CD Label: damianknappmusic.com
Firstly, I love the cover of this CD. It is simple yet makes a point. This is a log or diary of Damian Knapp's deceased father (who wrote many of the lyrics on this album before he died suddenly) with a picture of him as a baby. The irony of the title right above the picture Will You Cry When I Die? Makes you start thinking before you give the CD a spin.
Knapp's appearance reminds me of John Belushi. He looks like he has the Blues Brothers swagger and attitude and when you listen to his music you can actually hear it at times, its just a quite a bit more understated and less animated than that style of music. There are 11 examples of his music and stories on this CD. Knapp's vocal style creates a low-key smoky nightclub blues honky atmosphere combined with a rootsy Americana feel, kind of like a much smoother Tom Waits if you will. He also plays some fine licks on the six-string, both the acoustic and slide. This is not flat out blues, it is more blues influenced with a combination of the aforementioned genres.
Some of the best tracks are the opener, which is the title track. It sets a precedence and energy for the entire session. It is the theme of the entire project and so important that a more laid back reprise closes out the set. One of the best blues numbers is "Pumpkin Boy," which features some dandy slide licks punctuated by horns with plenty of soul and funk. "My Lahania" has some reggae riffs that lead the song into a blues-rock foray with some interesting lyrical content that mentions how he never liked Jimmy Buffet for some reason. "Heaven?" is an introspective track and that asks the question what happens after we die. The powerful lyrical prose and lazy trumpet lure you into your own heaven and state of mind while pushing you to think about life and mortality.
I must tip my hat to Damian, this is not your typical album in the lyrical sense, and it is about real life from the perspective of an every day guy. The best part about it is that the music is great and Knapp knows how to get a song over with feeling and honesty that you can rarely find in daily life. This is good album and one that grew on me suddenly and without warning. I get it, and not only that, I really enjoy it more with each listen.