Husband and wife duo, Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry (Danberry, get it?) beef up their familiar back porch sound on SHINE, their third album, gathering a full band clan including gutbucket electric guitar, pump organ, trombone and tuba. This allows them to deliver some raucous songs such as the Tom Waits’ like junkyard stomp The Road along with the opening title song which reeks of southern menace. It’s quite a shift in gear and not all of this revamp is as striking as the two songs mentioned as the duo wander into AOR territory.
Songs such as Never Gone and The Mountain are glossy but unremarkable while Love Conquers War is somewhat clichéd. They do hit the mark on the meandering The River Is Wide which is by turn, spiritual and invigorating as it weaves its way. Undertow, mostly, maintains this standard with its glistening guitars and emotive vocals from Daniel. It’s perhaps appropriate here to comment on the lack of lead vocals from DeBerry throughout the album. In the past he has sung on several songs but here he’s limited to harmonies, a pity really. The album might win them new followers but as it signs off with Rain, it reminds us of how great a vocal harmony pair they are especially in stripped back mode.
The Danberrys · Shine