Daniel Moir – Road
By Bobby Herron
I won’t pretend to understand where a particular artist fits into the music industry or how some acts with questionable songwriting skills are elevated to superstar status when Ron Sexsmith can’t even get moderately famous. I’m aware, however, that some tremendously gifted performers are appearing at folk festivals and I see an evolutionary musical shift happening.
Edmonton native Daniel Moir has a voice and a knack for phrasing along with songwriting skills that should land him in the realm of international notoriety. I put on ‘Road’ and was immediately struck by a melodic sophistication and distinctive vocal style and presence that had me singing along and swaying subtly despite my efforts to control myself.
Daniel’s music possesses a kind of wisdom and grounding that allows you to feel like you’re listening to something that doesn’t demand you lower your expectations. Fruitless Journey, the first track, is a melodically pleasing tune that cruises along defying gravity while giving you the sense that you must continue listening because you’re enjoying yourself. When he later goes to dark places he still manages to keep you feeling good about the experience.
Daniel handles an impressive array of instrumentation on the record and is accompanied by some skilled players. These aren’t simple folk songs hammered out on a guitar – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Recommended for those who appreciate songs with depth, texture and bounce.