Daddy: “For A Second Time” Cedar Creek Music ccm003
Daddy are an occasional band bringing together Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack along with John Deaderick on keyboards, Dave Jacques on bass and Paul Griffith on drums. The thing with occasional projects like this is that nobody’s going to get too po-faced. This is pretty much about having fun first and then seeing if anything worthwhile emerges from it all. I’d give it four stars on the fun front and maybe three and a half for its repeat listen qualities. Reading Tommy Womack’s blog postings he certainly feels like they’re getting somewhere so I hope that means they’ll be back for more.
Anyway, ‘for a second time’ opens with all the sounds you want to hear from a roots rock band – a funky little rhythm going on the drums, some introductory notes getting seriously bent on the electric guitar and some glorious organ chords somewhere in the region between Ian McLagan and Garth Hudson. Aaah, bliss! Between there and the end of Track 10 we get an awful lot of high-grade rock played by guys who really know what they’re about and who definitely tend towards a southern-fried flavour. ‘Love in a Bottle’ is a driving, down and dirty bit of swamp rock, followed up immediately by ‘Wash and Fold’ – way more New Orleans than Nashville sounding – with Will Kimbrough’s bottle-neck guitar careering wondrously about the place and a lyric that is very Randy Newman-ish in it’s sly, dry wit.
Different styles keep being tried out, like they’re dipping into the dressing-up box in the hope of finding something that suits. ‘I Went To Heaven in a Dream Last Night’ is a kind of talking blues, vaguely Dylan-ish, with the band gradually building to a crescendo and there are even bluesier things elsewhere but then there’s ‘Early To Bed, Early To Rise’, an aggressively satirical address to new graduates. This is possibly my favourite track, due, no doubt, to hearing Tommy Womack perform it solo this summer with a furious energy and take-no-prisoners attitude. The blues-y stuff on this album is good – ‘Hardshell Case’ is one of those slow-rolling blues that has plenty of space in it for things to develop on stage as the mood takes them – but there is a feeling that the album drifts away a bit after all the energetic stuff is loaded on the front end. Perhaps this only matters for those of us who like to go from beginning to end, just like the old days. The real odd man out is ‘Redemption is the Mother’s Only Son’, credited to Finlin/Kimbrough, a quiet, more folk-oriented song of great seriousness and some beautiful, gentle backing from an organ wash sound and some wistful harmonica. In fact, if I pick that out and play it as a stand-alone, I realise that’s my favourite here; it’s really quite haunting.
Definitely a band to catch live if they ever all make it to the UK together – check out youtube to find out why, but overall on record I’d say they could do with nailing down a band personality.
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