The Gypsy Moon (Volume 1)
The Gypsy Moon was written while Daniel Champagne toured the world for five years on end. It’s all very deep, traversing contemplative territory and conjuring journeys filled with romance, loneliness, longing, weariness and doubt.
There’s a feeling of seeking the unattainable, striving to reach something that may not be reached or even exists. The title track captures this, exploring Champagne’s wandering thoughts when he pauses and questions why he’s on the road again: ‘another set of bright lights in another hotel room, just to chase the gypsy moon’. Champagne can spin a story with a nice turn of phrase, particularly the one-liners, ‘her wayward heart has got away with me’ in Night Skies, Dark Eyes and ‘we’re torn apart by the hands of the highway’s hold’ from Highway’s Hold. You can’t shake that feeling of uncertainty from songs strung out on never-ending roads; it feels like they were born from catharsis.
There’s also a lot of fine string work. Guitars are fiercely plucked relating a sense of determination and showcasing the artist’s classical training; additions of the viola and cello add a hint of folksy intrigue such as in the country duet, Heart Like This, wherein Mikaela Atkins lends pretty vocals. A true country icon is referenced when Champagne covers Emmylou Harris’ Deeper Well. His rendition has a brisk, busking feel, replacing the original slow electric guitar with choppy acoustic and changing it up enough to make it fresh.
Eight songs are just enough for The Gypsy Moon to capture the transience of life on the road and leave a lasting impression.