From the moment Daniel Link released his latest CD Book of Shadows (May 25, 2012 at precisely 4:48 PM) KBAC 98.1 FM, “Radio Free Santa Fe” has been playing his song “The Spell” virtually every day for four weeks. A most appropriate song for The Land of Enchantment, from what DJ Yon calls “a fabulous new Santa Fe artist.”
Book of Shadows is the first CD for independent singer songwriter Daniel Link in seven years. This latest recording endeavor finds Link at the height of his creative and expressive powers with a collection of songs that peers deeper into the artist’s soul than any previous work to date. Not to mention the most honest; Seven White Moons is Link’s first politically correct tune with the proper pronoun usage for a contemporary gay man. Although not trail blazing by today’s standards, nor is the song intended to serve as activism, but like every other song on Book of Shadows it speaks to Daniel’s geographic and fundamental internal changes.
Launching his career in Austin, Texas in the late ‘90’s, Daniel Link established himself as a regional favorite among an impressive line-up of Austin’s most formidable musicians… sharing the bill with Bob Schneider, Ruthie Foster, Jon Dee Graham, the late Steven Bruton and Sara Hickman. Link’s “almost too close for comfort” lyrics paired with his spot on pop rock melodies made him perfect for Austin…not really folk, but somewhere between alternative country and southern rock…a sophisticated songwriter with an instantly recognizable voice. His following loves him. And critical acclaim for Link’s work ranges from The Austin American Statesman: “Link is an accomplished tunesmith”, to Billboard: “The humanity displayed here is accessible to anyone who’s ever felt left of societies center. And the music is potent enough to work for those who simply want sweet melodies and memorable hooks.”
But five years after his 2005 release Color of Rain, Link and his partner Ralph Lopez relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to care for Lopez’s elderly mother. It was in Santa Fe where Link was discovered by Grammy nominated singer songwriter Vince Bell, who invited Daniel to be his sideman. After a brief tour with Bell to Texas headlining at Houston’s Anderson Fair, Vince introduced Daniel to Jono Manson.
“I knew from the very first meeting with Jono that we would work well together” Daniel says, “we both had an intuition about each other, and pretty much decided to move forward without really knowing very much about each other’s music…it was more about the vibe we had together.” Once pre-production was underway, it was clear that Link had found the perfect producer in Jono Manson…who’s organic approach to recording was well matched with Daniel’s most expressive batch of songs and vocal performances to date.
“I started writing songs for this project shortly after arriving in Santa Fe...the first being Last Day of Winter which was written on the last day of winter in 2010 and recorded on the last day of winter in 2012...just two days after my aunt died, so the emotional power is very present on that song.” Other stand out tracks include Saving Grace, a power house rock song written for a friend of Daniel’s who is Wiccan...which informed Daniel’s decision to call the album Book of Shadows. The lead single Save Me A Place is the only track not penned by Link; it’s actually an obscure track from Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 Tusk album written by Lindsey Buckingham. “I wanted to pay homage to the band that inspired me while at the same time include Vince Bell and Catfish Hodge who are both heroes of mine. This song seemed like the perfect vehicle to honor them all. And it’s also a great companion song for The Spell.”
The focal point on Book of Shadows is lyric content and vocal performances. The traditional pop rock formula of big guitar solos is not present on the majority of the disk by design. As a musical poet, Link defines himself and his musical brand on Book of Shadows like never before...this album won’t be compared to other artists...it’s clearly Daniel Link.
Book of Shadows is available at iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon