The UK has made a huge contribution in so many ways to the world of music but for truly astonishing blues singers it's a bit like solar flares... they tend to shine really brightly and fade for lengthy periods until they unpredictably flare up again. Maria Daines approach to blues and soul however, is a stunningly bright and more permanent affair and I would have no hesitation in placing her as one of Britain's best female singers to have emerged in recent years.
Maria's debut album 'Treebone' is an absolute treat for the ears and a superb contribution to the genre it has permanently illuminated!
First Avenue of Sound
Maria Daines: PRESS
Maria Daines - Treebone
Maria Daines is the vocal side of a duo also comprising of guitarist and musician Paul Killington, the quality of song writing is superb with depth of feeling rarely encountered, played and sung with soul. The album starts off with a fearsome lament of feeling and loss 'aint nobody' with Maria's wonderful vocals displaying mood and Paul's wailing guitar reflecting the tears. 'One good man', although lighter, doesn't let you off the hook as Maria shows her determination to keep you deep inside the cocoon of feeling created in the opening song, the third song on the album Treebone has Maria opening up, displaying throaty purrs to soaring vocals while Paul displays his musicianship by staying with her and at times even taking the lead. The first three songs on this album are worth the purchase price alone, but the beauty of Treebone is that there are 13 songs of shining brilliance that are not restricted to blues rock but also include some country tempo's, but they never forget that a good song revolves around lyrics that touch people.
This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.
It lives inside me.
There are many great voices in the music business, and a few great singers. Great singers with great voices are all too rare, because a dollar driven world can't deal with them - and there's just not many around ! So I'm going treasure the combination outlined above, with a very fine song.
Artist Of The Year 2005
The last award has also been the hardest thing I have had to do this entire year. With the wealth of talent on show, and the extremely high quality displayed, this has been the nightmare year from hell for me because I HAVE to pick ONE??? Right up until recently, I had a handful of contenders for this award, any one of them could have won it. Then I started to really consider what exactly I thought this was all about. For me, being an artist of the year should mean that they bring something extra special with them - something no other artist around (to my knowledge) has. It was the reason I picked Nad Sylvan in the very first of these awards and why I picked Jim-n-Lisa last year. It's a combination of great musical talent, nous about how to apply that talent and an unerring ability to cross lines - especially in the ears of the listener.
Nad has proved in every which way that I was justified in giving him the honour (if indeed it can be called that) as had Jim Miller over the past year, both increasing their audiences and musical boundaries with ease. If this award were purely about musical talent, then I would probably right now be handing this award to Sylvan & Bonamici but by the slimmest of margins because my Artist Of The Year 2005 brings their own prodigious musical talent into the arena too and on that score they are, frankly, unstoppable. It's that unstoppability that ensured they stayed in the race, despite some extremely tough competition from the likes of Nad and Bon, over a long period of this year. After all, I first thought these would be a contender for the award as early as May. It should come as no surprise then, that my Artist Of The Year 2005 is...
Maria Daines and Paul Killington.
Hold on, hold on, she's a gobby beehatch and he's an old bluesy innee?? How does that qualify for such a prestigious (if slightly grubby) award, so some dissenting voices might say. IF I could find any dissenting voices, that is. An award such as this should denote something extra special shouldn't it? Soul, my friends, is special and an oceanic vista of it is what M&P are all about, and it shows through every breath and every note. These people were born to do this and you can hear it loud and proud in their care worn, timeless music. The thing of beauty that comes from the aforementioned 'gobby bi**' is undeniable in its intensity and depth of feeling; it's sheer AUTHORITY a breathtaking and captivating experience. When Maria sings, everything stops and you know you are in the presence of something entirely outside the normal spectrum.
It's the melding though of that unique voice and style with the guitar and production skills of Paul Killington that really sweeps the listener off their feet. That combination of vocal with the fluid, incredibly emotive leads and perfect backing track that make this all much more than the sum of its parts. Right now I could point to any number of this artists tracks and say - without a seconds hesitation - 'that'll blow your head off' and know that it would do precisely that. There isn't anything around that sounds like Paul Killington, and this from a guy whose Rock God is Jimi Hendrix, followed closely by Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and other countless blues influenced guitar heroes. Im my mind, Paul Killington is a latter day version of all of these names and should be cherished just on the strength of that. Nonetheless, it's their combination that makes the whole deal work and ensures that their music - and their love of it - could transcend any boundaries. I know they have touched a tremendous amount of people this year, and in a very short space of time too, but what they are likely to do in the future is something I look forward to with great anticipation.
So, there ya have it. 2005, as I've already said, has been a remarkable year, full of ups and downs for all of us, a couple of rocky patches for a great many, and some great, great music along the way. Looking back now on 2003, I kinda wish I had never started this whole affair because - to be honest - it just keeps getting harder and harder each year to pick deserving winners. There are so many deserving winners it's criminal, and no greater indictment of the ineffectual real world music business could do greater damage. While the music world falls apart around its ears, the music business is all but deaf to the talent and diversity online and long may it remain so. Ultimately though, an artist like Maria Daines/Paul Killington or Sylvan & Bonamici WILL get through to a much larger audience, its inevitable. In many ways I hope they do it under their own steam and flying their own colours because that - if anything - is what this is all about. We, the musicians, declare ourselves free and proud of being a part of something that is, finally, different.
Music, just for the sake of it. Yeah, there's another thing isn't it??
I'd like to thank ALL of the artists who have entrusted me with their hard work this past year, I know its often not easy to go through this process, I hope I have - in some small way - made it worthwhile.
Fellow musicians, I salute you.
'Rag n' Bone'
"This is a classic in the style of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya (remember the Threepenny Opera?)! Bravo Maria! a great song and commentary on our miserable society!"
The translation -
Paul sounds modest, the “I Want” of Maria aren’t that easy to all be realized, the duo Daines/Killington, independent artists from Cambridge, England, are in my humble opinion on their way to soon present a bit more than fuss. Their album “Treebone” ("an eclectic mix of all that we are and some things that we're not. Whatever it is we're proud of it." M & P) could be a breakthrough to sign a contract with a major label. With the opener “Ain’t Nobody” it sounds as if ‘our’ Dani Klein & Vaya Con Dios resound through the speakers. But soon Maria Daines proves with the bluesy ”One Good Man” and the (soul)jewel “Bring Your Love Along” why, at her home base, her voice’s considered as a combination of the voices of Janis Joplin, Elkie Brooks, Maggie Bell, Melissa Etheridge and Aretha Franklin. “Don’t you know I’m crazy” or the relation between women and brandy is explained in the beautiful acoustic “Brandy Queen”. As to me...the ‘sea of fire’ and the tempo are being pulled up with the little blues rockers “Til I Feel Better” “Too Bad Henry” and “Tear Down The Walls”. Paul Killington’s rockin’ guitars and Maria’s voice are the fundamental tools! A bit less speed with some country sounds on “Pack-A-Punch-Mama” roots/rock on “You Ain’t The Pickety-Po” (with a very ‘fat’ laugh) and the fortune hit “You Don’t Love Me”. It’s been yeeeeeeeears since I’ve heard a song with so much hit potential as this ballad. Totally suitable to scream out your pangs of love, in the car or in your room, it makes you take out your handkerchief as movie soundtracks do and Radio 1 (a very popular radio in Belgium) should be playing the tune over and over and again... “You Don’t Love Me” on it’s own would justify the act of buying this wonderful album, but also the other songs on it, all made by the duo Daines/Killington... let there be no doubts, it’s a first class album! A voice that gives you the goose-pimples, an awesome guitarist (Les Paul) who even plays all instruments + has the role as co-producer... It’s a recommendation... “This is a woman who sings with her heart in her mouth”
Treebone is the new CD by Maria Daines and Paul Killington from the United Kingdom.
This is one of the best CDs I have heard in a very long time and I cannot recommend it enough. Beautifully recorded and sung by an amazing vocalist! The songwriting is superb and the performances are on fire!
Maria Daines is a distinctive singer, who knows how to belt out a song and leave you dying to hear more. But since time immemorial people always ask for comparisons and so if you allow me to indulge myself… if you mix the vocal styles of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Melissa Etheridge, and throw in the soul of Aretha Franklin and the phrasing of Barbara (yes Barbara Streisand who’s vocal phrasing is almost as amazing and unique as Frank Sinatra’s) then you have an idea of the marvelous talent Maria Daines is.
Paul Killington musicianship should be envied, in the best sense of that word, when you hear his playing on this CD. Paul is the King of Tastefully played Guitar! His playing and the sounds he magically summons from his instruments will take your breath away. He also mixed and mastered the CD and it is a sonic gem. If you want to record, mix and master an independent CD look here to see how it is done.
The song “You Don’t Love Me” is worth the price of the CD even if it cost twice as much as it does now! This song, should be on the Radio, on a Film Soundtrack at the top of the charts on your car and home CD players!!
Some of my other favorite tracks are:
Bring Your Love Along
‘Til I Feel Better
Wicked Eye Mule
If Maria Daines and Paul Killington were on a Major label, that label would be bringing in a small fortune from this CD, and would be looking forward to a King’s Ransom in the short term. However, Maria and Paul are independent musicians whose talent is rare and only need that magic “word of mouth” promotion that will spread the hot fire that they have ignited in the heart of the United Kingdom! The word has been given! Pass it on!
I first became aware of UK artist Maria Daines a few months back. I knew a new CD was on the way and I was not disappointed with the arrival of "Treebone".
Normally, I am not to big a fan of records were the artist alternates between styles too much as I feel it breaks the continuity and detracts from the listening experience. Not so with this album. This is mainly due to Maria Daines' outstanding voice control. The only other female artist I know that has this ability to do this so well is Bonnie Raitt. However Maria Daines does not sound like Raitt. This album is a perfect blend of rocking country and blues rock, electric and acoustic songs.
This album is consistently strong throughout. I do however have some personal favorites. The beautiful ballad "Bring your love along" is for sure one. The hard hitting "Tear down the walls" is another. A real smoking rocker. My absolute favorite would be "Too bad Henry". Another brilliant bluesrocker. But as already stated this is one strong album from start to finish. This album is not all Maria Daines though. Paul Killington does an amazing job playing all the instruments on the album.
This album comes highly recommended by this reviewer.
Maria Daines Rocks
It's perfectly great to see this dynamic duo from Britain being featured. Talk about diversity. From moving ballads to downright dirty ditties caressing the delta, these two cover it all, and with such professionalism. Truly, these two are examples to be followed within the independent community. The sheer volume of their quality material is enough in itself to wow listeners and artists alike. I do not doubt in the least that the blues world will change due to their efforts. Keep rocking us Paul and Maria.
26th August 2005
I wasn't wrong when I first heard you sing Maria, I thought to myself...wow...this girl can sing, and not only that, but put the feeling and emotions of the song across. You see a lot of people can sing, they have voices, but to make the lyrics believable, that's the sign of great singers and you got it girl. Paul is an amazing guitar player too, in that he's tasteful and plays to support the lead vocal and not to trip out on his own. Those two elements make this song unbelievable, sure there are great lyrics in it, but making the lyrics come across and heartfelt is where the trick lies, and you have achieved that. Your vocal range, simply awsome, your pitch dead on, the melody, classic blues, the type I can never get enough of. I mean the word is out, already there are a lot of people talking about Maria Daines...this will continue, because of songs such as this, "Holding Onto The Past", a sure ten.
-- Evan Paul
Jul 11, 2005
'A message of Hope from the Heart'
The message conveyed beyond the true sadness that Mercy endured, is the hope and knowledge that her memory is now forever in our hearts~being spread across the world, one by one through this song...to finally put an end to the silent abuse that so many have suffered.
This song brings silent tears as I listen, and feel the emotion through the beautiful vocals and strings....and although you have many beautiful songs - this one touches me on a personal level.
THANK YOU - for speaking for those who cannot.
In every word you sing, in every breath you take, in every note you all play, I am in Awe. I have never in my life been so moved, had my emotions be so uncontrolled, and felt so much in my heart, as I do when I listen to your music. I don't want to fight no more, is in itself a masterpiece, and for me a ballad of discontent. If I had my way all fighters of dogs would be made to fight in the same manner, unable to run. I bless you and all you are trying to do, and I pray that what you are trying to do becomes what is in the world and not a dream.
With all my love to you
Review of Treebone
Pop the name Maria Daines into Google, and you’ll pull up loads of links to a UK recording artist who does a whole lot of good for animal charities worldwide. Take a closer look, and you’ll find a blonde beauty who has accomplished what many bonafide bands of the South have failed to achieve.
Maria’s sultry, versatile voice and the cool riffs of lead guitarist, Paul Killington, are a combination that British bands have been trying to reproduce since the early days of American blues and rock. Together, they are a bit of Heart, Janis Joplin and Creedence Clearwater rolled into one.
With a generous 13 tracks, the band’s Treebone CD delivers an incredible combination of old school Southern rock and down-home blues. Maria’s voice flows like honey on “Bring Your Love Along” and then changes to full-on gutsy rock with “Henry’s Mother.” The melancholy heartfelt soul of “You Don’t Love Me” will haunt you long after the song is over. You’d be hard-pressed to find better blues in a Bourbon Street bar. Downbeat Magazine hailed Maria as having “the tremendously exciting voice of a blues diva in the making.”
If you love traditional blues and the Southern rock of the late 70s and early 80s, you will absolutely adore the new twist Maria Daines has added to the recipe. This CD has something for everyone. The Maria Daines Band definitely has a die-hard fan in me!
What do Animal Rights and Rock n' Roll Have in Common?
She’s been compared to Janis
Joplin and Melissa Etheridge,
but UK recording artist Maria
Daines has definitely found her
own niche in the world of rock and
blues. Her music has such a Southern
American feel and sound to it that
you’d never guess she is English. If
her music alone isn’t enough to set
her apart from the others, this unique
lady’s compassion for animals is one
endless overflowing cup of love. Her
fourteen-year collaboration with partner
and lead guitarist, Paul Killington,
has produced both some wickedly
good music for us folks and a whole
lot of good for mistreated animals, the
A multi-award winning international
artist with fans in twenty
countries, Maria opened for Pink--in
Cardiff (Wales) International Arena--
for the Party for Animals Worldwide,
in August 2007. The concert raised
funds for six animal welfare charities.
An avid advocate for animal rights,
Maria is a patron of numerous organizations
as well as an Honorary
Board Member of Saving America’s
Horses, and an Ambassador for World
Animal Day. Inspired and troubled by
the plight of abused animals, Maria
and Paul have turned their hearts and
musical talents toward raising awareness,
and funding for, animal charities
worldwide. It was not, however, a path
Maria could have foreseen.
It all came together in 2006 when
she received a call from Mary Alice
Pollard of Cornwall’s (Cornwall
County, England) Voice for Animals.
Mary had ordered Maria’s CD and
hoped it would be there in time for
Christmas. After the call ended, Maria
went to the Voice for Animals website
and read stories of abused animals. It
was a shocking video on the site about
the fur trade industry that spurred
her to write “I Am the Owner of This
Coat,” the first of many songs to be
written about animals. She sent the
song to Mary to use for raising awareness,
and it went all around the world.
As Maria puts it, “That was when
our writing kind of changed. We still
write rock and blues for fun, but there
is this other side now. Anybody can
reach out by talking, writing, by word
of mouth and just creating a picture.
You can give pain, suffering and need
a sound. If someone can hear that
sound from an animal’s heart, that’s
what it’s all about. I can only write
on instantly being affected. We write our
songs in about ten minutes and then sing
them immediately because I have to do it
then and there, while I’m in the story. It’s
got to be now because I won’t be in that
When Maria’s current band formed
in 1996, she was a singer with booked
gigs who had just lost her band and was
working with random musicians. One of
those musicians told Paul Killington that
Maria needed a guitarist. He played a gig
with her, and something “clicked” musically.
Maria laughed as she told me that
after they finished their first gig, someone
asked Paul what the name of the band was
and how long they had been together. “I
don’t know what the name of the band
is,” Paul replied, “but we’ve been together
since half past six.” It’s a story they’ve told
often through the years.
It wasn’t love at first sight (Paul nearly
knocked her over with an amp on their
first meeting), but a strong love was born
out of what was soon found to be a perfect
fit, and the two plan to marry in June. Maria
would be the first to say she could not
have accomplished so much without Paul
and the other band members, Bob Bampton
on bass and Mark Gordon on drums.
Though she now performs with the
confidence of a diva, it wasn’t always so.
As a child in Cambridge, she loved to sing,
but was afraid to perform in front of an
audience. She would instead go rambling
with the dog and sing alone or wander off
to the roofless barn behind the house and
belt out the blues of Canadian singer Diana
Trask, to the empty fields beyond. She
loved the acoustics of the old barn, which
made her voice “sound louder, better.” She
wrote poetry about sad things. “It might
have been empathy for a person or an
animal,” she said. “My mother was a great
animal lover, and we always had animals
in the home.”
Years later, while at a public open-mic
session, she was told by a “big brute of
a guitarist” that she was going to get up
and sing the next song. After a couple of
drinks, she did just that! The song was
“Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” and the
crowd adored her. The band told her she
must come back, and it was at that precise
moment that the British “Queen of Southern
Rock” was born.
You’ll never find a more down-to-earth
person than Maria Daines. She is, without
a doubt, one of the kindest souls I have
ever met. She has found that perfect
balance between believing in herself
and being humble enough to help those
less fortunate. It’s a fine line that she
walks so well, and it shines through in her
music. Whether it be a gritty Southern
rock piece (“Henry’s Mother” from the
Treebone CD), a bluesy ballad or a hauntingly
sad love song such as “You Don’t
Love Me,” also from Treebone, the music
that Maria and Paul create together not
only rocks our world but helps save many
little lives. That, alone, is a noble endeavor
in anybody’s book.
Sherri Turner Stone's website