Hear The Track HereI think most people expected that when Maria Daines (and partner Paul Killington) won IOMA's Artist Of The Year award in 2005, that they would take off into the real world music business and never be seen online again. Maria and Paul are made of much sterner stuff than that though and the reason for their almost complete silence throughout 2006 was because they have been working to put together a live band that would do them justice. As of the time of writing I have yet to see the band in action but believe me, it's only going to be a matter of time. After all, M&P were MY artists of the year that year too. So, the Maria Daines Band (as they are now known) consists of Paul Killington - guitar, Bob Bampton - bass, Maria Daines - vocals and Dave Whitley - drums.
It would be true to say that since those awards Maria and Paul have become pretty much everybody's darlings and that wouldn't be so if their music wasn't powerful, sophisticated and better than pretty much anything else you are likely to hear - especially in the Blues Rock field. Maria's voice is obviously the first thing you are likely to take notice of; a full bodied blues voice that demands you pay attention or it'll box your ears for you. The second thing you will notice is the absolutely flawless playing of Mr Killington and all. Give it time though, and all of the things that most of us love M&P for will show themselves; sharp, concise lyrics, a song that usually has something to say and a good time feeling that infects every single track I have ever heard from them.
Save Yourself is typical M&P fare, although Maria is showing a more mellow side of her voice than I have heard before but even the most cursory of listens will show you that everything written and said about this artist is true and then some. One of the things that has always impressed me about their tracks is the production nous Paul brings to the party; bigger tracks you will not hear - in any genre you care to name. His use of the stereo spectrum (particularly doing the kind of material they do) is quite startling and is guaranteed to jump out at you from note one, even with a track as laid back as Save Yourself. I heard this last Saturday on Mike-K's SNR show and KNEW I had to review it - principally because it's been fekkin ages since we've heard anything new from this source. Judging by Save Yourself, the wait has been infinitely worth it.
MUST HAVE (as if you didn't know). Stars in their own lunchtime ;)