It’s been a long wait for Kyle Daniel’s first full length album. Having dashed home from his trip to the aborted C2C festival of 2020, and into lockdown, he headed to Muscle Shoals later that year to record – never imagining that the ongoing pandemic would mean holding onto the album for another two years, if he was to have the opportunity to tour behind the release and promote the record effectively.
Thankfully, the album, titled “Kentucky Gold” is now scheduled for release on October 14th, preceded today (25/2) by the lead-off single “Runnin’ From Me”.
“Runnin’ From Me” is a slice of “classic Kyle” showcasing everything that makes him so special. A great, catchy hook; strong, personal lyrics you can instantly imagine live audiences singing along to; and his wonderful voice backed by an amazing band. We could hear the influences of the Allman Brothers and even Little Feat, while others have mentioned Nathaniel Rateliff and The Avett Brothers.
To mark the release, Kyle spoke to Six Shooter’s Paul Lewis.
PL: Hey Kyle, how are you doing?
KD: I’m up and at ‘em this morning, getting going for this big release week but the weather is nasty here in Nashville right now.
PL: We’ve had that here too, a terrible storm last Friday, the worst in 30 years.
KD: Yeah, I saw that part of the O2 had been disassembled there.
PL: Let’s talk about the single, why did you pick “Runnin’ From Me” as the first track out?
KD: I feel like this is the most universally “Kyle Daniel song”, a good reintroduction to who I am as an artist after the downtime I’ve taken with the world hitting pause. This record is so diverse, and this song is kind of in the middle, it isn’t too much one way or the other. And it has this good singalong type of thing going on too.
PL: I could hear all sorts of influences in there – definitely some Allmans, even Little Feat.
KD: That’s very cool because the dude that played guitar on this, Drew Smithers (he plays on the whole record) is an absolutely masterful guitar player, and a big Lowell George fan, heavily influenced by Duane Allman & Lowell, lots of slide guitar work. And he’s one of those slide players that doesn’t try to mimic anyone else – he’s taken pieces from all the legends and created a vibe that is uniquely himself.
PL: There’s a great piano break in there as well.
KD: Yeah, Monty Rivera, who plays keys on the record, is a phenomenal talent. I didn’t know him. Brian Elmquist, who produces the record, brought Monty in and I was supremely impressed with him. He sings, he’s also a producer himself, the dude was a triple threat. He came in and added a totally different dynamic, which was great. And Brian is all over it too. He played guitar, produced it, sang on it – you hear him counting the song in too. There’s a lot of “gang vocal” sounding things where it was the whole band, it was cool.
PL: Are your own band on the record too?
KD: Yes, the band are on this; Seth Rentfrow (guitar), Jay Kott (bass) and Tucker Wilson (drums) have been the core group on almost everything I’ve done.
PL: You recorded this in Muscle Shoals. Did that location give it a specific vibe?
KD: Absolutely! Seth and I went down in the car, it’s only about an hour and a half from Nashville. When we got there, it was starting to get dark, and you could feel it in the air. There’s something different about that city. We were on a mission to do this record, and when we rolled into town, it was like this blanket of warmth. No one can really explain what it is about Muscle Shoals., they talk about something in the water. It just has a different vibe. We recorded it at Ivy Manor at the Shoals and Michael, who owns the place was super hospitable and helped take care of us. It really made for a great experience overall, to be able to just wake up not have to worry about anything. There’s something to say for that boot camp style recording where you don’t go anywhere. You just eat, sleep, breathe it. So I think that, coupled with where we were, was super special and made the record what it is.
PL: There’s a fantastic documentary film about Muscle Shoals (“Muscle Shoals”, 2013)
KD: Yeah, about Fame Studios? We went to Fame. Drew, the guitar player, knew somebody there, so they let us in on a Sunday when they weren’t open. And we got to walk around and look at all the stuff. It’s such a history rich town. That was really the only thing that we went and did while we were there, other than recording.
PL: You’ve already had to sit on the record for some 18 months now, and the album won’t be out until October, so pretty much two years.
KD: Yeah, with the climate we’ve been in, the travel & touring restrictions. But I feel like now, I’ve been holding on to it long enough now. So hopefully by the album release, we’re back to full swing and touring is OK, without too many restrictions, like half capacity and so on. Because, as an independent artist, it’s tough to go spend money and resources, that you don’t necessarily have, when you’re only getting a percentage of what you would normally see. So, it’s been wild to think I’m going to stay low for 18 months, but I feel like it was the right thing to do. Tough but planned that way for sure.
PL: So when are we hopefully going to see you in the UK?
KD: I will definitely be there for the Long Road Festival (August 27/28), and we’re looking at whether there are a couple of other things we could do around that. We’re hoping to do a full European tour too. I’m excited to get back over that way. By that time, in August, we’ll have quite a bit of new music out and be looking towards the new record.
Kyle Daniel’s single “Runnin’ From Me” is available now, from all the usual places. He’s playing at The Long Road festival, which takes place on August 27th & 28th, with more touring plans to follow.