Danny McGuinness,
Room 809
(Heatshield, 2004)

This album is amazing in content but also in concept. Apparently, Danny McGuinness sat down with guitarist Kent Van Der Kolk in room 809 of a Los Angeles hotel -- hence the title -- and in four hours they recorded this set of 10 songs. It sounds like the stuff of musical legend, but here on a silver disc we find the evidence.

"Good Rain" opens the proceedings, then we move gently on to "Designed." These tracks tell various tales. They tell them with deceptive simplicity. Listening to this album, many will feel that they could duplicate it -- but as with so much simplicity there is a bedrock of talent, tears and hard work.

These songs did not magically appear in room 809. If they did, the room would be overbooked.

In days of overproduced music it is a delight to hear this CD. It reminds me of those late sessions after a concert when performers are too high to sleep. They still have music flowing in blood and brain so they sit down and play. Sometimes it works. Other times it fails.

In room 809 it worked, and extremely well.

by Nicky Rossiter
22 April 2006

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