Champagne draws crowds

The strong rhythm of Daniel Champagne’s guitar rang through the Braidwood Hotel on Friday night. The singer, guitarist and songwriter returned to Braidwood as part of his tour with new album ‘Fault Lines’.

In his desert boots, skinny jeans and oversized denim shirt, Champagne looked every inch the country musician. As he played effortlessly with an enormous range of styles and rythms, however, his classical guitar training came to the fore.

Intense technicality was a strength of the performance, rather than a distraction or a gimic. Champagne’s complex guitar work evoked a range of musical styles from pared back jazz to blues, and complex Spanish rhythms.

His country roots shone through in folky chord progressions and wistful lyrics which created that classic nostalgic country vibe.​

The hollow sound of a beat on the guitar created a thread that bound the performance together. Ebbing and flowing to reflect the music, Champagne’s percussive guitar playing allowed him build and drop intensity in a moment.

Long introductions to his songs built tension, showcasing a range of styles that blended styles from jazz to Arabesque.

Champagne’s sweet voice blended softly with the tones of the guitar, his flat Australian vowels grounding the music with a sense of place.

His style is current, without being driven by trend – suggesting that Champagne’s music will only improve.

Crowds ranged from eight to 80 and packed into the front room of the Hotel, mesmerised by the performance.