Five years ago, Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) and Dan Reed ( Dan Reed Network) decided to combine their talents in a joint project: a live acoustic touring act called Snake Oil & Harmony. The project led to two acclaimed tours, where they shared their songs and the stories behind them with audiences throughout Europe, building a rep for their singing, musicianship and spellbinding rapport with their audiences. The tours sparked the pair into further creative partnership, kindling their considerable talents to create new, original songs, which they added to their repertoire on tour. Now, Snake Oil & Harmony are releasing their debut album, Hurricane Riders to coincide with their next tour, which begins in March 2020. So putting 2 of the finest songwriters together you would hope that this would only increase the creativity and boy you will not be disappointed. Stripped back from their rock roots, we get an LP that touches hearts and minds by its sheer musicality.
Opening track “The Lines are Open”, blends the vocal talents perfectly, and for those who have never seen Reed and Vaughn in this setting, you suddenly see why this just works. Poignant lyrics, mixed with great music is just what we have come to expect from these two masters of their craft. Any review of this LP should not fail to mention the heartfelt tribute to the people of “Aberfan” and what befell them on that fateful day in October 1966. The lyrics and music form a poignant and respectful comment on the event, that will not fail to touch your heartstrings. One can only assume that this is a Dan Reed song.
If Reed had the biggest hand in Aberfan then “Damned if You Do” has all the hallmarks of Vaughn. A country-rock tune that is cleverly placed to lift the mood and once more bring a smile to the listener’s face. The country feel continues with tracks such as “Canonball” Album closer “Little Hercules” is a fitting end to our journey, once again the intertwining of the vocals and empathetic accompaniment are just superb.
Snake Oil and Harmony – Hurricane Riders is released on 28th February via Zero One Entertainment
Review: Mark Ellis