DAN MCCORISON – MONTANA MOON
Triple threat singer/songwriter/guitarist Dan McCorison recorded his latest offering Montana Moon pretty much on the fly, meaning there was little time to over- think or over-analyse. As such, the end result is a warm live- in- the- studio homage to the Western music McCorison loves.
McCorison preferred a spare soundscape and brought in Scott Neubert to add electric guitar, pedal steel and dobro while Dow Tomlinson handled the upright bass. Both knew instinctively what to leave in and leave out which provides ample room for McCorison’s rich baritone, equal parts Merle Haggard and Joe South, together with his always solid rhythm guitar.
The song selection is a 50/50 split of new and old that blends into a seamless whole of authentic American music. Rather than choke on history, McCorison chooses to give familiar offerings like Cool Water, Tumbling Tumbleweeds and The Navajo Trail a new coat of aural paint and make them his own. I’m An Old Cowhand is flicked into a Cowboy Jazz exercise where Neubert’s Wes Montgomery informed guitar bounces off McCorsion’s swinging croon. Eddie Arnold’s Cattle Call gets faithfully rendered but has enough space for McCorison’s rangy voice to glide up into a near falsetto whoop while the doleful, but timeless, Streets Of Laredo is made to order for his expressive baritone.
McCorison’s own songs are strong enough to hold their own against the proven standards – Western Swing creeps into I’d Rather Have You and the elegant title track, sung in a Crosby-like croon, is a standard waiting to happen. His Folk/coffee house roots inform the narrative driven Our Colorado Home whereas the plainspoken dedication of I Hope The Band Plays Forever is more Texas troubadour than anything else. Will Dudley’s Colorado Horses and Bob McDill’s Coyotes are two story songs both suited to McCorison’s flexible voice and the spare ensemble sound the trio favour throughout the album.
As a labour of love, Montana Moon comfortably incorporates elements Western Swing, Folk Blues, Honky-Tonk and Cowboy balladry which allow a genuine eclectic like McCorison to get inside the songs and take them to where he wants. Forty years since his debut as a solo artist, McCorison’s talents remain intact and, to paraphrase one of his own works, we hope he plays forever.
Melbourne Australia 2017
Dan McCorison has established himself as a singer/songwriter of true substance. A western music performer in the tradition of Rex Allen, Jr. or Ian Tyson, he cut his teeth in Nashville where he was eventually rewarded with a contract to record for MCA records. However, he hasn’t been willing to sacrifice his creativity to toe the mark of mainstream country music – for which we can be thankful. Otherwise we would not have discovered that he can perform western music, classics or originals, with an alluring naturalness that never belabors his voice or range. And Dan also knows something about taking pen and paper (or, more likely, computer and keyboard) and crafting a tune, too. Give “Montana Moon” a listen, and you’ll discover that Dan McCorison is more than a cowboy singer with a guitar – he’s a skilled and soulful singer who can roam from a classic cowboy song to a one of his own creation with an honesty and dedication rarely seen today. If you’re only going to purchase one cowboy and western album this year, make it this one.
President Western Music Association
The Country Campfire
Defenders of Freedom Radio
KZNQ, Santa Clarita, CA
“I love it!”
Barbara Richhart KSJD Radio Cortez Colorado
“We loved it and added the entire CD to our rotation…”
Bill Walton, Q-Country 101.5 FM KZNQ Santa Clarita, California