Daniel Martin Moore In The Cool Of The Day
In gospel music, exaltation in the face of the Almighty’s boundless magnificence walks hand-in-hand with fear of eternal life without His grace, creating an inherent drama intended to convey man’s deepest, purest emotions. In The Cool Of The Day, a collection of standards and spiritually minded originals by Kentucky folkie Daniel Martin Moore, has more modest ambitions; it just wants to be pleasant coffee-drinking music. On that count, it succeeds, with Moore switching ably from understated piano ballads like the title song and the moving “Softly And Tenderly” to gently rollicking band tracks that include an occasional banjo lick from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, the producer of Moore’s 2010 debut with cellist-singer Ben Sollee, Dear Companion. As a vocalist, Moore is as unassuming as his backing musicians, forsaking the fire and grit of traditional church belters in favor of a relaxed, almost jazzy croon that hearkens back to Willie Nelson’s 1976 country-gospel classic The Troublemaker on the swinging “In The Garden.” But unlike Nelson, Moore never entirely lets the spirit take over. Moore’s heart might be in the right place, but he’d be better off musically if he got a little lost. As it is, In The Cool Of The Day is tasteful when it should be transformative.