I’ve been a fan of Dan since his early days when he was wowing audiences at local open mic venues, under the name “Blues Boy”. His gruff and gravelly voice mesmerising as he performed great versions of classic blues songs. Dan usually accompanied himself with acoustic guitar, harmonica and stomp box, but occasionally captivated us with some awesome electric guitar playing. Equally at home on either acoustic or a Gibson Les Paul guitars, he made both sound fantastic. It wasn’t just Dan’s vocal style and musical abilities that impressed, and as if all of that wasn’t enough, Dan was actually entertaining too!
He didn't just sing songs. He owned them!
Getting an opportunity to see Dan performing live again was too good to miss, especially as, on this occasion, he was promoting his new album, Stay Awake With Me. I had seen videos of some newer songs and was eager to see and hear how much change there would be from the Blues Boy days.
Taking to the main stage, Dan was more than ably accompanied by long-term compadre, bassist extrordinaire, Tom Caton, excellent piano man, Louis Coupe and solid-as-f*ck drummer, Marc McNab-Jack. Apparently, this was the first gig the band had played together but from where I was standing, they sounded as though they’d been working together for years. The sound was strong and balanced and the playing neat and tight.
A truly professional performance!
Whether the band was playing or Dan performing solo, the audience was appreciative of the quality coming from the stage.
Good songs with thoughtful arrangements for live performance and a natural, easy engagement with revellers will have guaranteed Dan a multitude of new fans.