David Karsten Daniels is a gifted songwriter, composer and performer currently residing in San Francisco. His latest batch of tunes, with an accompanying nine-piece jazz ensemble from Richmond, Virgina, puts 10 of transcendental author Henry David Thoreau’s poems to compositions that Daniels and Fight The Big Bull pieced together by mailing back and forth with one another. The lyrics are adapted from Thoreau’s verse; the music is eclectic and rich, moving from sparse arrangements that bring Karstens’ vocals to the spotlight to lush and sometimes noisily overcrowded pieces that are more experienced than enjoyed.
The result of this interesting and ambitious project are really a joy to listen to. From the muted trumpet wails and high-hat drums to the simple strummed acoustic guitars, each track blends together and yet every one could stand on its own as well. Karstens vocals add character to the already-rich instrumentation, and the blend is really something to behold. Here are a couple of standout tracks, but we recommend soaking in the album as a whole.
[Buy the album here]
“The Funeral Bell” By David Karsten Daniels & Fight the Big Bull (From I Mean to Still Live Here, out now on Fat Cat)
“On Fields” By David Karsten Daniels & Fight the Big Bull (From I Mean to Still Live Here, out now on Fat Cat)