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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Dan Sartain - Legacy of hospitality

When an artist releases a sort of rarities package I don't expect to be familiar with much of the content unless it's live material or a cover version. Something familiar that has been given a bit of a twist so to speak.
So it's a bit strange that Dan Sartian has included a number of tracks on his 'Legacy of Hospitality' album that are also featured on his new studio release 'Dan Lives'.
They make up just a handful of the 21 tracks on offer, but I'm not sure what the purpose of their inclusion is.
You could jump to thinking that they are simply added to promote the new album.
But what passing stranger with a smidgeon of an interest buys a rarities release prior to purchasing the latest brand spanking new studio album anyway?
Like I said...strange.
The first thing that struck me about Legacy of Hospitality though was that it's far more lo-fi than I expected.
It was only after a few spins I started to concede that the demo styled recording lent themselves to the ramshackle aspect of the songs, and probably even managed to give us an insight into the song writing process Dan has.
So now I'm thinking that the style of the recording is just about perfect for the premise of the release.
As for the music itself, well the rockabilly aspect that always rears its head and gets a mention whenever Dan has an album out is there, but it doesn't define the album, or him as an artist.
It's something that I've always felt flavours what he does rather than drives it anyway, and in my opinion that impression seems to be backed up on here.
So while the stripped down basis of his oeuvre allows many assumptions to be made about the roots of where Dan is coming from it would be partially unfair to settle on just one thread that floats to the surface.
What I mean by that is that it does him a disservice by being too genre specific.
Attempting to de-construct each and every note is akin to looking for fools gold, and it's probably fairer to go with the flow.
Just immerse yourself in the songs regardless of them being more country than garage or more Latino than blues.
By doing this I would reckon that you would get much more from it.
Lets say that by avoiding trying to see the splendour of the tree when the magnificence of the woods is right in front of you would be to your advantage when listening to this.
It's an interesting release and as the tracks on this are picked from ten years worth of recordings then it's probably worth mentioning that instead of being viewed as a rarities set that it actually could in fact serve as an introduction to Dan Sartain.
Quite possibly this is the strangest set of 'so called' rarities that I've ever heard.

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