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Danny Flowers

Tools for the Soul

(Brash; US: 2007)

Singer-songwriter Danny Flowers has quite the guest performer on the opening title track. Emmylou Harris adds a warm feel to the rather straightforward folksy ditty. Things pick up with the rowdier “Keep on Livin’”, resembling a cut from an early Steve Earle album. Another strong effort is the soulful, bluesy “Reason to Try”, sounding like the perfect blending of Randy Newman and John Hiatt. However, there are a few bumps in this album, including the ordinary “At the Open Door” and the island-tinged “What Would the Father Say” being a rather odd miscue. Unfortunately, the latter songs don’t seem to shine as brightly, even the calm, tranquil and Rodney Crowell-esque “Prayer Song”. The lone exception is without question “Ready to Cross Over”, which Flowers pours himself into. “UnGodly” isn’t too bad either, an up-tempo, blues-based groovy effort.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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