Reviews for Windrush

At the Barrier

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush

Release Date: 28th August 2020

Label: Clunk and Rattle Records

Formats: Digital / CD

First, an introduction.  Daniel Nestlerode is a singer-songwriter, originally from Pennsylvania, who has spent time in California and Cambridge, England and who now lives with his family in Northern France.  His life experiences are strongly reflected in the songs he writes and he uses his virtuoso skill on mandolin and mandola to bring his songs to life. 

He names his key musical influences as Hugues Aufray, Jean-Jacques Goldman, John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien and Fairport Convention and the ghosts of each of these can be heard to pervade the music.  Windrush is his third album and follows 2013’s More Than A Little Guitar and 2017’s Almost Home, both of which garnered deserved praise in the folk/roots music press and brought Daniel to the attention of several of the folk scene’s movers and shakers.

Windrush is a most enjoyable collection that unites a couple of traditional songs and tunes and a cover of an old favourite together with a selection of Daniel’s observational songs to deliver an album that is alternately tuneful, entertaining, sentimental and thought-provoking.  The songs and tunes are simply, yet effectively, arranged, with a strong focus given to Daniel’s mandolin playing and to his strong, English-sounding vocals. 

There’s a home-made feel to many of the tracks and the songs are delivered with an urgency that suggests that he couldn’t wait to commit the songs to tape.  I was particularly interested in the perspective of a US citizen, married to a French national who, having lived in England has observed how we have managed to tie ourselves in knots over recent years with Brexit and the Windrush scandal and I detected and empathised with his regret over these stumblings.

The album is bookended by two versions of the gentle White Flower Waltz, a tune composed by Daniel in the traditional idiom which both sets the feel for the album and effectively wraps up proceedings at the end.  Daniel’s own songs include Unexpectedly, a jaunty country song that recollects his first meeting with his wife; After All, a slow rocker which describes the relief he felt when he settled in France and realised after all his wanderings, that he finally felt that he’d arrived at home and Tout Ce Qui Fait Toi, a song about the birth of his first child with the verses sung in English and the choruses in French to reflect the child’s multi-nationality; the title translates as “Everything that makes you,” and the lyrics reflect this touching sentiment.

Alongside Daniel’s own compositions, the album also includes a liberal sprinkling of traditional numbers, drawn from sources far and wide including American Civil War ballad, The Vacant Chair, an excellent version of the popular Scottish song of farewell, The Parting Glass and the Appalachian dance tune, Blackberry Blossom, on which Daniel manages to inject a Breton feel into the mix.  All are played and sung with great enthusiasm and respect.

For me, though, the real highlights of this excellent collection are three more of Daniel’s compositions.  Living The Dream is a stomping song with mandolin leading the charge over a solid bass drum beat and lyrics that describe how Brexit made Daniel and family feel unwelcome in the UK and gave them, along with many others, a reason to relocate to France.  Windrush, the title track, is an instrumental number that is described as a “Paean to the fortitude of the Windrush generation” and Being A Boy, which for me is the strongest track on the album, captures perfectly the sentiments and experiences that anyone who has had the pleasure of watching a child grow will find familiar.  The wistful chorus that bemoans how children grow up too fast, brings to mind a happier, more optimistic take on John Sebastian’s Younger Generation.

Windrush was co-produced by Daniel and studio owner/engineer/musician Chris Pepper, who also added supplementary keyboards drums and bass.  The result is an entertaining set that will appeal to lovers of reflective, intelligent songs and to traditional folkies alike. 

John Barlass

https://atthebarrier.com/2020/08/25/daniel-nestlerode-windrush-album-review/

Realrootscafe.com (NL)

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush
Label: Clunk & Rattle
Tracks: 12
Website: https://www.nestlerode.eu

[Google Translation from the original Dutch]

Folk / singer-songwriter and mandolin player Daniel Nestlerode is an American, born and raised in Pennsylvania, who then moved to Cambridge, UK, after a stay in California, and moved to northern France with his family while recording Windrush. For this third album he wrote a number of songs about that period of about ten years. In it he expresses his feelings about the unexpected meeting with his wife, a Frenchwoman, in Unexpectedly, at his fatherhood in Tout Ce Qui Fait Toi, the refrain of which is in French, and at the education of their son in Being a Boy. . Entirely in French, the cover C'est Noyé, written by American songwriter Victoria Vox, to which the couple listened incessantly, during a trip through the hills and mountains of California. Nestlerode speaks about his social involvement in Living the Dream, which deals with the private consequences of Brexit and commemorates the Windrush scandal in 2018 in the instrumental title track. (The Ministry of the Interior included arrests and deportations of British nationals of West Indian descent, executed covertly). The Vacant Chair and The Parting Glass are reworked traditionals dealing with the loss of loved ones. After All and the instrumental track White Flower Waltz ', which opens and closes the album, Nestlerode wrote in France, a place that turned out to feel like coming home. (Among other things, arrests and deportations of British subjects of West Indian descent were carried out covertly by the Home Office). The Vacant Chair and The Parting Glass are reworked traditionals dealing with the loss of loved ones. After All and the instrumental track White Flower Waltz ', which opens and closes the album, Nestlerode wrote in France, a place that turned out to feel like coming home. (Among other things, arrests and deportations of British subjects of West Indian descent were carried out covertly by the Home Office). The Vacant Chair and The Parting Glass are reworked traditionals dealing with the loss of loved ones. After All and the instrumental track White Flower Waltz ', which opens and closes the album, Nestlerode wrote in France, a place that turned out to feel like coming home.

This album will appeal to fans of both traditional and modern folk music. After all, the songs are an extremely successful mix of narrative, personal lyrics, full of melancholy, romance and engagement, and musically of high quality. Instruments such as harmonium, toy piano, electric and acoustic guitars, violin, the aforementioned mandolin, dulcitone, Marxophone (kind of zither) and for the first time bass and drums plus his voice related to Richard Shindell, give form and content in a sparkling way. the twelve special, partly autobiographical songs. (Clunk Rattle Records)

https://www.realrootscafe.com/2020/08/08/daniel-nestlerode-windrush/

Planet Country (IT)

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush
Label: Clunk & Rattle
Tracks: 12
Website: https://www.nestlerode.eu

[Google Translation from the original Italian]

Daniel Nestlerode has traveled a lot, he has built his musicality piece by piece by adding influences ranging from folk to country music, from bluegrass to roots rock, from his native Pennsylvania to California, from England where he lived a few years to the north of France where he settled for emotional and family reasons. Three albums to his credit starting from 2013 when he debuted with "More Than A Little Guitar" and then recorded four years later "Almost Home" and now "Windrush", a collection of songs and instrumental pieces that perfectly photograph his roots and his musical loves. The combination of originals, traditional and covers is absolutely winning here and evokes the folk ballads of his homeland but also British folk-rock (Fairport Convention was a point of reference for Daniel) and, thanks to the use of the French language, the homage to his dearest feelings. “Windrush” is a disc full of meanings and flows through calm and often bucolic, electro-acoustic and poetic atmospheres, guided by a warm and extremely pleasant voice and by an approach of excellent aesthetic taste. Among the moments to underline there are undoubtedly the only cover, "C'est Noyé" by the good singer-songwriter Victoria Vox, the traditional "Blackberry Blossom", classic bluegrass here reinterpreted in a decidedly different way, and the pairing "The Vacant Chair "and" The Parting Glass "where folk roots and the originals" Unexpectedly "," Being A Boy "," Living The Dream "and" Tout Ce Qui Fait Toi "emerge in a strong and proud way, all pervaded by personal and autobiographical. An album this "Windrush" that sounds more English than American in the tones, thanks also to the frequent use of the mandolin, mandola and bouzouki and by a spirit certainly influenced by the years spent in Cambridgeshire. A work that shows a fully expressed maturity through an absolutely enjoyable repertoire. To know. (Remo Ricaldone)

https://www.planetcountry.it/daniel-nestlerode-windrush/

Fatea-Records.co.uk:

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush
Label: Clunk & Rattle
Tracks: 12
Website: https://www.nestlerode.eu

Daniel Nestlerode's latest release is very much an example of "Americana over here." His Pennsylvanian roots - both rocky and traditional - are clearly apparent, but there are subtle overlays of a European sensibility that contribute to the formation of a sound that is rather uniquely his own.

Although he's not afraid to write of social issues and the full gamut of love, family, history, and contemporary society (including both Brexit and the trials endured by the Windrush generation of the title), Daniel's angle on these matters is to evoke sympathy rather than anger, love rather than angst: it's an album you can relax to without surrendering identification with the subject matter.

He's been resident, and domestically settled in France for the last two years, and obviously keeps his musical ears open. The overall sound here, despite its North American roots, is not out of place with the auteur-compositeur tradition so prevalent on the Continent.

I can hear touches of Moustaki in the blending of the personal and the universal, particularly in tracks like After All (about the need to close the door on the failures of the past, while acknowledging the scars they have left)), and Living the Dream (about his experience of being an American, married to a Frenchwoman, living in England as the shadow of Brexit descended).

There is also a very Italianate, Morricone-like, feel in the implied narrative of the title track - a dramatic instrumental that seems to speak of frontiers and challenges.

Love of family pervades this album - songs like Unexpectedly, Tout Ce Qui Fait Toi ("All That You Are"), and Being a Boy share with the listener the joy he has found in his marriage and the birth of his son - it also doesn't hurt that they are very fine songs.

The choice of covers also seems very personal. American Civil War song The Vacant Chair laments the death of young men in war, The Parting Glass seems to reflect his own travels and the farewells he has made, and his take on Victoria Vox's C'est Noyé ( probably best rendered as "My Cares Have Drowned") is a reflection of the way in which those travels have helped him shake off past troubles.

Finally, we're not allowed to forget that Daniel is a fine instrumental composer and player. He sandwiches the album tracks with his own White Flower Waltz - a minimalist version to start with which reprises at the album's end in greater length and complexity, eventually settling, from a smooth crescendo, back into the bare-bones version with which he started. The traditional American breakdown Blackberry Blossom also shows of his musical flexibility as it drifts effortlessly through the keys.

This is an album that's very easy on the ear, but that ease of listening goes hand in hand with its creator's fine gift for forging melody and artfully-crafted songs.

Bob Leslie

http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/reviews/DanielNestlerode2/

Rootstime.be

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush
Label: Clunk & Rattle
Tracks: 12
Website: https://www.nestlerode.eu

[Google Translation from the original Dutch]

It must be me, but I never heard about this American mandolinist and songwriter, who first moved to the United Kingdom, but recently, for Brexit reasons, took refuge - very understandable by the way - with our neighbors from Northern France. : he is now married to a Frenchwoman and in his new environment quickly found a connection with the mainly rock-oriented music scene, which quickly enraptured him and his music that was distinct for France. If Daniel had been completely sensible, he would have moved a few more kilometers and settled with us in Flanders, but this aside. In any case, he would have been a great asset to our musical theater today, as this record - his third so - shows that he has both American and English folk among the members and that it cannot be very long before we can also expect French accents. They are already there, since “Tout ce qui fait Toi” is by his hand and there is also a remake on the record of “C'est Noyé” by the American Victoria Fox (which was also unknown to me) . The words of that title were the only words Daniel could utter in French to the woman, who is his wife today, whom he met while living in Cambridge.

This brings us to the essence of the record: it is autobiographical and tells about a few key moments in man's life of the past decade: “Unexpectedly” is about meeting his wife, “Tout Ce Qui Fait Toi” about what it means when you become a father for the first time, and what it is like to raise a child, is what “Being a Boy Over” deals with, while “Living the Dream” muses about moving to France and how it happened had to come for an American, a French, who lived together in England. I already mentioned the cover of Victoria Vox, but the record also contains three covers of real traditionals: both “The Vacant Chair” and “The Parting Glass” deal with the loss of loved ones and I find the second one especially impressive, because of the harmonium sounds, which inject the sadness abundantly into the song. Traditional n ° 3 is Blackberry Blossom, in which the mandolin duels with the same harmonium, which inadvertently reminded me of the band Patrick Street. That was also the case with “White Flower Waltz”, an instrumental that opens the album briefly and closes it for a long time and in which Nestlerode can extensively showcase his mastery of the mandolin.

Look, I have heard this record a dozen times now and have noticed, both myself and my housemates, that it is a success: when this record is on, they really listen. That says something about Daniel's voice timbre and singing, about his musical skills, but above all it indicates that this is a very good album, which is full of sensitive, honest songs and that as far as I am concerned, the name of its maker forever. on the map!

(Dani Heyvaert)

https://rootstime.be/index.html?https://rootstime.be/CD%20REVIEUW/2020/AUG1/CD86.html

Music Riot

 

Artist: Daniel Nestlerode

Album: Windrush
Label: Clunk & Rattle
Tracks: 12
Website: https://www.nestlerode.eu

“Windrush” is quite a box of tricks. To say it’s eclectic is a bit of an understatement; Daniel Nestlerode romps through a kaleidoscope of styles, sometimes in unexpected combinations, none more so than the title track.  “Windrush” is a headlong rush of an instrumental, combining elements of folk, Dick Dale and Ennio Morricone in tribute to the spirit of the people who came to United Kingdom from the Caribbean in response to adverts designed to fill labour shortages in the UK after the war. It’s a tribute to the courage that it took to uproot and travel thousands of miles to create a new home in the grey post-war landscape of the UK. The piece evokes the surging of an ocean voyage and gradually builds to a climax employing acoustic and electric mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, harmonium and percussion.

The album is a combination of personal and socio-political themes, conceived at a turning-point in Daniel Nestlerode’s life. As an American living in the UK with a French spouse and UK-born children, The Brexit vote was a crucial factor in moving and resettling the family in France. His new local music scene, with rock music predominating, also meant that Daniel incorporated some of his earlier musical experience in the US into the mix, bringing in electric guitars and mandolins, drums and bass at various points in the album.

Coming at such a critical point in Daniel’s life in terms of family upheaval, musical rediscoveries and political uncertainty, it’s inevitable that “Windrush” would be a bunch of contrasts; traditional folk meets rock, electric meets acoustic, vocal meets instrumental, beginnings meet endings, personal meets political and old life meets new life. This is an album that’s being pulled in many directions, yet still managing to sound cohesive, and that’s quite impressive.

The album is topped and tailed by the same piece, “White Flower Waltz”, opening as a short intro and closing as the full version. I’ll leave you to guess what the time signature is. The covers on “Windrush” are an interesting selection; “The Vacant Chair” and “The Parting Glass” are American and Irish respectively and the traditional instrumental “Blackberry Blossom” gets a makeover with a few key changes to cause a bit of a fuss with the purists. The really interesting choice is the Victoria Vox song “C’est Noyé”, which has a strong resonance personal resonance for Daniel and neatly ties in with the Brexit references: ‘Et ils nagent, comme des poisons sans frontière, sur cette terre ronde’ or, roughly ‘The fish swim without borders on this round world’. And, if you didn’t know, “C’est Noyé” means “It’s Drowned”.

However, it’s the songs written by Daniel that supply its emotional heft; “Unexpectedly” telling the story of the meeting that led to marriage, “Living the Dream” dealing with the move to France and “Being a Boy” detailing the joys of family life. The songs and settings of “Windrush” are hugely varied and the album has genuine emotional power.

Allan MacKay

http://musicriot.co.uk/album/windrush-daniel-nestlerode/

© 2017-2020 by Daniel Nestlerode

photography by Daniela K. Dominique Merlos, and Gareth Watkins

Windrush cover: Constellation de la Douleur by Christian Lapie

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