Label: Loose Music Link: Myspace In a world where Marcus Mumford and his merry men seem to be providing an omnipotent soundtrack of banjo and footstomp to 2010, the timing of Danny & The Champions of the world’s debut album couldn’t really be better. That said – mere musical flourishes (some stomping banjo one minute, a penchant for the odd bit of euphorically executed folk) aside, DATCOTW (as they shall henceforth be known to save my typing fingers) seem to be dealing with a more Americanized brand of folk country pop, specifically the works of one Mr Robert Zimmerman. That’s right - old bobbys fingerprints rest all over the 9 tracks that make up this album, from the nasally sneer of the vocals, through to the freewheeling opening to ‘Restless Feet’ – sounding for all the world like an alternate version of Like A Rollin Stone retooled for a stint at the café wah. Or the Hoxton grill at the least. Elsewhere there are highlights abound through the rest of the album, driving mandolins, languid harmoniums and lashings of achingly pretty lap-steel adorn these tracks beautifully and lift the album above the lofi setting that the initial two minutes of banjo that opens the record hints at. Closing the album in a whirlwind of hands in the air euphoria with 'Your People' – surely the bands calling card in years to come – you’re left with a series of glimpses of them one day occupying the same kind of place in the nations heart (and indeed the same kind of cavernous venues!) as Sigh No More or indeed Ms Marlings latest effort. If you can get past the obvious Dylan comparisons then this is genuinely an album to love and hold close to your heart – both sweet in execution and theory (any band that opens an album with a track dedicated to their van has to have some kind of awww factor right?!) – It's further proof that folk is alive and well in the age of the digital pop star. Wonderful. Photobucket