Danny Beirne
1). Little Lucille — Pure pop confection. When Danny introduced it to his Skip Castro band mates, they laughed. “This is the stupidest song we’ve ever done. It’s great!” Melodic and dance-inducing, this three and a half minute gem is sheer, harmonic gold. No denying the Beatles-Four Seasons-Carolina Beach influences at work here.
2). When Your Lovin’ is All You Got — A deeply introspective reflection on the immediacy of love lost, Danny makes deft use of the Hebrew “shalom” in the phonetic chorus. “Shalom-lum-lum-la” symbolizes the losing lover wishing his companion all the best. With romance gone, it’s the love behind it that carries him through his loneliness. Despite its Emo earmarks and stark despair, there’s Motown R&B soul here with a hint of Hall and Oates.
3). Bad Things — This swamp boogie rocker celebrates the secret joys of misbehaving. Showcasing Danny’s machine-gun piano attack, this song would be a standout for any mainstream roots rock artist. These roots, though, scream Jerry Lee Lewis.
4). Livin’ — Baltimore rockabilly artist Bobby Smith’s cover of this Danny Beirne original. Wistful and yearning, this poignant pop ballad also deals with love lost. Here, though, the message is broader and less desolate. The piano block chords and melodic imagery suggest Ry Cooder covering Burt Bachrach and Bob Hilliard’s “Mexican Divorce.”
5). Somewhere Down the Road — Ever wonder why all those forlorn crooners lose everything? Well, here’s how that whole you-broke-my-heart thing went down. “We had been drinkin’ and my resistance was sinkin’.” An ode to coping with scandal, it lays bare the fallout from human mistakes we all make. Channeling pure Creedence Clearwater Revival, Danny subconsciously chose John Fogerty’s working title for “The Old Man
Down the Road.”
6). Blue Dan — An audience favorite wherever he plays, this instrumental demonstrates Danny’s considerable keyboard mastery. It’s a lesson he delivers while pulverizing his poor keyboard with nothing short of a blues-driven bitch-slappin’. You’ll find yourself walking away muttering, “What the …?”
7). Picturing Changes — This is perhaps Danny’s most ambitious piece, with its everythingbut-the-kitchen-sink production. Tommy Conwell, with whom Danny recorded on MCA, provided the music for the bridge. “He also wanted to make it a love song,” says Danny. “But I felt that would weaken the message, so we shelved it.” Good thing, as its personal, perils-of-drugs-and-alcohol message is universal. “I take a lot of pride in this one,” says Danny. “A recovering cocaine addict reached out to me and thanked me for its inspiration.”
8). 2000 Days — Sure to put a tear in your beer, this country ballad, with its lyrical imagery, illustrates Danny’s George Jones influence. Sad, deep and dark, this song would work not just for mainstream country artists, but alternative ones like Steve Earle or the Drive-By Truckers, as well.
9). Party Boy — Along with Bad Things, this song delivers what Danny’s fans have come to love and expect. Light-hearted, breezy lyrics paired with a relentlessly infectious back-beat. Hear Danny scream, “That’s me on the bass!” Good-time, road house, boogie woogie at its raunchy best.
10). Lonely Happiness — Like “Little Lucille”, this infectious melody, with its innovative chord progression and ethereal lyrics, makes for one of Danny’s strongest pop outings. With a distinctively Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds feel, the song is immensely appealing on many levels. Think 60’s Top Forty AM radio meets Liz Phair.
11). Here To Hurt — Danny obviously soaked up a lot of Buck Owens and the Bakersfield sound. The clean, California, honky-tonk piano and a simple story line are all that’s needed here. Dig the piano-string ensemble at the instrumental break.
12). Flash Warning — This piano opus, in three movements, is pure gospel gold. It’s Leon Russell-like with a catchy melody reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel. This final cut puts Danny’s considerable mastery of his craft on full display.