Joni Mitchell in a coonskin cap? (with a gap-tooth grin?) The Appalachian story-telling tradition is alive and vibrant in the hands of this accomplished guitarist. Wit and whimsy merge to form a rewarding lyrical and musical journey. This ?New Appalachian? music pours forth naturally with the essential simplicity of the rural mountains while drawing on a diverse vocabulary of styles. At an early age, Dan spent long hours listening to a 50's era Zenith console, playing and replaying the the one 45 rpm single each of Eddie Arnold and Fats Domino...
At an early age, Dan spent long hours listening to a 50's era Zenith console, playing and replaying the the one 45 rpm single each of Eddie Arnold and Fats Domino, and the 78's of Dinah Shore and Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony. The imprint on an impressionable young mind was profound, and you might say he never recovered.
Despite drifting from rock, to country to jazz; to blues, Bach and back again, Dan's own music did not develop. And then, one late night laying awake in a fleabag motel, Dan saw the light. It turned out to the flickering neon sign from "Murph's Caf?" next door. As fate would have it, the very next day as Dan was dining at that same caf?, savoring the only item on the menu he could afford; a small order of chili-cheese fries. His eyes were drawn to the Elvis portraits in black velvet, and just below, a small smeared blackboard with the lunch special, "Murph's Bologna Burger". At that moment inspiration struck and would have knocked Dan's socks off, had he been wearing any. The central question was clear....why top your burger with bologna and not chili? It was time to play real music, music that tops off the meaty taste of life like chili on a flame grilled hamburger still dripping with the satisfying essence of fullness. It was from this point the distinct and varied music he called "New Appalachian" began to come forth. (As along as he stayed away from the fifth).
Over the years Dan has performed/recorded with Phil Keaggy (Grammy nominee and Dove award winner), Robin Kessinger (1985 National Flatpicking Champion), Nedra Talley Ross (Ronettes), Phil Madeira (Nashville songwriter, recording artist) Lance DeMers (Hannah's Prayer), John Fischer, Jenny Allinder, Ted Sandquist and others.
It wasn't until the late 1990's that Dan began to concentrate on his own music, culminating in the release of Dan's first CD, INTO THE FLOW, in 2001, which received glowing reviews and was a ?Viewer's Choice? award winner on Kweevak.com. His second CD, I THINK OF HOME, built on this musical vision, expanding the range of expression for Appalachian music. The songs received recognition in several songwriting competitions. With the release of his third CD, WAYFARING STRANGER, the flavor of Dan's live performance material can be enjoyed in fully-realized arrangements without the ?slick? production treatment.