Music Review: Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves, Or Strutting With A Strat

July 13, 2014



There’s a bit of an unintended theme – keep quiet, for crying out loud – building on this blog at the moment, with posts talking about audience etiquette in comedy and theatre as well as the frustration caused by ridiculously loud entertainment programmes at resorts that claim as their primary attraction the peace and tranquillity of the bushveld.

Silence is golden, something impressed on blues and rock guitarist Dan Patlansky by American musician Everlast when the pair where on tour together in Europe a while back. When a couple of obstinately raucous fans began noticeably affecting his performance, Everlast confronted them with a measure of aggression, eventually having them evicted from the venue. He used the term “silence thieves” to refer to them, and it’s a phrase that stuck with Patlansky enough for him to celebrate the notion by using the words in the title for this collection.

The silence the guitarist and singer is referring to is that which allows for optimal enjoyment of his songs. Happily, once Patlansky is sure you understand that concept, he’s happy to celebrate in an ironic but perfectly appropriate way – by playing music that’s best listened to loud.

Opener Backbite kicks off with an intro that’s equal parts Stevie Wonder and Audioslave and continues with a strut befitting any artist who can combine that sort of range of elements, and Fetch Your Spade keeps the heat up, sounding like the best thing Aerosmith haven’t released in decades (Patlansky sounds like Steven Tyler before the latter started dressing like a hippy grandma and wearing his hair in a bun).

Taking Chances returns to a more recognisable blues pattern before the quieter Windmills And The Sea allows listeners to take a breath. Your War is a slow builder allowing for plenty of virtuosic fretwork. There’s a good deal of that in Feels Like Home as well, though its fantastic intro is more about huge funk groove than getting particularly fiddly.


  • Backbite                                                                         7.75
  • Pop Collar Jockey                                                          7.00
  • Fetch Your Spade                                                          7.50
  • Hold On                                                                         6.50
  • Taking Chances                                                             7.00
  • Windmills And The Sea                                                 7.00
  • Only An Ocean                                                              6.75
  • Your War                                                                       7.00
  • Feels Like Home                                                            7.50
  • Madison Lane                                                                7.00

Rating: 7.100