ABOUT DANIEL CHAMPAGNE
Daniel Champagne has covered a lot of ground for an artist so young. Hence, his second album The Gypsy Moon (Volume 1) is what the 23-year-old singer, songwriter and guitar virtuoso calls “a collection of road songs” – one which plays out to the listener like a sonic tour diary.
“Well, I’ve been on the road for nearly five years now, that’s a lot of people and places, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of memories; which are all these songs are really made from. This album is just a whole stack of my memories,” says Champagne.
Daniel first picked up the guitar as a five year old and has barely put it down since. Following in the footsteps of a musical father, he began writing his own songs at 12, training classically throughout his teens and performing wherever he could, honing his craft and developing what would become the dynamite live show that he is renowned for today. At 18 he left school, turned professional and hit the road. And he hasn’t stopped since.
After releasing two independent EPs, My Own Design (2009) and Wide Eyed And Open (2010) it was with 2011’s full-length album Pint of Mystery that Daniel’s tour resume burgeoned and he racked up hundreds of shows nationally and internationally, traversing North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and of course, his homeland Australia.
People were watching: after a year of solid touring in support of Pint Of Mystery Champagne was invited to appear on major festival bills here and overseas —Vancouver and Mariposa Folk festivals (Canada), Belgium’s Labadoux Festival and Australia’s Port Fairy Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Falls Festival and the legendary Byron Bay Bluesfest — as well as touring and sharing stages with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Judy Collins and John Butler.
Based on the strength of his live show and the huge demand from audiences wanting to take part of it home, Daniel’s next move was the release of last year’s 6-track EP Real Live recorded straight to disc, in one take, on one night. With The Gypsy Moon (Volume 1), however, things were different.
“Making The Gypsy Moon… was a really long and drawn out process,” says Champagne. “I had all these songs with me for ages but no time off the road to do anything with them so they mostly just sat in the back seat gathering dust for a long time. Then there were a few false starts once I did get round to it – different sessions and studios with different producers that didn’t work out for different reasons.” Eventually he beat a path back to the door of Pirate Studios on the south Coast of NSW, Daniel’s original stomping ground, to work with veteran producer Dave Sparks, who worked on Daniel’s entire back catalogue. “Once I got back in the studio with Dave it just felt right and I knew it was going to work. It all fell out pretty quickly from there.”
The Gypsy Moon title came from a final farewell made to Daniel by an old friend and alludes to the process of blindly “searching for something that may or may not actually be there, and just putting all your faith on the line as if it is. This rings true through all of these songs,” says Champagne. “I was a lot more honest this time around, more realistic with how I sound and how to get that across and I’m really proud of what we’ve created in the end. I love this album and I hope others feel the same. The Gypsy Moon is definitely my best work to date.”
“Today I saw the Future of Folk! – Festival goers flocking in their thousands towards the main stage to witness the young musical phenomenon from Australia dish out an absolute show-stopper at the evening’s end.”
Firefly Column, USA
“Watching Daniel Champagne perform is a once in a lifetime experience. He is a true prodigy that plays like no one else could possibly play unless they spent at least two lifetimes studying the art.”
BW Review, New Zealand
“The superb talent of Daniel Champagne can’t be explained by mere words; it must be seen to be believed.”
“There’s a reason Champagne has an amazing reputation as a live performer.”
Timber And Steel, Australia
“An amazing rising talent.”
Rhythms Magazine, Australia