CD Review: Daniel Welsh “Extra Stout”

Eastern Ohio-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Welsh began the musical portion of his life at the age of eleven when he began learning the drums. Only a few years later, Welsh would find himself performing onstage. By the time Welsh reached the age of 23, he had already showcased for Warner Brothers Records. Since then, he has performed as a signed/unsigned artist all over the Ohio area. That constant performing helped him with his writing as well as his musical technique which now includes the ability to play several different instruments. Today, Welsh has already started to compile a short list of musical releases. The latest release from Daniel Welsh is entitled Extra Stout.

Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh begins with the track “Highways Made to Run”. The track features a piano-driven Pop/Rock sound with a little Country flavor thrown in. While the Bob Seger-meets-Garth Brooks track features both of those influences in the musical approach, there is definitely more Seger than Brooks in the music. The very upbeat track of “Highways Made to Run” feels like a ready-made radio anthem that would have been right at home on the airwaves back in the eighties. You could imagine this track being played alongside Seger’s “Turn the Page” or Michael Stanley’s “Lover”.

Daniel Welsh’s new Extra Stout EP continues with the track “The Million Dollar Song”. While the previous track had a Pop/Rock sound with some Country flavor, this track contains a stronger Country twang in both the music of the song and Welsh’s vocals. Although “The Million Dollar Song” does contain that Country influence, the song’s lyrical content is rather similar to “If I Had a Million Dollars” from Barenaked Ladies…minus the humorous undertone. If given the chance, “The Million Dollar Song” from Daniel Welsh could become a major Country music hit.

The music on the Extra Stout album from Daniel Welsh returns to more of a Rock and Roll approach with the track “Guinness and a Side of Bacon”. The track begins with the production quality making the song sound as if it’s coming out of a radio. The song transitions to more of an album quality sound in the music in the song as the track takes on characteristics that should remind the listener of something from the band Rascal Flats; especially that band’s version of the song “Life is a Highway”. The lyrical content of “Guinness and a Side of Bacon” deals with a man in love with a woman who makes him the perfect breakfast. With a slightly heavier musical approach because of the Rock and Roll influence that flows through it, “Guinness and a Side of Bacon” could be this generation’s “Hey Good Lookin’” from Hank Williams.

With the next track on Daniel Welsh’s Extra Stout EP, the feel of the music changes drastically. Where once there was Rock and Roll with a little Country flavor, the next track allows for the Rock and Roll from Welsh to stand on its own. The Rock and Roll in the track finds Welsh picking up an electric guitar. It’s that electric guitar that makes the song. The track sets the music on the EP into overdrive as the music a very strong drumbeat throughout the entire track that goes along with the guitar-heavy Funk-flavored Rock and Roll music. The inclusion of the background singers on the track adds a certain amount of Soul flavor to the music, as well. “Lord Have Mercy” is by far the heaviest and hardest-hitting track of the release.

After the hardest hitting track on the release, Daniel Welsh hits the listener with yet another track that has plenty of energy. The track “Preacherman” once again finds Welsh behind the keys of the piano as the song contains a strong piano presence that is equally matched by the electric guitar that also helps to create the music on the track. The piano/guitar mixture in the music create a track that feels as if it would have been right at home on the radio back in the eighties. “Preacherman” deals with a man looking back in time as he recalls spending time with his grandfather, a man known as “the preacher,” although he does not know why the man had that nickname.

The Extra Stout EP from Daniel Welsh comes to a close with the track “I Don’t Know Much”. Like the track “Highways Made to Run” from earlier in the EP, “I Don’t Know Much” contains a Rock and Roll sound that brings to mind the music of Bob Seger. And just like other tracks on the release, this song contains a style of Rock and Roll that would have easily fit on Top 40 radio back in the eighties.

Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a solid release from beginning to end. Throughout the six tracks that make up the EP, not one song is a disappointment. In fact, each of the tracks on the release have a very commercial feel to them. While this is an independent release, the EP from Welsh feels as strong as anything a major label could put out. And with Welsh’s former affiliation with Warner Brothers Records, there may be a very good reason for that. If you are a fan of Rock and Roll music that has a timeless feel to it, Extra Stout from Daniel Welsh is a release you need to check out.

To hear some of the music from Daniel Welsh, check out his song “Highways Made to Run“.



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