A Listener’s Guide to Danny Bell and His Disappointments: Good Timin’ Man

Lon Kerr | Contributor

I am always blown away by the musical talent in Prince George. Some performers in town are hard rock, pub smashers that light up the night with classic hits, while others are more grounded and provide a more cultured or storytelling experience. Danny Bell and his Disappointments have just released their first album, Good Timin’ Man, which is an accordion heavy folk album heavily influenced by the band’s personal experiences and life in northern British Columbia. This album is a series of takes on environmental and land use challenges that are destructive or unhealthy. It is also an album about friends and neighbors that can help you get through the mental burdens that come with awareness.

If you are new to the region, let me quickly inform you that the province of British Columbia is not just forestry heavy, but also operates several mines, farms, and production facilities that take their toll on the environment (regulated or not). Songs in the album such as “Paper,” “Cigarettes,” and “Crumbled and Down” are your local guide book for industrial criticism and personal health concerns associated with local practices.

If you are looking for fixes and cures you will find none here, but you will find good times and personally relatable stories in “Basement Apartment” and “Good Timin’ Man” (the album’s title track). You will find these tracks remind you of the good times, and the friends that help you through the rough times. I personally find listening to the album refreshing simply because of the language that is used. Ideas and lyrics such as “In a pulp mill town” from the track Paper, or “A politician who’s never been north of Dawson Creek” in Yadda Yadda Yah honestly feel rewarding to listen to. They make you feel like you are contributing to a local conversation rather than listening to the plights of the world, which provides the listener with both a sense of contribution to a conversation and a sense of community.

Though this album has an inherit political view, it is not aggressive or in your face making it ideal for a Degrees coffee background track, a day working the compost heap, or cleaning the house on a lazy weekend afternoon. You will be surprised at how quickly you start singing along, since most of the songs are catchy and possess a subtle call to anthem.

If you are a music fan, I sincerely recommend you listen to the album simply to appreciate the production quality. I first met Danny Bell when he was the sound engineer for one of my band’s performances two years ago at the Prince George Legion. Bell clearly has an ear for music, and his ability to balance our sounds easily made our performance ten times better than it would have been on our own. It is clear from track one that Bell brought the same level of professionalism and skill to his own work.

I think every track is worth listening to, but the one I recommend the most is the album opener. “End of Times” is a song about your crazy neighbor who builds a bomb shelter for the end of the world. I won’t spoil anything more, but when I started the album I played that song three or four times, just because it was such a fun song. Danny Bell and His Disappointments’ album Good Timin’ Man is available on Danny Bell’s bandcamp page at dannybell.bandcamp.com/releases for only ten bucks! The album is honestly twenty-five minutes of quality local art, and so I strongly suggest you grab a couple of friends and either make a pot of coffee, or grab a couple of beers, listen to the album, and keep an eye out for their next live performance.