227

Daniel Lanois: Black Dub

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Lanois: Black Dub Not even a heavy motorcycle crash accident can prevent Daniel Lanois from doing what he does best, and better than most—making music or helping other people make music. He is simply bulletproof to whatever circumstances slap his face, be they bad or good. During his recovery period, after the intensive care following the accident, he produced Neil Young's stellar and sonically charged Le Noise (Reprise, 20101), wrote his memoirs, Soul Mining (Faber and Faber, 2010), he made his own music with a new band, Black Dub. The devotion and passion he invests in everything he does make him jump over every fence and obstacle to achieve magic.

Black Dub's music tumbles down, and spills out of the speakers in the form of unpolished and unrefined music that blurs the boundaries of folk, rock, dub reggae, blues and funk into a beautiful blend. The band is actually Lanois' old recording/touring unit—bassist Daryl Johnson and drummer Brian Blade—coupled with newcomer/lead singer Trixie Whitley. Lanois—who wrote all but one track (the group composition, "The Last Time"—is largely in the background, guiding the band and singing backing vocals, with the exception of two tracks, where he's upfront.

As on Lanois' previous records, nothing sounds rushed and everything progresses at its own, gradual pace. Black Dub kicks off with "Love Lives," a track that is both deeply emotional and inviting, a well-constructed, mid-tempo folkloric pop tune with reggae shadings, good singing and reflective lyrics. "I Believe in You" is done in a crossover reggae manner, with playful rhythms that give it a truly distinct flavor. "The Last Time" welcomes Blade's father, Brady Blade, Sr., on lead vocals. The Black Dub treatment of this impassioned and upbeat gospel tune—from the 2008 movie Here Is What Is, and heard on the accompanying soundtrack (Red Floor Record, 2008)—makes it almost unrecognizable, while still beautiful.

Showcasing Whitley's wonderfully expressive voice and Lanois' austere but tuneful writing, she shines especially on "Silverado" and "Nomad." Lanois takes the lead vocals on "Canaan" and "Sing," two joyful semi gospel tracks. "Sing" stands out; a playfully funky track, with background vocals providing a gospel flavor. Its rhythm and tempo closely resemble Bob Dylan's "Dignity," though "Sing" has a more New Orleans touch. The album closes with one of two instrumental tracks, "Sirens," where tortured guitar swirlings sound like air raid sirens.

A rough and unpolished diamond that's good at high volumes, the sonically dense Black Dub echoes Lanois' moody noir production, greatly aided by his atmospheric guitar twanging and fills, Blade's masterfully lopsided drums, Johnson's punchy bass lines, and Whitley's soulful vocals. Though Lanois has been involved in all kinds of sonically experimental records of various genres, the human touch is always what matters. It is still human beings playing, shaping and painting the music.


Track Listing: Love Lives; I Believe In You; Ring The Alarm; Last Time; Surely; Nomad; Slow Baby; Silverado; Canaan; Sing; Sirens

Personnel: Daniel Lanois:guitar, piano, vocal; Brian Blade: drums; Trixie Whitley: vocal; Daryl Johnson: bass, vocal.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jive Music | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Groove Legacy" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Legacy
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!