Down Your Lonesome Burden”, penned by Daniel Martin Moore and played only by Earl D. Moore, Jr. on piano and Paul Patterson on violin; and another original “Set Things Right”, a sweet duet with Haley that features a fully formed arrangement.

For many artists, a Gospel album would be a questionable career move, but for Daniel Martin Moore it just fits and feels natural and even if you don't believe in the message of the songs, you can agree that In The Cool Of The Day is a beautiful album as timeless as its roots.

Download the single "In The Cool Of The Day" here: http://assets2.subpop.com/assets/audio/8404.mp3

Download or Stream the video for "It Is Well With My Soul" here: http://assets2.subpop.com/assets/video/8465.mov

For more info click here: http://www.danielmartinmoore.com/


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