Chris Daniels, Hazel Miller, Dana Marsh & Friends
What We Did
Moon Voyage Records
Review by John Taylor
You know most of these songs, but you don’t know them like this.
“What We Did,” an album born of a virtual concert to ease the isolation of the pandemic and to raise money for Inner City Health in Colorado, grew to be something no one, including the performers, quite expected.
Chris Daniels, Hazel Miller, Dana Marsh and their friends recorded two live sets — five songs in July 2020 and five more in October 2020 — with no overdubs. Miller took the lead on vocals, Marsh covered the keyboards and Daniels added acoustic and electric guitars.
The result is a masterpiece of musical versatility that feels like a group of friends gathering around a piano for an evening of smiles and singalongs.
Daniels remembers it like this in the liner notes: “When we heard it, we sat back and started laughing because it was so much fun and Hazel said, “Look at what we did!”
The trio — with the help of Todd Park Mohr, Victor Wooten, Sam Bush, Kenny Passarelli, Greg Garrison, Christian Teele, Tom Capek, Mark Oblinger and Linda Lawson – slips effortlessly out of tight blues and into some easy-listening classics.
Not everybody can slide from songs like “Down Home Blues,” “Stealin’ Candy” or the Albert King blues standard “Born Under a Bad Sign” into feel-good favorites like “Cheek to Cheek,” “What a Wonderful World” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”
These folks can, though – and they make it look easy. (They even take a little side trip to “Kansas City” at one point.)
Northwesterners might not be as familiar with Daniels, but he and his seven-piece outfit, The Kings, have been around since 1984 and are enshrined in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
It’s easy to see why.
It’s as flawless as any polished studio album around, and its genuineness feels like a nice, warm blanket to get you through a cold, lonely night.
This is good medicine for a nation that’s been suffering with the COVID crisis for nearly two years. It’s hip, happy and hopeful.
We recommend you take two listens and call us in the morning.
And it’s not too late to help the album’s original purpose, by the way. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the endeavor go to Inner City Health, which treats underserved populations in the Denver area. To make a direct donation, visit https://innercityhealth.org
Total Time: 43:50
Takin’ It to the Streets / Born Under a Bad Sign / Cheek to Cheek / I’m Still Lookin’ / Could You Believe / What a Wonderful World / Down Home Blues / Stealin’ Candy / You’ve Got a Friend / Better Days