Having been introduced to innovative guitarist, Danny Heines, by way of his excellent work of near perfection, Every Island (1988), I made a point of picking up his back catalogue, which was Aqua Touch (1986). Since then, he has made varying levels of albums that include One Heart Wild (1990), Vanishing Borders (1995), and the subject of this review What Worlds They Bring from 2002. Fashioned from the natural and soft New Age climate of Windham Hill, Heines’ guitar work has been memorable, especially on Every Island. Although Danny Heines has never been on that label, one would never be able to tell since his style is so closely matched. My guess as to why this was/is begins with the clear fact that Danny Heines is an infinitely better guitarist than any of the guitarists on that label save for Michael Hedges, although that assertion can be challenged.
On What Worlds they Bring, Heines brings his recognizable guitar but weaves in exotic blends to expand on his style. The album begins with “Vir Vir,” an acoustic guitar piece that is a traditional Russian folk song. Thus begins what Heines certainly captures, an album that explores world music in the Heines style. With several other traditional tunes, both Hungarian folk tunes, and the rest original compositions, Danny Heines’ latest album is a progression even if it doesn’t shine a light directly on what he does best, which is to play guitar. The progression is that Heines unveils an ability to incorporate a mass of musical flavours from around the world in a concoction of 13 rewardingly explorative songs. His songs reflect exploration in voice, throat-singing, percussion, and flute for a satisfying journey.
Guitar is what Danny Heines does best and you are encouraged to do a bit of investigation within his back catalogue. I suggest beginning with Every Island because, if that doesn’t captivate you, then likely nothing else in his catalogue will. I’m happy to present you this review of What Worlds They Bring because a talent like Danny Heines should not go unnoticed. What Worlds They Bring is his most expanded work with a little jazz, a little folk, and a whole lot of the European world in music.