Daniel Martin Moore is a Kentucky-born singer songwriter who grew up immersed in the Southern Baptists’ musical traditions of spirituals, hymns, gospel and choir music. In 2011, the musician set out to record In the Cool of the Day, a collection introducing a personal and fresh take on several of these old spiritual songs remembered from childhood, as well as a few compositions in the same vein.

Daniel Martin Moore
In the cool of the day (2011)

[Moore and long time friend & drummer daniel joseph dorff] set out to keep things simple, to let the beauty inherent in the songs shine through, and most importantly to have fun and not feel bound to the classic interpretations of the songs. They changed a lot of them in small ways, leaving out a verse here and there and even adding some new ones. Rather than make a paint-by-numbers “gospel” album, they have tried to present these songs as Moore remembered them, as a reflection of, and meditation on, growing up with this musical tradition. And that is the beauty that can be found when listening to in the cool of the day. 

“In the cool of the day” (or “Now is the cool of the day” in its original version) was actually written by folk singer and collector Jean Ritchie who also hails from Kentucky. This is a gorgeous song and several versions of it can be found on YouTube, some sung in Bluegrass style, others closer to Gospel with wonderful harmonies. There is even a short snippet of Jean Ritchie singing the song herself (15 seconds only at the end of the clip, starting @ 3’18”). Daniel Martin Moore’s rendition is a simple and pitch-perfect meditative piece oozing with an incredible sense of calm.