Rootstime - Dec 28 2020 - Freddy Celis - Click here for full article
The roots of singer-songwriter Dan German lie in the English capital London, but he moved to the European mainland to settle in the Dutch city of Haarlem. He plays Americana with folk, country and rock music influenced by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Bruce Springsteen. He released a new record at the end of October 2020, which is available on vinyl and as an online download.
The title of the piece is “Never Settle” and it contains ten of his own compositions that Dan German recorded in the 'Exalto Studios' in Haarlem with instrumental assistance from bassist Tom Radsma, drummer Joar de Baat, lead guitarist Quentin Dean, keyboardist Niels van der Weiden and violinist Diederik van Wassenaer. In addition, Thijs Huijbens plays lead guitar on the song “Lost” and Matthijs Tuijn does the same on the acoustic Springsteen-like song “(Lord, Have Mercy On A) Ramblin 'Man” and on the song “Traveling Song”.
It is nice to swing to the typical Americana tracks “Mortgages & 9-5’s” and to listen to “There’s A Little Bit Of Evil In All Of Us” (on the first video) with Quentin Dean virtuoso on banjo and Diederik van Wassenaer on violin. Also the rocking songs “The Hitchhiker” and “Homeless Jack” (see second audio video) are supported by a solid beat of drums and bass guitar. The similarities with the quieter work of Bruce Springsteen reappear in the ballad “Walk Like A Man”.
Towards the end of this record Dan German brings a few more songs that really take root lyrically. Farewell songs “Time To Go”, piano ballad “Never Really Gone” and “Lost” with mainly acoustic guitar sounds are, in our opinion, some of the very best work that this musician has recorded on his album, “Never Settle”. The real-life stories he tells in his songs often lead to wisdoms and lessons that we must learn to help make our future better. So the ultimate message is: "Never rest on your laurels, but constantly work towards a better life for you and your loved ones." Very useful tip for this Christmas and New Year's Eve.
FREDDY CELIS - Rootstime - 28 Dec 2020
Alt-Country Forum - Nov 17 2020 - Michael Struis - Click here for full article
It was October 2017 and I organized a kind of Johnny Cash San Quentin festival together with pop venue Patronaat in the Haarlem dome prison. Local singer-songwriters performed in the small cells. A somewhat scrawny young man with a guitar case walked up to me and introduced himself as "I'm Dan, where can I play?" Then he walked into the cell, picked up his guitar, and began to play heartbreakingly. In no time the cell bulged. Every visitor wanted to see to whom this great throat belonged. After three years of hard work, he now makes his debut with “Never Settle”.
His first achievement came about with the help of crowdfunding and musician friends. The Brit, who resides in Haarlem, puts in a fantastic performance. Never Settle is a personal, sometimes dark novel. At times you have the feeling that he is standing in the living room pouring out his deepest soul stirrings on you.
The music is varied. Some (prize) songs are also rocking, such as Homeless Jack. Good americana is made in our country. Just ask someone like J.W. Roy. “Never Settle” is above average in terms of atmosphere, compositions and production. An intensive experience for the listener. You have the feeling that you are accompanied by German on his road trip for a while. "When it's time to go, It's time to go!" and that's just the way it is, Dan!
Is there still criticism of the debut? Yes, the record is not perfect. Sometimes it is a bit too much. As if the devil is on his heels. As a listener you can hardly breathe. A little more space in the songs and lyrics is sufficient. It's as if the artist has squeezed his whole heart and soul into this one piece of vinyl. Sometimes the clichés are just around the corner. Take that with you to the second album: SETTLE
MICHAEL STRUIS - Alt-Country Forum - 17 Nov 2020