BILLBOARD - Storyteller

by Larry Flick, Editor-in-Chief

It’s always a pleasure to watch an artist of immense promise grow and continually hit the creative mark. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-rare treat, too. But Daniel Link can easily be counted among the few. The Austin, Texas singer/songwriter ends a 2 year absence from public view with Ghost Stories, a sterling collection that firmly expands upon his debut Out of the Silence. Once again, Link serves up heartfelt acoustic-rock that conjures immediate images of Counting Crows, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor. But once listeners scratch past the surface, they’ll discover an artist who is honing his own distictive voice and sound. Link is clearly a product of his undeniable influences. The element that sets him apart from other similar young artists is that he’s not leaning too heavily on his influences. Rather, he’s using his influences as a springboard to fully develop himself.

Ghost Stories also shows Link rocking a little harder than he did on his last project. It’s move that provides an appealing contrast to the vibrant, textured poetry that his lyrics often can be. Cuts like “Tangled,” “Good Life,” and “Storm in my Heart” have a nice hard edge that work well when taken on a purely musical level, but they deliver far more to those who listen for more than a solid beat, sweet harmonies, and sharp guitar work. Those listeners also get a carefully drawn series of songs that follow a specific storyline - a ghostly one, if you will.

“The ghost is that part of us that has been forgotten,” Link says. “That essential essence of ourself. But because of the dark things that happen in life, we sometimes forget who we really are because we build up walls to protect us. Sometimes we protect ourselves too well. We become angry, cold, and distant. But that ghost deep inside us is there haunting us, trying to come back and trying to remind us what we are capable of doing.” Link spent a year meticulously crafting the songs that would become Ghost Stories. Despite his intent to make a technically sharp record, he had a fairly loose, communal approach to working in the studio. “I chose my players based on their talent, intuition, and compatibility,” he says. “They are all excellent musicians. I believe that allowing them to be creative artists is the best way to get the best performance from them.”

They’ve also apparently urged Link to perform to peak capability. He more than shows improvement on Ghost Stories; he shows that he’s now a serious contender for national attention. If you need proof, check out one of his shows on his upcoming tour. If justice and art prevails, Link is an artist whom you’ll be hearing quite a bit of in the years to come.