Photos by Jared Charney
North Shore Magazine
Real Roots Cafe' Netherlands
Also called the KBMG band. Rightly so, because from Massachusetts coming singer-songwriter Dan King himself recording his latest CD Western Colors in possession of crème de la crème of musicians who - although the first co-jointly responsible for the wonderful group of sound. Drummer Dave Mattacks, now living in Boston, is a living legend who stood aside countless musicians and the fabulous guitarist David Brown, who did session work for example, Simon and Garfunkel (Central Park concert), Paul McCartney, Dr. John and Billy Joel.
The album contains ten studio tracks, plus three live tracks, plus a demo track an alternative. This crowded all over one hour is a great melting pot, especially attractive folk & rock, alt.country, and a little blues, both classic and very contemporary sound.Excellent, accessible compositions, affected by life (ragged) vocals and excellent instrumental support. The live tracks give the best indication yet of what this band of quality in-house. An open, often intoxicating, great, but never grotesque sound.Listen, like the volume control wide open, but once the songs played live When It Comes Down To Love and Raggedy that the large class of this band convincingly demonstrate. (Huub Thomassen)
Dan King "Western color"
Label: Own label; 2009Dan King is a Singer-songwriter from Massachusetts, US with an interest in any good folk, rock and progressive music. His new album isn’t a solo output as such, but an album as a quartet in which he is joined by David Brown on guitars and dobro, Wolf Guinandes on bass and Dave Mattacks on percussion and keyboards. Together with an occasional guest, King and friends recorded eleven new songs, a live, alternative and a demo recording. The album has a laid back rock sound with influences from the American folk styles and just a bit of blues now and then. Well produced, top musicians and friendly songwriting make this an album that brings people in a good mood. The musicians know how to create a strong sound together, very well in balance and always under control. Western color has all the ingredients to be liked by many.
Like a world-weary 18-wheeler easing into a lonely and careworn truck stop, this album pulls into your mind with the same mix of loneliness and consummate purpose. A reflective collection of tunes with themes ranging from love to travel to all the tangles to experience ensues. The title certainly doesn’t lie, this musical story definitely has the western color—in my opinion, I’d call it flavor. But, Western Flavor sounds like a new addition to the A-1 steak sauce line, so “color” delivers the message nicely. Dan has an excellent back-up cast consisting of professionals David Brown, Dave Mattacks, and Wolf Ginandes. These guys lead the texture front with the likes of dobro, organ, and your standard guitar/bass drum fare that rounds out the sound. The arrangements are impeccable and first caliber. It’s just a pleasant listening experience that reminds one of the transience of life—that is, if you look at life as a journey with some western color. (Mike Loce)
Time Move Over
This is the sort of gruff-voiced roots-rock that I thought I had gotten my full ration of a long time ago. But the canny production touches and the skillfully low-key instrumental backing by crack studio outfit KMBG make this more than merely a tolerable genre romp. The world-weary lyrics and delivery are no jokes, and the project as a whole from time to time displays a sort of grandeur that artists who seem to be trying far harder can’t hope to match. In particular, “Lifeboat,” and the acoustic version of “Down” are quite fine, and the live version of “Requiem Lover’s Waltz” is spectacular. (Francis DiMenno
Crocker Park, Marblehead, MA
I round the hill up to Crocker Park on this beautiful July 4th and there’s some sort of a country-rock hoedown in the midst. Now I’ve heard of Dan King the big North Shore booker/promoter, but was this really him fronting KBMG and more than adequately picking his six-string? And wait a second, last week I saw a young Gloucester prodigy with a great guitarist backing her—that same guitarist, David Brown, is on the open-air stage nimbly knocking out the tastiest solos. He’s got this great style of using three fingers on his fretboard while his pinky slide jumps in when needed. The result is those unique tasty solos. Drummer Dave Matacks starts a strange transition between two beats that leads into the band’s last number and Dan takes over the guitar solos—he’s got that blues thang down.