Cailyn/Dane is the talented duo of Cailyn Lloyd (guitars. bass, keyboards, drums, programming) and Dani Daly (vocals). The 9 tracks on their first collaborative effort entitled “True Lies And Other Fairy Tales” are a blend of four original tunes and an ambitious collection of covers from artists like ELP (Still You Turn Me On), KANSAS (Portrait), AEROSMITH (Dream On), JIMI HENDRIX (Wind Cries Mary), and STEVE WINDWOOD (Can’t Find My Way).
Although the cover tunes are exceptionally well arranged and tightly performed, for my money the pair are at their best when performing their original material – which by the way is a smoking hot combination of blazing rock and roll and smoldering blues.
I would have preferred their CD contain more originals and save the cover tunes for padding out the set list at a concert or club date. With strong original material like Heartland, Lady Kicks Ax, Heading West, and Road Not Taken, it seems a shame to be wasting their time and talent recording a CD of mainly covers.
Cailyn is a truly phenomenal multi-instrumentalist and kick-ass guitarist equally at home in any genre whether tackling blues, hard driving rock, or progressive.
And it’s easy to see why Cailyn teamed up with Dani Daly for the collection since she too is graced with the type of soulful gritty voice that is also equally adept at crossing genres. She’s been performing for over 11 years with her band OIL CAN HARRY, so she’s no stranger to the hard rock scene.
On their first original tune Heartland, the opening guitar work smacks of vintage Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits. The next two originals Lady Kicks Ax, and Heading West are a pair of hard driving rockers that really gets the blood pumping. And the final original track, Road Not Taken is an epic bluesy ballad propelled by some brilliant guitar work ala those great early albums from Robin Trower.
The inherent problem with recording a cover tune is the unconscious and oftentimes prejudicial comparison to the original. Does it do the original justice? Is it intended to be a spot on performance? And if so … did it succeed? Or is it an alternative interpretation like the Crimson Jazz Trio’s reworking of the King Crimson classics into jazz standards? And most important of all … are the artists outside their element?
For my ears, some of the covers worked better than others. And maybe it’s the male chauvinist pig in me, or the fact that the covers were so familiar that they felt oddly out of kilter – but I’d rather hear Dani cover material fronted by female artists like HEART, JOAN JETT, THE PRETENDERS, or FLEETWOOD MAC than rock standards from male artists like Hendrix, Greg Lake, Steve Perry, Steve Walsh, or Steve Winwood. All of which have a unique vocal style.
Dani has a great set of pipes, but her voice was not a good fit for some of the tracks.
But that having been said there was one track that was killer. She did a superb job with the Winwood tune Can’t Find My Way. Her voice was perfected suited for the material and she made the song her own. It was easily her best cover tune on the CD.
I can’t wait to hear what the ladies may have in store for us at a later date, and strongly urge them to take the time and fill up the disc with original tunes.
I’d rate the original material a solid 10 out of 10 – as for the cover tunes I’ll give then a 7 out of 10.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 12th, 2009