“Danny Caron walks the fine line between blues and jazz with uncanny command.”
--Lee Hildebrand, San Francisco Bay Guardian
**** (excellent)— DownBeat review of How Sweet It Is
--Frank John Hadley
First of all-many thanks to all of you who enjoyed my first CD “Good Hands”, and helped make it so successful!
This new CD “How Sweet It Is” is an elaboration on my first CD. It's for blues lovers, jazz lovers, R&B lovers and even Louisiana bayou dancers! It features tunes that go back to the bayou, to my time in the late 70's with the great Clifton Chenier, cruising I-10 from Lafayette to Houston to play those church dances. Oh yes! And also my deep love for Jack McDuff, George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans et al. I love the Hammond B3. And I’m so honored to have Barbara Morrison singing on this CD-she is hands down the most soulful woman in America, look out y’all, I mean, look OUT! She sings “The Promised Land” a song I wrote with the late, great Charles Brown. Barbara also sings the Little Willie John gem “I Need Your Love So Bad”. I love her vocals so much. Thank you Barbara!
And what can I say about Charles Brown?
Here he is singing a song he wrote about losing all his money, and counting on his E.S.P. to get it back. Good luck Charles Brown in heaven, AMEN. Ils Sont Partis!
The record ends in a jazz mode, with respect to Jack McDuff, Bill Evans and Scott La Faro - RIP.
The musicians on "How Sweet It Is" are all great.
We’ve got the return of Jimmy Pugh from the Robert Cray Band souling it up on Hammond B3 for the R&B tunes. Also John R Burr and Deszon Claiborne, John Wiitala, Ruth Davies, Jeff Ervin, Paul Revelli, Steve Evans from Coco Montoya’s band, not to mention Wayne De La Cruz kicking the Hammond B3 with Kent Bryson on drums for the organ trio tunes etc. Oh-and Lloyd Meadows on the rubboard of course....Oh yeah, then there's yours truly, Danny Caron. I play guitar.
So please enjoy the soulful sounds everyone-and tell your friends. May it bring some joy.
Originally out of Silver Spring, Maryland, Danny moved to Austin, Texas and cut his teeth on the Crawfish circuit playing with singer-pianist Marcia Ball. He then worked with Zydeco king Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band with whom he recorded the Grammy Award winning Album "I'm Here" in 1980. Relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981 he continued to freelance and eventually teamed up with the legendary singer and pianist Charles Brown.
Danny served as guitarist and musical director for Charles Brown from 1987 until Brown's death in 1999. He has played on numerous CD's and sessions with Charles Brown, Clifton Chenier, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Ruth Brown, Etta Jones, John Clayton, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wilson, Donald Fagen, Dr. John, Little Milton Campbell, John Hammond Jr. and many others.
*Danny is the featured guitarist on the Van Morrison produced John Lee Hooker album, "Don't Look Back" which won two Grammy Awards - one for Best Traditional Blues Recording, and the other for Best Collaboration, Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker.
He keeps up a busy schedule touring and performing most recently with Tom Rigney and Flambeau and also with Steve Miller, Plas Johnson, Barbara Morrison, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Maria Muldaur and others. He continues working with Just Say Jazz, a group of Bay Area musicians dedicated to preserving and promoting jazz and blues awareness in primary schools. He is presently teaching courses at The Jazzschool in Berkeley California.
Danny composed the film score to the motion picture 'johns' starring David Arquette and Lukas Haas.He and Charles Brown composed the title tune, "The Promised Land" featured on Danny's 2008 CD "How Sweet It Is".
DANNY CARON SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY
*2nd SOLO RELEASE!!*********
"HOW SWEET IT IS"-DANNY CARON RECORDS 2008
*1st SOLO RELEASE!!********
"GOOD HANDS"-DANNY CARON RECORDS 2003
With CLIFTON CHENIER AND HIS RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND:
"I'M HERE" (GRAMMY AWARD: BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM, 1980)
With JOHN LEE HOOKER:
POINTBLANK RECORDS (VIRGIN)
"DONT LOOK BACK" Produced by Van Morrison, with Van Morrison, Charles Brown.
(Double Grammy Awards for Blues Album and Collaboration 1999)
CD's WITH CHARLES BROWN (Musical Director on all sessions: Danny Caron) :
ROUNDER RECORDS: CHARLES BROWN
"ALL MY LIFE" With Dr. John and Ruth Brown
(Grammy Nomination 92)
"SOMEONE TO LOVE" with Bonnie Raitt
(Grammy Nomination 93)
"LUCKY SO AND SO"
"COOL CHRISTMAS BLUES"
VERVE RECORDS: CHARLES BROWN
"THE HONEYDRIPPER" with Etta Jones
"SO GOES LOVE" with Teddy Edwards, John Clayton, Gerald Wilson, Paul Humphries
MUSE RECORDS : CHARLES BROWN
"BLUES AND OTHER LOVE SONGS" with Houston Person
WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS : CHARLES BROWN
"NEW YORK ROCK AND SOUL REVIEW" with Donald Fagen
A & M RECORDS : CHARLES BROWN
"A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS" with Bonnie Raitt and Charles Brown
With John Hammond Junior:
"TROUBLE NO MORE" with Charles Brown, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, others
With Hadda Brooks:
"STAIRWAY TO THE STARS"
With Maria Muldaur
"MEET ME WHERE THEY PLAY THE BLUES"-Telarc Records 2001
"SWINGING IN THE RAIN"-CHILDRENS ALBUM 2002
"ANIMAL CRACKERS:SHIRLEY TEMPLE TRIBUTE" 2003
"A WOMAN ALONE WITH THE BLUES:SONGS OF PEGGY LEE" Telarc Records 2003
"HEART OF MINE-LOVE SONGS OF BOB DYLAN" Telarc, 2007
With Barbara Morrison
"LIVE AT THE 9:20 SPECIAL"
Living Blues Magazine Review
How Sweet It Is
Danny Caron Records 002
Few blues guitarists are as versatile as Danny Caron. During his 1987-1999 tenure as Charles Brown’s musical director, the Oakland-based musician emulated the jazz imbued styles of Johnny and Oscar Moore, Brown’s cohorts more than four decades earlier in The Three Blazers. Yet Caron did not mimic the Moore brothers. His sweetly ringing tone and declarative phrasing are more reminiscent of B.B. King’s. Nods to Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and other modern jazz masters also crop up in Caron’s playing. He projects, however, a commanding, highly distinctive, at times humor-laced personality on the instrument that is more than the sum of its parts.
How Sweet It Is, Caron’s second self-released CD, is primarily an instrumental set in which he covers a number of stylistic bases. Two tracks recall his early 1980’s stint with Clifton Chenier: Fernest Arceneux’s rocking hard riffing Zydeco Boogaloo and the Buckwheat swamp blues ballad One For The Road. There’s no accordion on these tracks, although rubboard scratcher Lloyd Meadows augments a rhythm section comprising organist Jim Pugh (of The Robert Cray Band), pianist John R. Burr, bassist Steve Evans, and drummer Paul Revelli. Hammond B3 organist Wayne De La Cruz and drummer Kent Bryson back Caron on The Grand Lake Shuffle, a Caron-penned blues shuffle with a bridge, as well as on Pee Wee Ellis’ funky The Chicken, Jack McDuff’s Rock Candy and Harold Vick’s Our Miss Brooks. Caron also serves up exquisitely lyrical readings of the standard ballads Body and Soul and Detour Ahead.
Barbara Morrison, the criminally underrated Southern California vocalist who is as comfortable singing blues with Johnny Otis as she is doing standards with The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra offers sensitive readings of Little Willie John’s I Need Your Love So Bad and a ballad titled The Promised Land that was written by Caron and Charles Brown. Brown himself is featured singing and playing piano on E.S.P. Blues, a melancholy slow blues original about playing the horses, an addiction that severely stunted his career from the early 50”s until Caron came to the rescue many years later. The laidback performance, to which Caron contributes two stunning solo choruses, comes as a welcome addition to Brown’s extensive discography.
Throughout January, Crossroads, the weekly KMUW 89.1 blues and soul show, looks back on 2008, featuring music from the best releases of the year.
Crossroads airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on 89.1 FM, and also at 5 a.m., 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. on KMUW HD2 as part of the day-long blues lineup on Sundays.
More information on the program, the Blues Sunday lineup, Crossroads best of the year, blues birthdays and regional concert listings can be found on the Blues Central page of the KMUW website at www.kmuw.org.
CROSSROADS BEST OF 2008
1. Matthew Stubbs – Soul Bender (Matthew Stubbs)
2. Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It (Sony)
3. Danny Caron – How Sweet It Is (Danny Caron)
4. B.B. King – One Kind Favor (Geffen)
5. Bobby Wayne – Soul Station (Bonedog)
6. Maceo Parker – Roots and Grooves (Heads Up)
7. James Hunter – The Hard Way (Hear Music)
8. Mannish Boys – Lowdown Feelin’ (Delta Groove)
9. Moreland and Arbuckle – 1861 (Northern Blues)
10. Root Doctor – Live at the Cadillac Club (Big O Records)