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Dan Dyer: 'Love Chain'

For his follow-up to 2004's Of What Lies Beneath, Austin, TX resident Dan Dyer draws from gospel, Bossa Nova and even ragtime for a contemporary homage of pulsating grooves. His selt-titled sophomore release, which dropped in late August, begins with the soulful "Love Chain," featuring members of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Choir backing Dyer's own Stevie Wonder-inspired tenor. It's a passionate and stunning opener, showcasing much of the musical styles Dyer grew up on.

But "Love Chain" is only part of Dan Dyer's sonic pastiche. There's the cover of "I Walk On Guilded Splinters," a song originally performed by New Orleans R&B musician Dr. John. "Who I Am" draws from sensual, swaying Brazilian rhythms, and features a guest appearance from Thievery Corporation's John Nelson on percussion. Then there's the sunny "Little Bird" with its gently rolling piano and undertones of a chilled-out ragtime.

Although each song on Dan Dyer's latest effort takes on its own flavor, the disparate mix is more refreshing than a disjointed jumble. For those who appreciate his style, Dyer will be performing several dates in Texas this fall, along with a select few out-of-state appearances.

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Tamara Vallejos