Somehow a copy of the new live CD “So Far From My Home” found it’s way to Knopskaya (otherwise known as Veerle Deknopper) who works for Flemish cultural centre “Cultuurpakt”. She has been kind enough to give the CD an excellent (Dutch language) review, which you can find here (link to cultuurpakt.be).
For the benefit of those whose command of the Dutch language is limited or non-existent – I’ve done my best to translate the review. Here you go:
“It is often said that the reader should not search for for the book, nor the musician his audience. No, it should work the other way around. The proof of this came in a nice CD that happened to come in our letterbox. It was not delivered to us by some record company that needed to promote itself, but by a sound engineer who got to know the artist in question, and had him perform a house concert. He recorded the result of this on a small disc so that it could be heard far away from his home.
And, the way that it sounds makes you feel at home. It feels as if you are being spoken to, letting the text and music have their effect. The artist in question, Daniel Mc Brearty, was born with the feeling for self-expression. He comes from an artistic family, the son of sculptor Jim Mc Brearty. As a young boy, he studied clarinet and tenor saxophone, and discovered a love for jazz. After studying as an engineer study and a stint with the Royal Air Force, he opted to take the artistic path. He worked as a freelance designer for the Royal Opera House in London, while playing with many bands, and earned a diploma from Berklee College of Music, while still being mostly self-taught. In the meantime, he made his way from Wales to Antwerp.
How beautiful life can be, you think, as you read (or even write) this. And that’s how he sounds, like a man who still follows his dreams – with the tree of life as a symbol on the album cover. There is something of jazz about it, and also something of a dreamy protest song – yes, it is like that. But above all, everything is lived-in and contempative, and yet utterly musical. Not with fingers that have been schooled, but with self-reflection and a wink.”
Thank you Veerle! I hope to come and play at your lovely centre one day.