‘Lucky Guy’ by Delaney Davidson … Review.

New Zealander Delaney Davidson is a troubadour who is all over the map, both musically and geographically, and has been for many years. The road he travels winds darkly through a sort of funeral folk, avant-rock ‘n’ roll, fringe country and eccentric ghost blues. This music of his has taken him all over the world; with six strings, his distinctive voice and a rather well-stocked repertoire, he has toured his homeland of New Zealand, all over Europe, the States, and several other points around the globe. It is a unique signature sound of the transient world in which Mr. Davidson keeps moving, keeps writing, keeps playing. And that continues to be the case on his brand new full-length album, Lucky Guy, which is scheduled for a September 4th, 2015 release.

Lucky Guy, Delaney Davidson’s seventh solo album, while holding many similarities to Delaney’s previous work, has something else about it, something perhaps somewhat less strange, and decidedly less dark. Essentially it is the same musical entity, just leaner and with other features accentuated. It remains modern yet somehow classic, familiar yet properly outsider. It remains soulful, yet with moments when it seems as if that soul may be a little broken. It remains dressed in a nice suit, yet on closer inspection that suit is slightly rumpled and a bit threadbare in places. It still walks into the sunlight when it can convince itself to do so, yet sometimes a small personal gray cloud hovers just above its head. Lucky Guy‘s twelve songs weep and smile simultaneously, a fitting contradiction, as is the album title, which is the opposite of Davidson’s 2011 releaseBad Luck Man.

As with most Delaney Davidson albums, it is difficult to pick standouts, since so many of the songs are equally good. In the case of Lucky Guy, the ones that really capture the listener’s ear are: “Something’s Wrong,” “You Don’t Want Me Around,” “Eastbound,” “Tell It to You,” “Gimme Your Hands,” and “Wait.” It is an album to be listened to in its entirety, though. And it is the kind of material and quality of songwriting that places Davidson, while for the most part without a set genre to accompany his sound, in the realm of such greats as Tom Waits and Nick Cave, among others.

Luck Guy, which Davidson fleshed out and recorded with fellow musicians Joe McCallum (drums) and Ben Wooley (bass), was mixed in NYC with Matt Verta Ray of Heavy Trash. The album, which is being self-released, will be available on September 4th under the Rough Diamond Records banner.

Check out the video of Delaney Davidson’s “You Don’t Want Me Around,” which is the third track on Lucky Guy.

James G. Carlson          The Examiner.       Rating: ****