Friday, June 14, 2024

David Hannah crafts some great rock tracks without words

David Hannah is a songwriter, arranger and an in-demand session musician from a small market town in Ayrshire, Scotland. His main passion is instrumental heavy rock and he lists Priest, Satriani, Stratovarius and Nightwish amongst his favourite bands.

So far he has self-released five albums including his latest, Long Road Home, which has just been issued. A multi-instrumentalist, Hannah also plays Bass, Keyboards, Bouzouki, Mandolin and Gittern (a Mediaeval Instrument which looks like a small lute and is mentioned in the Pardoner’s Tale by Chaucer and appears on the Bayeux Tapestry no less).

Although he often does metal, this one is firmly in the melodic rock camp. Imagine any Joe Lynn Turner album without vocals and you’ll get the idea. This is not a widdle fest or a “look how flash I am” exercise; Hannah constructs the tunes with a verse/chorus/verse/solo approach except the lyrics come from the strings. So what we get here are some great compositions that would not be out of place on any decent melodic rock album. We even get a rocked up ‘Moonlight Shadow’, which is different enough to make you wonder if it is that one, but the main motif is recognisable and ends up as a really enjoyable exercise. Elsewhere we get instrumentals, which with lyrics could have graced albums by latter-day Rainbow, FM, Scorpions, MSG and bands of that ilk. Highlights have to be the Purple tinged opening track, ‘Don’t Ever Let Go’, the sweeping ‘Highways And Skylines’ and the moody and atmospheric ‘Tears’.

The only weakness is that when played in its entirety the songs do begin to merge and lose their individual character – be selective and you’ll be rewarded by an adept musician crafting some great rock songs without words.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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