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Shane’s Music Challenge: JAC DALTON – 2010 – Icarus

| 27 March 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Music Challenge: JAC DALTON – 2010 – Icarus

Jac Dalton - Icarus cover

Originally released in 2010 and recently re-mastered for UK release, I’ve had a copy of this album stolen, another one chewed to the brink by our dog, and played enough to wear the grooves out had it been vinyl. It’s survived, happily!

At the time I wrote:

They don’t make many like Jac Dalton. A North Carolina expat now firmly settled in South Australia, this former trapeze and high dive artist & chiropractor was architect (with co-writer and multi instrumentalist Darren Mullan) of debut album “From Both Sides”, a more-country-than-rock slice of Country Rock which boasted a European Country chart top 30 hit in ‘I Want Love’.

Now this multi-talented dark horse has found the perfect foil in world-renowned guitar hero & solo artist Graham Greene, who has helped point the direction of Dalton’s second album “Icarus” in a decidedly more stadium rock direction.

And what an album it is – melodies, subtle and beguiling, which slip into your bloodstream within a listen or two and blossom under the skin. The production (courtesy of Gregg Brown in Nashville and Darren Mullan in Australia) and performances are impeccably slick, yet still possess a fantastic rough edge to them – especially the guitar work, as you’d expect from as seasoned a pro as Greene.

The track listing is almost all killer, no filler – ‘For Your Love’ could be the best song Toto never wrote, ‘Eye Of The Storm’ and ‘Waterline’ show the magic between Dalton’s voice and Greene’s guitar-work is irrepressible – they both soar and dance, strong and individual, yet working together for the greater good, much like the collaborative nature of the whole project (Greene’s wife Donna contributes her raunchy backing vocals, art & design & project management duties).

Dalton’s reimagining of AC/DC’s classic ‘Back In Black’ as a bluegrass-rocker is an interesting sidestep – style-wise it sticks out incongruously here, but don’t panic – the banjo flourishes are superficial, the song is classic (as you all know), and Jac & Graham’s version is miles ahead of the rap version featuring Nas on Santana’s latest album.

‘Armed and Dangerous’ sees Greene weighing in with some wild Vai-like stunt guitar, and elsewhere there’s foot stomping, roof-raising rockers (‘Locked, Cocked & Ready To Rock’ and ‘Suck Bang Blow’), a beautiful, almost progressive sounding ballad in ‘Icarus’, some great arena-sized melodic rockers (‘Good To Go’, ‘State Of Rock’), PLUS the whole project provides support to LandAid, (, a charity helping support communities in need.

Twenty years ago “Icarus” would be on every radio station across the globe – 2010’s melodic rock album of the year!
And I gotta say – I was pretty much spot on. Great record! Rumour has it that a follow-up was recorded last year – I can’t wait to hear it!

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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