Album Review: Sunjay – One Night Only

Label: New Mountain Music
Released: November 2013

Sunjay One Night OnlySunjay Brayne is a very talented singer and acoustic guitarist and this is captured on One Night Only, a live album recorded at the Woodman Folk Club in Kingswinford last year.

Sunjay may be an Anglo-Indian from the West Midlands, but he clearly has a deep love and great affinity with acoustic blues. He won the Wath Festival Young Performers Award and was a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Nominee when he was 18 years old in 2012, and has attracted many admirers.

Terry Reid described him as “an amazing picker, a must-see” and folk singer Vin Garbutt also said, “he’s a technical wizard on guitar”.

He is a phenomenally talented guitarist, if you watch him play live, you can see he is very comfortable and has complete confidence in his fingerpicking technique; his performances aren’t about dry technique though, they’re about songs. His voice is rich, tuneful and smooth.

Sunjay has been compared to Chris Smither and he is clearly a big influence, at least 4 of the 16 tracks here are associated with Smither, including the opener, Love You Like A Man.  All of the songs are covers, amongst them, Bob Seger’s The Fire Down Below and Buddy Holly’s It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, or reinterpretations of old blues numbers, like Scarlett Town and Sittin’ On Top Of The World.

Sunjay utilises his abilities well, on his cover of Sailing To Philadelphia. He obviously can’t duplicate the production number of the original, recorded by Mark Knopfler and James Taylor, when he’s playing live and solo. Instead it successfully becomes a piece of intricate picking with a rich and melodic vocal.

This is a great album by a great new talent.  If you’re looking for a troubadour, you came to the right place!

– Simon Benton

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