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Review for “So Far From My Home” at www.cultuurpakt.be

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.

Back after a long break

The last year has been pretty quiet musically. Back in January 2018 I started suffering from tendonitis, which made playing saxophone and clarinet pretty difficult. Rather than risk making things worse, I decided that it was time to take a break. Since then I have done hardly solo concerts – my playing has been limited to a the odd function gig.

In the mean time, I have been singing quite a bit and working on some of my old singer-songwriter material. I did a live concert back in February which turned into a CD of 8 tracks. More here soon for that.

In the meantime – here is a video of one of my old original songs – Summer Love. Enjoy!

Welcome 2019! Come to my February 9th House Concert!

In February, I will play a house concert in Antwerp, which will be recorded live! For this concert, I will be playing guitar and singing a selection of my original songs.

The concert is advance booking only! Cost is 20€ which includes refreshments and a copy of the CD which will be recorded live. You must book in advance to attend (space is limited). (Click here for booking site.)

Last spring, I took a break from clarinet and sax due to a scary bout of tendonitis (a complete rest was advised), and because I had to move to move, and in my new apartment practicing turned out to be very difficult.

So, I needed to take a break. This was a challenge, of course, because I love playing sax and clarinet so much. (I did play a bit but nothing like as much as I did last year.)

I decided this was a message from life to do something different. In the past I wrote a lot of original songs, and recorded some of them – but not as well as I would like. I decided that it was time to really do something with them.

This concert is a part of that.

(The good news is that the tendonitis now seems to be better, and from about March I will be able to practice sax and clarinet at home again!)

photo by Mario Janssens

Daniel by the river
Playing clarinet by the river

Some years ago, I was sat by the river in Antwerp, playing a little clarinet, when a nice guy called Mario Janssens came by and took a great picture. I think it was used on some tourist info for Antwerp City.

“In My Solitude

This was the last day of our quick tour of the UK – we were just out for a pint at a local pub and there was a folk session going on. We asked if we could play a tune and my mate Peter caught it on his phone.

  1. Poor Butterfly Daniel McBrearty / Dirk Van Den Linden / Jean Van Lint 1:26
  2. Let's Fall Out Of Love (comp/arr McBrearty) The Blue Heathens Jazz Band 1:20
  3. A Swing For Paolo (comp/arr McBrearty) Daniel McBrearty / Dirk Van Den Linden / Jean Van Lint 1:02
  4. The Twice Nothing Rag (comp/arr McBrearty) The Blue Heathens Jazz Band 1:08
  5. Streams Udhav Shinde Trio 0:37