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Delaney Davidson – Bad Luck Man (2011)

           Delaney Davidson – Bad Luck Man
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Genre: Blues / Folk / Roots Music
New Zealand songwriter Delaney Davidson seems to draw much of his inspiration from misery and tragedy.  In the style of the American folk/blues tradition, Davidson tackles heartbreak and woe with the zeal of a man who might find the reaper an agreeable companion.  And while his new record Bad Luck Man is, like his past work, rooted in the American South, this time around Davidson found his dread revelations no further away than his front door.  Though the singer lives in Switzerland and spends much of his time on the road, the recent earthquake in his home town of Christchurch inspired much of his new material.
And while it’s difficult to parse out just which songs were inspired by what – the overall theme of Bad Luck Man is such that any one of these tunes could be ascribed to a tragedy.  Country guitar and theremin inflected “River of Misery” seems to be about a girl, and the hopelessness of its cause seems to be summed up in the line “there are always two answers / and both of them are no.”  Similarly “Windy City” and “You’re a Loser,” speak of relationship woes.  The latter seems particularly gut wrenching as its Dear John message of “you’re a loser / and your losing me,” hits like a vicious sucker-punch.
Many of the other tunes’ inspirations are far less straightforward, but the current of sadness remains strong.  “How Lucky You Are” is a barroom ballad that evokes futility by utilizing the famous lines from the English nursery rhyme “The Grand Old Duke of York.”   “It’s So Good” sounds like a grief stricken paean to an old friend, set to spare piano chords, trumpet, and squealing viola. Both tunes originally appeared on Harbor Union, a benefit album for the city of Christchurch after the earthquake, and it’s not too difficult to hear the real grief of pain experienced firsthand.  Davidson also includes a couple of equally stricken covers – Abner Joy’s “I’m So Depressed” (with full band backing) as well as the traditional tune “I Saw the Light From Heaven,” both excellent and appropriate choices.
Throughout Bad Luck Man, Davidson delves down through a bluesman’s collection of sorrowful themes.  In the end though, while Davidson finds little to be happy about, he certainly doesn’t come off as nihilistic.  Though you have to look hard for them, there are glimpses of hope scattered throughout the singer’s works.  “It’s So Good” for instance, while ostensibly about a destroyed city, still shows abundant signs of life.  “I’m so glad to hear you are still singing / I’m so glad to hear your bells still ringing” Davidson sings of the town, for once letting tones of gladness creep into his voice.   Davidson’s truck in life may be sharing sadness and misery, but if even he can find a glimmer of joy out of the Christchurch tragedy, then perhaps he’s not as melancholy as he might seem.
Website: http://www.delaneydavidson.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/delaneyfdavidson
Vinyl incl. CD version of the album!!! This is the 2nd full length release of Christ Church New Zealander Delaney Davidson, the earthquake put a big impact into his new record and spreading the word travelling around the globe with his ONE MAN GHOST ORCHESTRA, touring the USA together With HOLY GOLIGHTLY and playing Europe in most countries, Russia and Scandinavia as well, is nominated in NZ/AUS as best song in 2011 by APRA under the best 5 songs of 2011!!!! Recorded in England, Italy, USA with musicians like Bruce Brand, Marlon Williams, Reverend Beat-Man, Grag, the Mojomatics and many many more.. if you are talking about a HARD WORKING MAN.. then you have a fine example here.. he's one of the hardest working men in the show business today, constantly touring and writing new songs and taking different directions in styles and themes, his recordings are like a poem book or a photo album, there is so much you can hear and see and his one man show is one of the most amazing one man show the world ever has seen, his perfection is amazing and unique with BAD LUCK man you have his 2nd album in your hand including ABNER JAY's "I'm so depressed" in a full band version time has gone is a Delaney Davidson classic here's in a full band version with the Mojomatics backing him up, "I've got the devil inside" is a song from REVEREND BEAT-MAN, he changed it around into a voodoo drum song .. and the amazing YOU'RE A LOOSER... couse you are loosing me.. a ballad that makes you cry and smile.. both the same time.
1.01. bad luck man
1.02. i'm so depressed
1.03. time has gone
1.04. another man's eyes9
1.05. you're a loser
1.06. i saw the light from heaven
1.07. i've got the devil inside
1.08. so long
1.09. river of misery
1.10. i told a secret
1.11. it's so good
1.12. windy city
1.13. something of your own
1.14. how lucky you are

Part man part wheel, Delaney Davidson is part wandering minstrel, part travelling salesman. One hand holds a small brown suitcase, his trade, his ghost orchestra, the other holds his guitar. One foot firmly in the Blues Trash corner of the ring, the other on the road, you could say Delaney sees music as he sees geography, and that although he has certain preferences, in fact all territories are up for grabs. Ireland, Germany, Italy, Brazil, UK, Switzerland, Mexico, Austria, Romania, Belgium, Holland, Russia, France, USA, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, all destinations on the ten year Solo Tour with which Davidson has turned homelessness into a success of its own. Man of a thousand faces, his work with paint, music, film and concept all has traces of his unique take on life. Part new world and part old world, this duality is echoed in the flavours he evokes with his work; Past VS present, too loud for folk VS too quiet for rock, Light VS Dark, Davidsons restless work refuses to be still for the portrait it is asked to sit for. A pattern we see in his own restless life, indeed, the apple never falls far from the tree.
I think we all need a few rotten apples, and sometimes thats where the flavour comes from
“One rotten apple ruins the whole barrel” laughs Delaney when asked to describe his work. “But then I think we all need a few rotten apples, and sometimes thats where the flavour comes from, ripe vs rotten, where does one cross over into the other”
This approach of DIY has a special flavour of its own, and can continually be seen in Davidsons work. “Neccessity is the mother of invention, and a lo budget will lead to all sorts of beautiful stand-in potential. Whistling instead of violins. I love to see things take a step, and I think people like to see the triumph of a good idea over a slick production, I think it gives them hope and inspiration. Ultimately the result of hi gloss is alienation and a removed and depressed let down feeling or not being good enough. I say let it all go!”
While Davidson seeks to embody this ethic he also displays a degree of skill in his work. His painting exhibitions of Nocturnal Landscape in the early 1990′s showed a minimal use of form bordering on abstract and a tonal blend of colours that were darker than black. What these works lacked in skill they made up for in concept; they delighted the man on the street and astounded the connisseur. While he has spread the word of both New Zealand aswell as Voodoo Rhythm all through the world, there has also been talk of his being awarded an Honorary Masters degree in recognition of the body of work that has appeared over the years from his hand.

He proves this true in the series of short video films he is continually releasing on Youtube. All made on little or no budget, each one a triumph of style and medium. Lending itself well to visuals, the personality of his musical work has been sought after for film soundtrack, see the “Flammend Herz” (story of Herbert Hoffman, Hamburg Reeperbahns oldest tatooist), aswell as “Netherwood ” a localised tale of rural darkness, and the Delaney scowl is immortalised by Slowboat Films as his portrayal of Parrish echoes across the screen in the soporiphic noircotic nightmare “The Road to Nod” ; the tale of an old Jailbird as he spirals to hell.
His doorkeeper stance on stage work has often been one of pioneer, as was shown in his introduction of the lap steel into the Basel Stadt-theatres production of Die Dreigroschen Oper. Again walking the lines between, Delaney’s master of ceremonies attack was a key ingredient in the success of “Random Acts of God” a Contemporary Dance show as response to Christchurchs Earthquakes by Corrupt Productions.
Wisconsins Steelbridge Songfestival (Brain child of Timbuk3′s Pat Macdonald), aswell as Port Lyttletons Harbour Union both showcased his dark sense of humour and his ability to write with others, as does his melodic work in the Dead Brothers, but he seems to come into his own when he is solo. “I think its hard enough to follow your own path or brain and find the time or space to hear it. The idea of asking anyone else to follow it seems like a huge task for all involved. If you only have one suitcase, you can move house in a half hour. On the other hand if you have your house tidied up you can invite people round to dinner, and I love to work with others on certain things to acheive a flavour I can’t capture alone”
However nothing embodies his spirit of floating work as ramblingly succinctly as the eternal tour he began in the beginning of the century and still continues today. Work that encompasses some ten years and several continents, countless shows and numerous releases. He has shared the bills with Underground Queen Holly Golightly, Cult legend Reverend Beatman, Radical Film-maker Miron Zownir, German Intellectual Franz Dobler, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jack Oblivian, Bob Log III , Dr Quintron and T model Ford. Has it become a way of life for him? “I never worked so hard as I do now, Self Emplyoment is the key to an early grave, I see this in lots of musician friends of mine aswell. you are your own travel agent, your own booking agent, your own photographer, your own graphic designer, your own manager, your own producer.. on top of that you are a musician. With my show I am the drummer, singer, guitarist and sometimes harmonica player, you could say it is not a way of life, it IS life”.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaney-Davidson/355666385603?sk=wall


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