Ambergris Caye Directory
Songwriter Danny Michel Inspired by Garifuna Music of Belize
Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel has quite an eclectic catalogue of music to his credit. Among his eight solo albums, are albums entitled ‘Tales From the Invisible Man’, ‘Feather, Fur & Fin’ and ‘Sunset Sea’, the later which was fully inspired and recorded in Belize. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Michel spent four months in Belize, recording a new disc with Producer Ivan Duran and the members of the Garifuna Collective.
Duran is founder of Stonetree Records, an independent record label and recording studio. He has produced over 30 albums featuring the musical styles of Belize, Honduras & Guatemala. In 2007 he received the womex award alongside the late Andy Palacio for their work on the Watina album, voted by Amazon.com as the #1 World Music album of all time.
Being a fan of Ivan’s work Danny sought him out and travelled to Belize to record a few songs as an experiment in December 2011. After two days, Ivan and Danny both felt something magical was happening; they committed to recording an entire album together.
It has become clearer that Danny’s interest in music outside rock n' roll has grown more each year. This time he’s really took the plunge and making an album unlike he ever has before. The album was recorded Belize with local instruments & musicians. The first few tracks from Danny's upcoming album feature traditional hand-made Garifuna drums, turtle shells and a donkey jaw bone.
“They don’t have fancy amplifiers to make them sound good or fancy computers to fix problems,” stated Danny. “The only thing they can do is put more heart into it. That’s their secret weapon — heart. So you just have to be really good too; you say, ‘Oh man, I gotta play better!’”
So what can we expect to hear in this new album? Michel stated that his songs echo of Garifuna, rock, funk, and Caribbean music. “The album is very rhythm based,” commented Michel. “All the songs were built around groove and very simple arrangements. Mashing genres together has always been what excites me.”
The album, Danny Michel and The Benque Players - “Black Birds are Dancing over Me” will be officially released on September 18, 2012. Be sure to get yourself a copy of this album! Click Here to Read More About Danny Michel’s dandy new album was made in Belize
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