Hailing from Royston, Hertfordshire, Danny turned professional as a guitarist aged just 18. He has played with some incredible musicians over the years, in particular the legendary Walter Trout, and has continually honed his skills as he has gone along. From his first album “Watching you!” in 2002 through to his new release ‘Means of Escape’ (reviewed elsewhere in this issue), Danny has often worn his heart on his sleeve from his own personal experiences, and delivered some of the best blues around as a result. HRH Mag contributor and WDFD Records boss Keith Lamley chatted to Danny about all things blues-rock…
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Danny.
Thanks for having me.
You have an astonishing back catalogue enhanced by the latest superb offering (according to this reviewer) “Means of Escape”. Have you found inspiration hard or easy to come by for the new album, and what do you tend to do if you have a “block” on ideas?
Inspiration to write seems to have become easier to me as I have gotten older and progressed through my career. I think that I have found the ability to leave an idea when it is not working and equally, to jump on an idea and not leave it if one strikes. These days I tend to write on and off the whole year around, whereas in the past I would usually leave long gaps and do the majority of writing the month or so preceding the recording of the album.
Are there any previous releases you are particularly proud of, and if so why?
I really like the “Big Live in Europe” album because I always wanted to assemble a big band with a full horn section etc. That was a huge undertaking. It was supposed to be a one-off project! But the beauty of the whole thing is it became a success and we now do around 50 percent of my shows with that lineup in countries all over Europe. They also feature on the new album.
You have a long run of dates around the UK & Europe later this year. Do you enjoy the time on the road or do you miss being at home? How do you like to relax when you are on tour?
I love being on the road, I believe it is well suited to me. There are of course always times, when you miss home, loved ones and friends or you get sick of travel and hotels. But we are out there for the gigs and that is always so rewarding. There is not so much time for relaxing, each day is mapped out. I like to squeeze in a sleep in the afternoon before the show and afterwards we usually all have a drink back at the hotel.
What is your guilty pleasure in musical terms away from the Blues?
Well, I collect guitars… and I have a lot of them! I don’t tend to feel guilty about any genre of music I listen too, I absorb it all. At the moment I am listening to a fair amount of Americana and Country music.
You have played with some incredible musicians over the years – are there anymore collaborations in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Bernie Marsden and I have been talking about a tribute to one of our favourite Blues legends for a while. I think Bernie is incredible and I hope we can both find the time.
What excites you, and what frustrates you, about the music industry at the moment?
Playing live is the thing that excites me the most, I just love it. Travel can be frustrating. Airports have become a nightmare in recent times. I do a fair amount of flying! But I guess it’s a necessary evil and as they say, “It all goes with the territory”.
How do you feel about social media? Love it, or a necessary evil?
I like the fact that you can have immediate interaction with the people who listen to your music. There is a certain edge to it that can sometimes see people arguing over endless and various subjects, which I think can get unhealthy. Overall, I’m not really a huge fan, it’s necessary for business, but the damaging affect it can have on some (particularly the young), is worrying.
Are you taking a holiday this year? Where is your dream location?
I am taking a week’s holiday in July before we start touring the new album. I have been very fortunate to tour all over the world and for that I feel very lucky, I have visited some amazing places. We did a seven-week tour of America, but I didn’t ever get to see Graceland! Call me corny, but that would be right up there on my list of must-see places!
Were you a star pupil at school or a rebel?
I was the quiet one, I had my circle of friends, outside of that I don’t think that anyone would remember me.
What is on your bucket list – personally and musically?
I would love to jam with Eric Clapton, I could die happy! Personally, I am pretty happy, I have suffered really badly with periods of extreme anxiety through my life and I would like to get to a point where I felt strong enough to help others with the same problems.
Danny Bryant’s new album “Means Of Escape” is out now on Jazzhaus Records.
Further info: www.dannybryant.com
Photo by Rob Blackham