Album review by Ashley Feller
A Young Man’s Country is a delightful release into the land of chicken pickin’, soulful tributes, and accomplished songwriting. Daniel Donato’s newest release features stellar guitar playing that is reminiscent of guitar masters Don Rich and Phil Baugh. This record is a trip through a cosmic desert that leads the listener through an intense, vibrant, auditory journey.
The first track “Ain’t No Justice” is a nod to many classic country records with heavy accents on Donato’s Fender Telecaster. Listeners may feel the band’s enthusiasm on this track as the recording is bright, and gives the feeling of traveling forward from a place of longing. Despite being a studio recording this song offers the feeling of a live performance because of the backing band’s support, interplay and harmony vocals. The album also includes an animated music video that contributes a fantastic visual element to the spirit of the song.
There are two recognizable covers on this album that were done quite well. The first being The Grateful Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain.” This is a timeless jam band piece that functions efficiently in Donato’s release. It’s interesting to witness how bands interpret the song from a melange of improvisational approaches. The other cover is “Angel From Montgomery“ written by the late, great, and recently deceased John Prine. It’s unknown if Donato intentionally included this sincerely performed tribute but it brings a pleasant touch to the rest of the album.
The remaining tracks included from A Young Man’s Country are great examples of alternative country or more appropriately, “Cosmic Country” as there is a spacey semblance in the listening experience. The track I found myself listening to on repeat was “Broke Down” which resembles a vintage country song but simultaneously has elements of modern improvisational music played by contemporary jam bands. This collection of music is a celebration of country-style guitar and psychedelic rock. It is the perfect album to enjoy on a warm summer day while imaginatively gazing up at the clouds. Daniel Donato’s A Young Man’s Country is currently available to stream on Spotify, Youtube, Amazon Music, Itunes and physical copies are available at DanielDonato.com