Danny Michel – The Birds are Dancing Over Me (Warner)
The Birds Are Dancing Over Me is a masterpiece developed by Dany Michel under the shadow of Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, delivering the rich Belizean sound from the area.
This one pulls out a unique instrumental collection: Maya guitar, turtle shells, donkey jaw-bone, as well as both Garifuna primero (tenor) and segunda (bass) drums. There are also shakers, maracas, cowbell, clarinet, and alto and tenor sax. The musical culture clashes together and creates the great tropical vibe that fuels this album.
“What Colour Are You?” kicks off, plunging into the album’s artistic talent. Mellow Garfuna beats keep the head bopping, while a dancing guitar rhythm— complete with elegant pull offs and hammer ons— carries the tropical heart of the album. Lyrics run deep, delving into human nature, painting emotions as colours.
“Into The Light” pulls some groovy sax into the mix along with a strong, upbeat Garifuna drumbeat. This is the kind of song I’d expect at a Caribbean style party, complete with swaying palm trees, sloshing piña coladas, and a crowd singing “Whooa” with the catchy backing vocals.
Michel’s been nominated for Juno awards before, and with the musical goodness flowing from this album, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s nominated again. But I want more. The album leaves the listener short with only eight tracks and 31 minutes of playtime.