Chris Daniels

The Spark

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Chris Daniels has been leading his band the Kings in Colorado for close to two decades, and he has made a series of albums over the years, of which this is the ninth (counting the 2000 best-of Choice Cuts). Daniels takes an eclectic, crowd-pleasing approach to his music, which mixes rock with elements of jazz, jump blues, folk, Cajun, and, well, you name it. The Kings, which includes a trumpeter (Darryl Abrahamson) and saxophonist (Jim Waddell) in the lineup, are versatile enough to follow their leader's forays into various styles, none of which extend so far to overcome his essentially personable songs. By now, Daniels is trying for different effects when he makes albums; last time out, on 1998's Louie Louie, he covered songs by Louis Jordan, Louis Prima, and Louis Armstrong. This time, he straps on a National steel guitar or other acoustic in place of his usual electric for something of an unplugged feel, and he invites along a passel of friends who include bluegrass wizard Sam Bush, ex-Buffalo Springfield and Poco member Richie Furay, and Bill Payne of Little Feat. None of the guests overwhelm the leader, however. As he moves from a funky tune to a folky one and from a Cajun rhythm to a rinky-tink 1920s sound, Daniels remains a likeable frontman whether he is singing to a woman who tried unsuccessfully to domesticate him ("Biggest Heartache on the Block") or praising one who did succeed ("She's the Reason"). Either way, his music brings a smile to the listener, in a club in Colorado, on tour in the Netherlands, or on this CD.

blue highlight denotes track pick