Monday, March 28, 2011

Dan Sartain – ‘Legacy of Hospitality’

As thin as a rattle snake and just as deadly (musically speaking that is...he ain’t likely to bite you or shit like that...unless you’re into that kind of which case I’m sure he’d be happy to oblige) Dan Sartain’s been dishing up primal rock n’roll for over a decade now, so it’s high time he got the old career retrospective treatment. Whilst Legacy of Hospitality ain’t that exactly it is nevertheless a fine collection of rare and unreleased stuff that gives the listener a pretty good overview of Dan’s development to date, from the blues boogie cover of T-Rex’s Telegram Sam (from the rare as hen’s teeth debut album Crimson Guard...just 200 were pressed...and Dan still has 20 of ‘em stashed away...that’s the pension sorted) through to last year’s scuzzy God baiting ‘Atheist Funeral’ (here in its original demo form).

A lot of the tracks on offer are as raw as a freshly grazed knee ‘I Don’t Wanna Go To The Party’ for instance has the kind of live thrashiness that Dan brings to his shows, arguably serving as a better document of his work than some of the more polished releases over the years. Elsewhere ‘Strength in Numbers’ and ‘Besame Mucho’ (again both from that debut release), home recorded by the sounds of it (and all the more charming for it), provide a fascinating insight into the early days of Sartain’s musical development. It’s ‘Flight Of The Finch’ that’s the album’s highlight though. Far more mournful than the eventual release Dan’s vocal against the sparse musical backing is just beautiful.

I’ve been lucky enough to see Dan live a couple of times (once at the now legendary Coldrice 5th Birthday Party...oh my aching liver) and even got to meet the great man last year and I can happily report that he’s every inch the Southern gentleman you’d like him to be. That’s not to say that he ain’t a bit bonkers though... hell, you don’t want your rock stars to be too sensible, right? What you do want is an artist who does his own thing, regardless of the prevailing fashions or trends and, more than anything, this album proves Dan’s just such a dude. Now that’s the kind of legacy that’s worth celebrating.

Dan Sartain’s ‘Legacy of Hospitality’ is out on 25th April on One Little Indian records.

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