Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Danny G & The Major 7ths - Love Joints, Album Review

Danny G & The Major 7ths, 'Sweet Lies'

About: An 8-piece Neo-Soul band hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Danny G & The Major 7ths is the musical alias of a certain Daniel Groenland, a singer, flautist, guitarist and composer who has regularly performed with the likes of funk band Mob Fandango, African-trad fusion outfit Tig Linn, the Discovery Gospel Choir and The Gospel Project.

His band the Major 7ths represents a move towards a more personal, soulful sound inspired by Neo-Soul artists like D’Angelo and Dilla, as well as the old classics like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. With an emphasis on harmonies and grooves, they feature not one but four vocalists and an all-star lineup ranging from 7 to 10 musicians.

Info: Way back in January at the start of this year I was made aware of Danny G & The Major 7ths through a mutual friend, and watching the development of Love Joints from inception to completion has been a very interesting journey. Danny is unique among his peers insofar as it's pretty unheard of for Irish artists to embrace soul with a dash of funk so wholeheartedly. As a huge fan of Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, James Carr and Al Green to name but a few, I instantly found the music appealing, and when I first saw the live video for 'Believin' In Something' (below) it really made me sit up, and led to an immediate enhanced interest in what the future held for Danny G & The Major 7ths. 

Danny G & The Major 7th's, 'Be With You'

So here's my thoughts on some of the tracks on Love Joints, starting with 'Be With You'. The opening track on the album seems to be one of the ones I've listened to most, which is quite normal I suppose, but it's been seriously stuck in my head for over a week now, the keyboard and wah-wah loop like a worm boring into your head, with really nice harmonies between the front man and the backing vocalists, at one point Danny reminding me of one of my heroes, Michael McDonald, on the higher notes. Another favourite is the fourth track 'In Love', the first full-on taste of 70's soul on the album with delightfully funky guitar riffs and rhythms. The following track GTFO is full of swagger and attitude as the title suggests, with a punchy interlude featuring Ophelia MC that works a treat. Speaking of interludes, the instrumental 'Being With You' slows things down temporarily and it's a great showcase for the talented musicians that make up The Major 7ths, my only complaint is, that as you reach the beautiful piano piece at the end, you want it to go on for longer. 'Just Go Away' is stripped down to the bare bones, a simple and enjoyable ballad that harks back to early 60's folk before Danny G & The Major 7ths raise the curtain on Love Joints returning to what they do best, soulful funk and then some on 'Square One' which is perfectly placed at the end of the album. This is the first album I've reviewed that I feel I've had a (social media) ringside seat to over the course of almost a year, and from the sidelines I've witnessed a lot of hard work and huge dedication go into making it, and it really has paid off, Danny G & The Major 7ths are a tight outfit, and lord knows we need some of their sugar in our bowls.

Additional Info: 

Danny G & The Major 7ths are;

Daniel Groenland - Vocals, multi-instrument
Dennis Cassidy - Drums
Graham Heaney - Bass
Johnny Taylor - Piano
Keith Fennell - Vocals
Rebecca Sinnamon - Vocals
Aisling McCormick
Grainne McCarthy - Vocals
Paddy Groenland - Guitar
Cote Calmet - Percussion

The Love Joints album launch is this coming Saturday, the 18th of October in The Grand Social, and I'll be heading along myself, if it's anywhere near as good as this, we're in for a treat.

Danny G & The Major 7ths, 'Believin' In Something'

You can purchase Love Joints at the following link on CD, mp3 or FLAC and there's also a limited edition of 100 7" vinyl copies of 'Sweet Lies' with B-side 'Never Trust Your Heart', I already have mine, get them while they're available!

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